Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review Roundup [UPDATED]

The Nintendo Switch may have launched less than a year ago, but the hybrid console has already become home to some of Nintendo’s most ambitious and acclaimed titles. The company’s last major release for the system this year, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, launches on December 1, and like Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, it’s a massive and lengthy adventure.

Despite the number in its title, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 isn’t a direct follow-up to the original Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii, but it shares many similarities with the previous two Xenoblade titles. The game is set in Alrest, a swirling sea of clouds where all life forms live atop the backs of colossal beings known as Titans. The game follows the story of Rex, a Driver who is capable of summoning living weapons called Blades. Together with a Blade named Pyra, he journeys across Alrest in search of the World Tree, where the fabled paradise Elysium is said to rest.

Ahead of the game’s release, reviews for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 have begun appearing online. As usual, we’ve rounded up a sample of them below to give you an idea of what critics are saying about Switch’s next big release. For a wider look at what critics think of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Developer: Monolith Soft
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release date: December 1
  • Price: $60 / £50

GameSpot — 7/10

“Xenoblade 2 exhibits admirable depth. Adventurous types that enjoy complex combat systems can easily spend more than 100 hours uncovering Alrest’s secrets and developing their team of Blades, provided they can come to terms with a handful of unavoidable shortcomings. It’s equal parts pleasing and frustrating, but the struggle to keep up with everything thrown your way is more of a hurdle than a roadblock. It will be a tough pill to swallow for people who aren’t accustomed to the typical cliches found in many Japanese RPGs, and its often clumsy nature keeps it from being the next groundbreaking Switch game, but Xenoblade 2 is worth pursuing if you’ve got enough patience to let it blossom.” — Peter Brown [Full review]

Eurogamer — Recommended

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a crunchier, more chaotic proposition than the rest of Nintendo’s recent output, then. Monolith Soft either doesn’t have the resources or the relentless tenacity to explore every one of its game mechanics with the rigour and finality of Nintendo EAD. But while the game’s individual components are far from pristine, in combination they prove irresistible. And as with Rex, it is to the wrinkles and idiosyncrasies that we are ultimately drawn, and ultimately convinced.” — Simon Parkin [Full review]

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IGN — 8.5/10

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a standout RPG that manages to keep its story, combat, and exploration interesting over the course of at least 70 hours of adventure through an impressively varied and rich world. Getting from place to place can be confusing, but outside of that and a multi-hour progression roadblock near the end this is an excellent game full of tough, memorable battles and a positive message.” — Leif Johnson [Full review]

US Gamer — 4.5/5

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 applies an energetic signature and wax seal to a wonderful year for the Nintendo Switch, and for JRPGs in general. Between the amount of time it takes to get used to the game and getting through everything it has to offer, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a worthy investment for series fans and newcomers.” — Nadia Oxford [Full review]

Destructoid — 8/10

“To the delight of many, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is less X and more traditional Xenoblade. Although they all have a special place in my library, I appreciate the return to what brought Monolith Soft back into the public eye after a series of portable games.” — Chris Carter [Full review]

Trusted Reviews — 4.5/5

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is an excellent JRPG with a truly extravagant open world begging to be explored. Its in-depth battle system and impressively paced narrative help to deliver a smooth experience, despite its massive run-time. The Nintendo Switch has yet another jewel in its exclusive library, cementing itself as a system never to be underestimated. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Alrest is calling.” — Jordan King [Full review]

Polygon — Review-in-Progress

“It feels like both a relic out of time and a welcome glimpse of handheld gaming’s future. For all its sloppiness, Xenoblade 2’s combination of classic RPG concepts and flexible on-the-go play make for one of the most engrossing takes on the genre I’ve encountered since Dragon Quest 9, which possessed a similar appeal. While I still have quite a bit more of the game to battle through before I can definitively say whether it manages to hold my interest through the final chapter, the first half has at least been a success.” — Jeremy Parish [Full review]

Game Informer — 7.5/10

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a sprawling RPG with numerous interconnected pieces, so no part of the experience is isolated. It takes about 100 hours to finish, and not all of that time feels well spent, with bloated quests and repetitive combat. On the other hand, the vast world and intricate upgrades are a joy to dive into. Everything evens out in the end, but the wild swings between its highs and lows make it impossible for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to maintain altitude above its peers.” — Joe Juba [Full review]

EGM — 7/10

“It has its upsides: the worldbuilding is intriguing; the continent-sized Titans make for interesting maps to explore; the music is downright gorgeous. Even the combat system itself, barring the length, has a solid core and a lot of potential for depth. It also has a few downsides: map markers can occasionally be confusing; characters shout over one another non-stop during the combat cacophony; most of the character designs are straight out of an over-the-top anime (cat girls, giant robot mecha maids, it has it all).” — Emma Schaefer [Full review]

Dual Shockers — 9.5/10

“Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is one of those RPGs that I didn’t want to end. Luckily, there is enough post-game content to satisfy players looking to sink hundreds of hours into more adventures with Rex and the party. However, I can’t seem to shake the feeling that I was left with as the end credits rolled. I feel like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 showed me what it’s like to go on a real adventure and it happens to be one that I don’t think I will ever forget.” — Azario Lopez [Full review]

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