Xenoblade Chronicles 3 out early as fans worry about Splatoon 3 delay

This art may be new but there’s a lot of familiar imagery for series veterans (pic: Nintendo)

A new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 not only shows actual gameplay and story but confirms a new July release date.

It’s not often you’ll hear of video games releasing earlier than planned. Usually, it’s the reverse, with games needing to be pushed back for extra development time, like Nintendo with its sequel to Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.

However, Nintendo’s upcoming role-playing game Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which was originally slated for September, will be coming out in July instead. Specifically, July 29.

What makes this particularly surprising is that the game was only announced a couple months ago in February. This suggests that development is complete or at least so near completion that Nintendo can afford to bump up the release date.

The new trailer, aside from featuring more characters and story, also gives a proper first look at its combat. For the most part, it looks to work similarly to the previous games, especially Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

One major deviation is that you won’t be limited to just three party members in battle. Up to seven characters can partake in battle at once, with each one having their own job class.

You’ll be able to customise these job classes for each character to formulate your own battle strategies. Plus, two party members can fuse together to become an Ouroboros, a much larger and more powerful fighter.

Nintendo has also shared a bit more about the game’s narrative. Set in a world called Aionios, the main party are caught in a war between two nations and set out in search of a place called Swordsmarch, a land pierced by a giant sword, to uncover the truth behind the conflict.

While the game is available for pre-order, a collector’s edition that comes with special package artwork, a SteelBook, and an art book will release too. Pre-orders for that aren’t up yet but it will be exclusive to Nintendo’s own store.

As welcome as all this is, it’s already being speculated by fans that another of Nintendo’s upcoming releases will see their release date pushed back so as not to clash with Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

Or that perhaps there’s been a delay with something else – perhaps Splatoon 3, which was supposed to be out mid-2022 but hasn’t been seen in a long time – that Nintendo has taken the opportunity to shore up its summer release schedule.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 releases for Nintendo Switch on July 27.

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