Parents' Guide to

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Epic tale with mild combat promotes thinking for yourself.

Game Nintendo Switch 2022
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Box

A Lot or a Little?

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

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There's not much need to have played previous Xenoblade games to grasp this game's story, though players who have played earlier entries may have a slightly easier time in combat. Xenoblade Chronicles 3's battle system is both its greatest asset and the biggest barrier to entry. It's extremely complicated, even by Japanese role-playing game standards, with new features and tutorials regularly introduced even a dozen hours after you began playing. The complexities will likely be quite satisfying for players who enjoy this sort of thing, eventually leading to some eye-poppingly powerful moves that see pairs of characters linking together into towering merged forms while others chain special attacks into minutes-long strings of damage. Thing is, it can also be pretty intimidating and overwhelming. Fortunately, there are multiple difficulty levels, the easiest of which is designed to let players enjoy the story first and foremost, as well as an auto-combat feature that sees the computer do all the fighting for you except in the most important of battles.

Assuming the sophisticated combat is your cup of tea (or at least doesn't turn you off too much), you'll be free to enjoy the narrative, which covers some very interesting territory. The idea of artificially limited lifespans -- which feels vaguely cribbed from the sci-fi film Logan's Run -- is fascinating, especially since the heroes know no other way to live. Once they begin to realize they've been kept from the truth and that there may be another path, one that doesn't involve constant war and early death, they become outcasts from their respective societies, and it's hard not to root for them. The two trios' conversations about what makes them the same and different are surprisingly insightful and nuanced, and the way they gradually win over allies on both sides with a mix of logical arguments and emotion -- everyone is tired of war -- is believable and resonates. There are prettier and more accessible role-playing games for Switch, but Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is a fun fantasy romp that offers an epic story and imaginative battles.

Game Details

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