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Is Xenoblade Chronicles 3 worth buying? Here’s what reviews say

The game launches July 29 on the Nintendo Switch.

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Image: Nintendo

Monolith Soft is set to release its latest RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, on the Nintendo Switch on July 29. Reviews for the game have started coming out, and it looks like most people are pretty impressed by it.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a unique RPG that takes place in the strange world of Aionios. You’ll build a party of six characters and travel the world, taking on outrageous enemies and completing various stories and quests.

This is the third installment to a fan-favorite franchise that has been on Nintendo consoles for over a decade.

With early reviews starting to come in this week, we have a good idea of how players are enjoying the game so far. So let’s see what it’s all about.

Unique story inside of a strange world

The unique story and setting of Xenoblade Chronicles games in the past have set them apart from other RPGs. And Xenoblade Chronicles 3 follows the same formula.

The game takes place in the world of Aionios where all inhabitants must train to fight for one of two factions.

They start training at an early age and must practice combat for 10 years straight. If they survive that time, the queen of Aionios sends them away in strange motes of light.

READ MORE: How to order Xenoblade Chronicles 3

“Even after more than 60 hours I’m left wanting more, eager to explore the world of Aionios in search of its myriad secrets and to be a part of countless smaller stories I’m yet to see unfold,” exclaimed The Gamer’s Jade King.

But not everyone is in love with the world of Aionios. Jason Guisao from Game Informer says, “Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a bloated trek across vast but lifeless environments further diminished by an unaffecting narrative with one of the worst ensemble casts in the franchise.” That’s not the best endorsement, I’d say.

Slow pace with tons of content

GameSpot’s Jake Dekker says, “the story really doesn’t come into its own until about halfway through the first chapter when you’ve been introduced to all six party members.” And that says a lot about the game’s pace.

Where some RPGs tend to focus on the main story and push the player through specific quests as quickly as possible, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 does the opposite. The game features tons of cutscenes and dialogue that slow down the pace.

Aionios is a massive world with tons of different environments and locations to explore. Gamers will easily spend dozens of hours exploring the world, embarking on sidequests, and completing various downtime activities.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has shining new combat mechanics and in-depth quests

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Image: Nintendo

What reviewers seem most excited about in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the improved and revamped combat system. It features the familiar, combo-driven combat with basic attacks and abilities. But Monolith Soft has added tons of options, seemingly creating a more dynamic fighting experience.

The game feature six playable characters that make up your adventuring party. Each character can learn their own combat mechanics. This creates a diverse and dynamic system that players can tweak and build to their liking.

“Playing around with all the classes not only serves as an addictive loop that kept me busy throughout the adventure, but also helps break up some of the monotony we had to slog through in prior iterations of the combat system that tethered you to a single class and lacked variety,” claims IGN’s Travis Northup.

The quests that you’ll find along your journey through Aionios are also more in-depth and impactful than previous entries. Many quests have important outcomes like unlocking new characters or locations.

Side-quests seem to feel pretty important in the game. Autumn Wright from Polygon says “these quests conceal some of the best stories Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has to offer, with politicking, espionage, and trade negotiations as recurring themes.

Impressive graphics for a Switch-only title

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a Switch-only title. So it’s important to not expect too much from the game regarding graphics and looks. That being said, the game certainly looks impressive in videos, and many reviewers agree.

Chris Carter at Destructoid was a big fan of the game’s graphics, saying that “while a lot of people will likely balk at any form of Switch visuals, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is impressive looking by any standard.”

The Sixth Axis’s Dominic L, on the other hand, wasn’t too impressed, stating that the “resolution is dialed down a bit too far.”

To me, the graphics seem pretty good for a game of its caliber on the Nintendo Switch. It reminds me of a sort of Genshin Impact or Breath of the Wild style with movement and mechanics that replicate older Nintendo RPGs.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 looks like a solid entry for Nintendo Switch gamers

For the major Nintendo fans out there, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 will feel like a great title to enjoy. It includes tons of what makes Nintendo unique, like its broad, dramatic storytelling and incredibly unique concepts and setting.

Monolith Soft has revamped the combat mechanics and improved on other aspects of its previous titles in this culmination.

If you’re looking for that next Nintendo RPG that you can sink dozens, maybe even more than 100 hours into, then Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is for you.

The game launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch tomorrow, July 29. You can snag it for yourself for $59.99 from Nintendo, Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop, Target, or Walmart.

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