A vast world awaits in Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the next game in the acclaimed RPG series from developer Monolithsoft. Players will step into the roles of protagonists Noah and Mio amid turmoil between the hostile nations of Keves and Agnus. Six characters hailing from those nations will take part in a grand tale with “life” as its central theme. Explore a new world that will connect the futures of both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
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My clear file without the DLCs was 101 hours, and it easily could've been longer because by the end of it I just decided to not dawdle any further and finally finish the story.
I still had an insane amount of side-stories to clear which could've easily netted me another 30 hours or so.
For me a jRPG lives and dies by its cast, and this one has one of the best ones in any games I've played. Incredible chemistry, well-paced character development, great variety of personalities that clash together in fascinating and interesting ways, I love them all to bits and I miss them dearly.
Talking about side-stories, it's fascinating just how many of them are and how "meaningful" most of them are. There are a few duds, but mostly they let you hang out with interesting people more, explore the setting and its implications, and pretty much never feel pointless to do.
The story itself is great, the idea of the setting lets it really focus on spending the time with characters and their thoughts about it, about how one can live within this short allocated timespan, what one can do and achieve, what one can leave behind. Within nations whose only raison d'etre is to fight and die on the battlefield for the nebulous cause, how does passion, artistry, tradition, self-expression within people arise and what is it for, if all they do is fight? All interesting to consider, all explored with much more nuance and care than I can ever describe.
Regardless, it's an insane game, a true testament that it is possible to actually fill 150 hours of a videogame without actually making anything in it "filler".
Whether anyone should actually strive towards making games that long is another story.