Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed Review The Last Piece of a Wild Ride and The First Piece of a New One

Recently the final part of the downloadable content for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released which was an entire story telling key events that took place before the events of the main game. Future Redeemed stars a boy named Matthew and his traveling companion A who are looking for survivors after their home, The City, was destroyed. While looking for survivors Matthew is also looking for the whereabouts of his sister and in doing so their story becomes intertwined with Shulk and Rex the protagonists of the first two games who have come together to stop a new enemy Alpha. Now before I start I want to be clear that this will dive into slightly spoiler territory for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 because the DLC story is clearly targeted to those who play the main game as it doesn’t go and re-explain a lot of stuff that you learned from playing it. So like the DLC, I’m going to make this review as if you’ve also played the main game and are familiar with the key events of the game.

As you would expect from Xenoblade Chronicles the story is really the key selling point of this game as it is yet another masterfully told tale that really knows how to captivate its audience. It’s no secret that while Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was a self-contained story it left the players with a mountain of questions left unanswered. What happened to Shulk and Rex? Who were these mysterious founders of the newly rebuilt City that were heavily emphasized throughout the events of the game? Why do two of them look like the protagonists of the third game? What was the deal with Noah and Mia’s child? All of these questions were answered and then some. We actually got a lot of story here which was no surprise. We’re introduced to several characters we’ve never met before as part of the new main roster and we get a lot of information about their backstories and even some character development. The game is set in a location separate from the events of the main game but in the same world and it’s great how we get to revisit some locations that people who’ve played the previous games will be very familiar with. Also without spoiling it, the ending was this rush of excitement for the final boss which admittingly was a far better final boss experience than the main game. Once the dust of that battle settles you start to get into some really high emotional scenes that were teased throughout the game and you’re then left in an emotional state on par with the end of chapter 5 of the main game.

One of the things I liked about the story was how it’s easy to go into it thinking you’ve got a rough idea of the events that happened before the main game because of all the flashbacks but the reality is there was a ton of information that we simply didn’t know. It was enough that I actually saw some characters very differently like N and other characters that I won’t name because they dive way too heavily into spoiler territory for the DLC. Now this story being DLC content is nowhere near as complex as the main game and serves a very focused purpose, to show us what the founder’s story was and how it connected to the main game. With that being said the answers to that were rather detailed and will take you on an emotional roller coaster.

With that being said what makes the story as a whole interesting is it does put an end to the story started in Xenoblade Chronicles 1. As we all know the worlds of Xenoblade were created because a human Klaus wanted to be a god and create a new universe, and he succeeded in making two. After that, the fates of both of these worlds went in very different directions before being forced to come together. With this story, we finally see a true final end to the story of Klaus and it was incredible; however, just because that story ended doesn’t mean the story of Xenoblade is over. Instead what we get is an ending that shows everything as we have seen getting wrapped up while setting up circumstances for a whole new story to continue. Just like the end of the main game, the DLC indicates that there is a lot more to come but that message comes across far more directly in the DLC.

The characters were all rather amazing too and were comprised of people that were key figures of the entire Xenoblade Chronicles trilogy. Naturally, you have Rex and Shulk but all of the other key characters had very big connections to at least one game in the entire trilogy. Furthermore, rather than just having Shulk and Rex simply appear the story shows much older versions of the characters we’ve grown to know and love so we get to see how the events of their stories affected how they matured, and what we got were even better versions of already amazing characters. Shulk is much wiser with age and had retained his love of life making for the most insightful version of Shulk yet. Rex had a much bigger change as he clearly got a lot stronger and more assertive but still maintains his empathy for others. Plus these two characters actually had this incredible chemistry with each other which made for amazing banter. It was a nice way of seeing these characters again but in a way, it also felt like we were introduced to them for the first time all over again.

As for the gameplay, it is very similar to the gameplay you’ve seen in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 so it was really easy to just get back into the swing of things. Now one thing I thought was interesting was how power-ups like being able to add more skills, attacks, and accessories were not level locked in this game. Instead, they required the player to go out into the world and find items that would trigger these unlocks so it really motivated the player to do a lot of exploring in order to make the characters strong enough for the boss fights. I thought this was a nice idea because it fixes what I thought was a flaw in the DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 where you had to do a set number of side quests just to progress the game. Instead, you can progress through the game at your own pace but you might still want to slow down and see the other stuff the game has to offer because you’ll need the power boosts that come with them.

We also get a lot of callbacks to the previous games. Not just in the characters and the locations as I previously discussed but in monsters that connect even to the new content of Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Future Connected which explains the importance of that part of the story. We also get music that ties heavily into the previous games. For example, Alpha does connect to a previous character in the series and the final fight with him has a lot of similarities to a fight we’ve seen before in the visuals and in the music while being different enough to make it have its own identity. I spent hours just looking around for references to previous games. On top of that, you have this game’s version of the heart-to-heart conversations spread out across the map, and not only do they provide a lot of callbacks to the games but also hint at events that happened after those games ended which really made them worth hunting down.

Overall it’s best to think of the three games as three pieces of a puzzle that are connected but leave a small but noticeable gap in the middle. Future Redeemed is the missing piece of the puzzle that truly connects all of these games together to make a cohesive image and what an amazing image it is. It was really great getting some much-needed answers that really left me confused from the main game, but more importantly, it was amazing to be able to play as Rex and Shulk again. Seeing these characters come back better than ever was exactly what I was hoping for, and seeing why they weren’t a part of the main game was an emotional and moving moment that made the experience worth the wait. With this story, the tale of Klaus the man who wanted to be a god is over, but just because the tale that started the franchise has ended doesn’t mean we’re done with Xenoblade as it’s very clear we have a lot more to see.

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