Parents' Guide to

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Experience Alrest's past in large, combat-focused prequel.

Game Nintendo Switch 2018
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This prequel expansion to last year's large-scale adventure might be a bit smaller than the original game, but it packs just enough content to keep fans hooked on the story. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country is a standalone prequel that answers some lingering questions but generally serves up events of the main game by giving players a chance to be active participants in the legends they only heard about. But being a prequel puts the game in a strange position. If you're a newcomer playing this content before completing (or even starting) Xenoblade Chronicles 2, you open yourself up to a lot of spoilers. But if you've already played and beaten the main game, you can't help but feel like you already know how everything's going to turn out. That's not to say the story isn't compelling, because it certainly is and knows how to tug at the heartstrings. It's just that there are very few surprises, because everything is meant to telegraph what's to come.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country follows the idea that "if it was good enough last time, it'll be good enough here." Little has changed in the expansion, short of a slight visual upgrade. The menus and user interface still take a while to get used to and are still frustrating to navigate through. You can still expect to spend a fair amount of time on foot as you explore the vast open world. But with the expansion's focus on one area, Torna, there's much less ground to cover. In fact, the entire campaign is only a third the size of the main game. It doesn't ever feel small, though, just more compact, which is a nice change of pace. One big change in the expansion is in the combat. The Golden Country adds a few new tricks, such as swapping quickly between the Blade and the Driver weapons. Having one out allows the other to rest, and swapping can initiate powerful combo moves, giving the action an almost fighting game feel. It's not an overly dramatic change, so fans should still feel familiar with the overall controls. But it adds an extra bit of excitement and keeps the game from feeling like more of the same.

Game Details

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