Unraveling the Secrets of Aionios in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC: Future Redeemed

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 had a successful launch that arrived much earlier than expected. Instead of being released in September 2022, Monolithsoft felt enough confidence to push the date earlier to July 29, 2022. After achieving such success and praise, Monolithsoft has been focusing on its DLC. Finally, Future Redeemed launched on April 25. This would be the beginning of what started Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and what may be the end of Xenoblade Chronicles.

Start of the Redeemed Future

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC: Future Redeemed

Future Redeemed is a prequel focusing on Matthew, the protagonist with much more brawn than brains. He was raised in the City to fight and protect his loved ones until Moebius, a villainous group, attacked his home and family. The disastrous event caused the City to fall, though Matthew survived the attack.

After the attack, Matthew meets a silver-haired girl called A. Once Matthew was nursed to health, they went to see the ruined City, finding nothing but debris. Matthew vows to find other City survivors and defeat any Moebius that gets in his way. Out of pure chance, A agrees to follow and assist him with his quest.

Exploring New Lands of Aionios

Plenty to explore in the new DLC!

Future Redeemed is smaller than Xenoblade Chronicles 3, though it is packed with various interactions. Players will scour the lands to accomplish familiar tasks like opening chests and harvesting ether channels. New interactions include field crafting, finding survivors, and taking over enemy territories. 

Players can find different valuables easily by detecting them with the X-radar. Whenever the party is nearby any valuables – items, treasures, survivors, crafting – the mini-map will shine its light in the direction before beeping louder when the party gets closer to the interactable. It can be updated to simplify exploration and combat, including finding essential items and exposing enemy weaknesses.

By interacting with the world of Aionios, players will earn affinity points. This can be acquired through exploring, defeating unique monsters, and interacting with civilians. 

The game rewards players for finding secrets and treasures during exploration. It tracks collection records of discovered treasure in each section of the Aionios. There are many easter eggs and references to find throughout the world for Xenoblade veterans.

Growing Affinity Community

The community system returns in the recent DLC. It is similar to the mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Golden Torna. Players can deepen their relationships with different people in Aionios by talking with them and completing side quests. 

Deepening their relationships will net more affinity points. The major difference in Future Redeemed is that it’s not a requirement to complete the whole community chart to continue the main story. Acquiring enough affinity points can be used for the party’s affinity charts, where to learn new skills and arts.

 Players will explore Aionios to find stranded survivors hiding or fighting for their lives. Saving secluded survivors will improve the community, opening more quests and options to strengthen the party. Certain quests hold valuable items that unlock the characters’ skills, equipment, and arts.

There will be specific spots where the party gets together to speak their thoughts. In these Affinity Scenes, party members will have heart-to-hearts. These allow the characters to interact to make engaging conversations. There are many conversation topics that reveal more about each party member, such as Shulk’s traumatic memory, Matthew’s blade, Rex’s knowledge of ruins, and several others. 

United in Combat

Mega Crash in Future Redeemed

Since this game is a prequel, the new group can’t use the complete powers of Ouroboros like the previous main cast. Instead of interlinking, they work together in pairs called Unity attacks. These special arts can greatly damage enemies while providing certain effects during battles. Each party member can be paired with another, lending different effects.

Unity Attacks can charge by using different arts, including fusion arts. Though the party’s Ouroboros powers are incomplete, chaining different battle techniques in different pairs can add beneficial bonuses, such as Rex breaking and toppling an enemy in one fusion art. The game opens up enough room for player creativity to utilize different setups and customization for challenging battles.

Chain attacks return with an opportunity for party members to change their effects during team assaults. Equipping different manuals will change the characters’ skills and order completion bonuses. Like the base game, completing orders for paired party members will allow them to use their unity attacks to deal great damage. Using Unity attacks on enemies launched in the air will activate a union combo, producing three specified results: blowdown (leaves enemy staggered in the air for a while), burst (blasts enemy away and quells rage), or smash (slams enemy for greater damage, though enrages the enemy).

Issues with Future Redeemed

It's not all roses in Future Redeemed

There are only a few issues with the game. There’s no physical copy of the game like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC. Players have to purchase Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and its Expansion Pass to play. The pass includes four waves of content (3 supporting the base game) that will cost $29.99.

The game isn’t for anyone to pick up and play. Future Redeemed mainly impacts players who played the entire Xenoblade franchise. Players who beat Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can play the DLC, though they won’t experience much emotional impact if they have little knowledge of previous installments. The DLC expects players to know different references and hints.

The story’s pacing is a lot quicker than expected. The main story feels too limited for the player to spend more time with the party before facing the menacing threat. Some characters had less time to showcase themselves properly, such as Nikole and Glimmer. Its faster pace does raise enemy levels quicker, forcing players to grind more to catch up to adequate levels. 

Unlike Noah’s cast who can change their roles freely, Matthew’s party isn’t able to do that. Each character can only play their designated role. For example, Matthew can’t be a supporter while A does the attacking. Their customization only helps to enhance their specified roles.

Redeemable Qualities of Future Redeemed

A must-play series!

Future Redeemed is the most impactful DLC Monolithsoft has created yet again, appearing like a full-fledged game with its content. It offers so much overall story for Xenoblade fans and rewards them for sticking through to its end. It’s a miracle for this hefty journey to release this early rather than what many assumed would be launched in winter 2023.

 Xenoblade Chronicles is a must-play series for anyone into sci-fi stories and JRPGs. The best part about Xenoblade is that each game is a separate story, letting anyone explore the series in any desirable order. They hold different themes, experiences, music, and characters for many gamers to connect with. 

Future Connected (epilogue to Xenoblade Chronicles) and Future Redeemed are the only Xenoblade games directly related to previous installments. Playing through the entire series is only for people interested to learn the bigger picture of the Xenoblade worlds. Overall, Future Redeemed deserves a 9/10 for its emotional journey, engaging characters, enhanced combat, and astounding finish for Klaus’ experiment. 

The entire Xenoblade Chronicles franchise is available now on the Nintendo Switch

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