Kris Godwin / Sun 12th Nov 2017
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In just a few weeks, Nintendo Switch owners will leave the familiar behind and enter the fantastical world of Alrest - a world full of living lands known as Titans and the fabled paradise of Elysium. To get fans ready for the 1st December launch of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Nintendo presented a deep dive into elements of the massive game, including the vast environments, battle system, and characters. This special Nintendo Direct presentation also revealed upcoming DLC, a cross-promotion with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as a free day-one downloadable content pack that will allow players to play the game with Japanese audio and English subtitles.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the next in the series following the original acclaimed RPG that launched for Wii in 2011. This sequel features new characters and worlds, with an expanded battle system that will still feel familiar to fans of the first game. In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Blades are artificial lifeforms that bond with Drivers to lend them their weapons and powers in battle. Main character Rex is a Driver, and Pyra is a Blade. To help familiarise fans with main character Rex before the game launches, a new Side Quest will be available via a free update in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in which players will be able to obtain a Rex costume for Link, coming to both Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles starting on 9th November.
In and out of battle, Blades have a wide array of support abilities. While adventuring, these abilities might increase the number of items that can be collected, open up new paths to explore or initiate other special effects. When players fight alongside their chosen Blade, they might trigger effects that protect the Driver, strengthen attacks and so forth. Abilities differ from Blade to Blade, so selecting different Blades adds a further layer of strategy to battle.
Blades are just one form of life that players will encounter while journeying on the backs of the mighty Titans. In the vast world of Alrest, players will discover both peaceful and aggressive wildlife of all shapes and sizes wandering among giant plains, winding caverns, frozen kingdoms, scorched earth and sandy beaches. If players manage to defeat certain Unique Beasts, a tombstone will be left behind to commemorate the creature and allow players to relive those battles for additional rewards.
While traveling the massive world of Alrest, players will run into shining spots called Collection Points - which give players the opportunity to pick up valuable items or dive under the clouds to salvage hard-to-find treasures - or special landmarks which players can transport to at any time. Alrest is also teeming with bustling cities. From shopping districts to residential quarters, each Titan has its own unique layout and atmosphere.
Fans who want to expand their epic adventure can purchase an Expansion Pass for the game. With this pass, players can enjoy DLC as it releases between launch and spring 2018, starting with quests and support items, and eventually including a challenge Battle Mode where they can face powerful enemies, and even an additional adventure with a new side-story set in the world of Elysium. Details about individual elements of the Expansion Pass will be released in the future.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will launch exclusively for Nintendo Switch on 1st December. The same day will also see the launches of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller - Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Edition and the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Collector's Edition. This special version includes the game, a beautifully illustrated softcover art book filled with 220 pages of concept designs and artwork of the characters, landscapes and objects from the game, a sound-selection CD of some of the game's memorable music tracks, and a Steel Book containing the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 game card. Players who prefer to play the digital version, so that the adventure is always with them on Nintendo Switch, can pre-order the game from Nintendo eShop now, either standalone or as a bundle with the Expansion Pass. Players who pre-order in Nintendo eShop will then be among the first to play as soon as the game is available on 1st December.