Monolith Soft's latest large-scale epic RPG is finally upon us and it's one heck of an incredible experience. Now that I've completed up to chapter 2, allow me to share my thoughts so far. Warning: spoilers are ahead.
Chapter 1: Encounters
The story begins by showing the delightful Rex who is on the back of his best friend; a Titan who he refers to as "Gramps". We soon learn that Rex scavenges for treasure below the clouds for a profit. However, he's far from a greedy guy as he kindly donates his earnings back to his hometown.
Soon after arriving at the bustling city of Goldmouth, he's offered a job that'll pay an obscene amount of money. So, he decides to take it and is accompanied by a group of stern-looking individuals. They uncover a large vessel and are tasked with infiltrating it. Upon doing so, Rex learns that only people like him can operate certain mechanisms within (known as Addam's Crest) so he proceeds and unveils a sleeping woman in a coffin-like container. One of his supposed teammates (Jin) then stabs him. Well, I wasn't expecting that!
Rex wakes up in a mysterious land that he assumes is Elysium; a mythical place where humankind originated. He sees the woman who his team found in the structure and she introduces herself as Pyra. She gives him half of her life force thus becoming Rex's "Blade" and promoting him to a "Driver" in the process. The two return to the physical realm and battle Jin where he taunts Pyra and reminds her of her destructive power. After the brutal battle, Rex and Pyra narrowly escape to a Titan below thanks to Gramps. During the chaos, it's clear that the small cat-like Nia has changed her mind about going along with Jin but we'll soon meet up with her again...
Chapter 2: Aptitude
Upon awaking on the Gormott Province Titan, Rex soon reunites with Pyra but they find Gramps to be gravely wounded. Rex is initially devastated but then notices that Gramps was immediately reincarnated as an adorable little fluffy critter! Oh boy! Rex picks him up and places him in a helmet that he has strapped to his back so he can carry him around. How cute! Anyway, the three of them decide to search for Nia (the cat-like girl) and her Blade (Dromarch) who's a large feline beast. They find them and learn that Nia is from this land so they travel to the town of Torigoth. There, they run into trouble as Nia is a wanted fugitive and are then confronted by a powerful Blade known as Brighid, the Jewel of Mor Ardain. Her Driver is Lady Mòrag who first comes across as cold and calculating but I think she'll end up being a friend rather than foe down the road. Nia gets captured so it's time to rescue her yet again.
Before heading to the massive ship where Nia and Dromarch are being held, we meet a Nopon named Tora whose family has apparently been working on an artificial Blade for generations. He reveals her to us and upon activating, it's clear that his intentions with her are a bit questionable. So, he reprograms her and boots her up yet again and grants her the name Poppi. The gang then heads off to the ship and eventually uncovers Nia and Dromarch but their capture was merely a trap as their abductors want to get their hands on Pyra. After defeating the laughable Dughall, the party battles Lady Mòrag and Brighid and finally escapes with only some minor wounds.
An impressive beginning
As a fan of the Xeno series ever since Xenogears, I'm very happy with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so far. One of the best aspects is the cast of characters. I absolutely love Rex, Nia, Pyra, and Tora and can easily say that together, they form one of the most delightful and memorable RPG parties that I've ever seen. The gameplay is as addictive as expected complete with rewarding exploration and quests and I can already tell that character growth is extremely involving and complex; just as I like it. However, one downside that I find strange is how you can't move and auto-attack at the same time. I wish I had the freedom to do so because it gets boring just standing still while issuing commands. That being said, it's such a small gripe and everything else is spot-on so far.
Thank you for reading about my experience with the first two chapters of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Have you played it yet? What are your thoughts so far? Let's chat in the comments below!