Nintendo has more information on the sequel to the hit Xenoblade Chronicles. Here's what they had to say.
Planet Earth was destroyed in a battle between two alien species. Humanity has survived to reach planet Mira, but the threat of alien attacks still exists. There is a new safe haven called New Los Angeles, a vibrant city. You'll design a character and join a team called B.L.A.D.E. to take on missions to improve life, gather resources, and save other survivors.
There are a few continents on Mira. You can visit all of them from the start, if you can survive their terrains. Primordia has rolling plains, large bodies of water, and tall mountains. Noctilum has many waterways and glowing plants. Oblivia is a massive desert with a large oasis in the center. Sylvalum is an icy tundra. Cauldros is a lava pit with a large volcano.
Lifeholds are parts of the White Whale, the ship humanity used to flee earth's destruction. They broke off when the ship was destroyed. Find them and save the survivors inside them.
The map uses the GamePad. Probes can be deployed around Mira. They provide a spawn point and information, such as treasure and creatures. They can also tap into Miranium veins, used as a fuel. They can also be used for fast-travel.
There are many creatures on Mira. Some will ignore you and others will attack. Some should not be engaged until you're more experienced. The Nopon make a return. The Monon are an advanced race that build technology. The Prone are an alien race bent on humanity's destruction.
Nav Balls will guide you to your quest objectives, but they move quickly. You can deploy as many as you like. Skells are flying mechs that you can command to travel quickly all over Mira. They will use fuel when fighting and flying. Refill them by exiting the Skell or using Miranium, the Skell's fuel. They can also travel on land and be used in combat. Hopper Cams are cameras that allow you to see the entire environment from an overhead view.
In combat, you'll have special attacks called Artes. You'll get a variety of weapons that will be used during your special attacks, which will switch automatically when you change which artes you're using. Some special attacks will have a cool-down time. If you wait to use an arte, it can double in power. Artes with green rings around them are the ones your teammates are calling you to use. Special attacks can be used in combos to deal more damage. Some will cost Tension Points, but they will be more powerful or have special abilities, like reviving teammates. You can also auto-attack. If there's a line between you and the enemy, they are focused on you.
Enemies have icons that will let you know what will attract their attention and draw them into attack you. Some enemies will attack you if they see you, or hear you, or a combination of things. Some enemies will not attack you, and have an icon to indicate that. However, some will attack if you're in a Skell. Some enemies have target points you can attack so they can no longer use the weapons attached to those points.
There is a day cycle and weather patterns in the game. Some enemies and people will only be out at certain times. Rest stops allow you to manipulate time.
Each teammate has a class and inner class. Class determines your attack style and weapons. Inner class is your level. Skell attacks are based on what you equip on them. Teammates can attack when you're battling in a Skell and get a defense boost. You can catch enemies when they're toppled so you hold them while your teammates do extra battles. Skells can be destroyed. Jump out in time and everything will be fine. If you jump out a little late, you'll get a mark on your insurance. Get too many marks and you'll lose your Skell and have to buy a new one. As you can imagine, they're expensive. You'll also collect more Skells and keep them in your garage. Extra Skells can be assigned to teammates.