XENOBLADE CHRONICLES X
Developer Monolith Soft Format Wii U Release 2015
Xenoblade Chronicles was one of Wii’s great surprises, with beautiful graphics, snappy realtime combat in a genre known for turn-based battles and, thanks to a fine localisation, an oddly British tone despite its Japanese origins. Xenoblade Chronicles X looks to build on that success with HD visuals, a vast game world and pilotable vehicles.
The games you make are set in gigantic worlds. How have you managed the transition to HD resolution? Xenoblade Chronicles X is the first HD project for Monolith Soft, so instead of setting a number of hard-toachieve targets, we are working on steadily building up key skills. Our goal with this game is first to lay the groundwork for [our] HD game development, so as to not overreach ourselves and cause problems.
Why are you moving away from a class-based system for player characters? Do you feel that previous games have been too restrictive in that regard? The player’s character in Xenoblade Chronicles X isn’t one with a fixed personality like in any of our previous games – it’s more of an avatar for the player. We decided that this setup would be the best in terms of this game’s system. Therefore, if the main character is an avatar for the player, then of course they shouldn’t be restricted in terms of class, gender or appearance. You’re including vehicles to pilot this time, which suggests the world is very large indeed. How big is it compared to Chronicles? Dolls, which are what we call these vehicles, are roughly five times the size of a person, so to get the same feel as Xenoblade Chronicles while using a Doll, the map would probably need to be five times as large. It’s actually even bigger than that, but we’ve made sure to design Xenoblade Chronicles X so that players can still feel comfortable navigating the world, despite its vast size.
“WE’VE PUT SOME IMPORTANT FEATURES RELATING TO THE GAME SYSTEM AND YOUR OBJECTIVES ONTO THE GAMEPAD”
A common complaint among Chronicles players was that their quest log quickly became intimidatingly long. How are you approaching the quests this time to address that concern? When you take on quests, the objectives and relevant people will be displayed on the map. We’ve also included a number of other features to help with quests, so it should be a much more user-friendly experience than Xenoblade Chronicles.
How are you using the GamePad? How do its various features suit the sort of games you make? We decided that it would be perfect to use as a navigation device, in the same way that a lot of tablet computers are. We’ve put some important features relating to the game system and your objectives in the game onto the GamePad, so I feel that this should create a very userfriendly experience for players.
Pilotable mechs, or Dolls, are new to the series, and a vital addition given the game world’s size
The game begins with two alien races battling in near Earth orbit, leaving the planet in ruins and forcing humanity to evacuate to the stars
TETSUYA TAKAHASHI EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, MONOLITH SOFT