Nintendo Direct Details Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X was the topic of today's Nintendo Direct broadcast, and the video showcase revealed more details on the upcoming Wii U JRPG's various mechanics and systems.

The game takes place after the destruction of Earth. Humanity seeks refuge in a spaceship called the White Whale, but it gets damaged by aliens and pulled to the surface of a distant planet called Mira. Players take control of the party two months after the crash.

The Nintendo Direct emphasized the size and scope of the world in Xenoblade Chronicles X. The first main hub area is New Los Angeles, but players can explore any of the game's five huge continents right from the start… assuming they survive the trip. Each continent sports its own artistic motif, so it appears the game won't lack environmental variety.

Players quickly join a group called B.L.A.D.E. in New Los Angeles, a team of explorers that provide plenty of sidequests. There are important story quests as well, including the discovery of lifeholds. These fractured shelters from the White Whale hold refugees, and players must rescue them.

A map system is important with so many continents and quests, and fortunately Xenoblade Chronicles X has that covered. The Wii U toughscreen displays the map and allows players to place probes. These probes highlight nearby points of interest, such as quests and noteworthy creatures. They also highlight fuel, which is used for an important form of transportation.

Xenoblade Chronicles X includes giant mechs called Skells. They require fuel, but the benefits outweigh the costs. Players can jump in Skells and drive/fly around to take in the sights, seek hidden caves, and quickly navigate the world. The broadcast also teased new combat possibilities with Skells, which was shown in the Treehouse demo after the conclusion of Nintendo Direct.

Equipment dictates what Arts each individual Skell uses. During combat, other party members continue to fight even though the player is in a giant mech. Let's just say the contrast in size is highly amusing.

I'm sure fans were hoping for a release date announcement with today's Nintendo Direct, but it appears Xenoblade Chronicles X will be worth the wait.