Fans of Nintendo and JRPG games are probably familiar with the Xenoblade Chronicles series spanning three systems already, the first being published on the Wii, Xenoblade Chronicles X on the Wii U and,- now, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Nintendo Switch.
Boasting an amazing story, complex combat, and enchanting landscapes, as well as over 70 hours of gameplay, XC2 was a smashing success, something we’ve grown accustomed to expecting from the series. Now Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has its own DLC titled Torna, the Golden Country which is everything a DLC should be: short, sweet and satisfying.
Compared to the lengthy 70+ hour gameplay of the original, Torna might feel too fast standing at just over 12 hours to complete, but it offers an experience that will be welcomed by both fans of the series and newcomers. Those that have played and finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 will already be familiar with the characters from the flashback sequences of the original.
Dealing with events half a century before the proceedings in the game, the flashbacks might seem clunky and at times illogical, but after playing Torna you’ll start piecing the story together and might even go back to re-watch the flashbacks at the beginning of each chapter of XC2.
So, the story follows Lora and Jin as the main characters of Torna, always by each other’s side in a world filled with eternal conflict. As in the main game, Torna, the Golden Country features Drivers and Blades as the fighting characters, except this time the Blades are standalone fighters instead of just granting their powers to the Drivers. Switching between Blades and Drivers allows for management of your health, as well as other tactical advantages, as your health bar replenishes every time you switch. This provides for some dynamic gameplay, perhaps even more engaging than the one in the original.
All in all, if you’re a fan of the series, you’ll love the bite-sized chunk of Xenoblade that’s delivered by Torna, the Golden Country. You’ll find out more about the lore and characters, explore many new and already familiar locations, and fight plenty of important battles, even if the duration of the gameplay is much shorter than the original. The community system which forces you to finish sidequests before continuing with the main story might be a bit wearisome at times, but no RPG is free of this malady, and Torna actually feels much less grindy than similar games. Even if you haven’t played any of the previous games, including XC2, you are sure to get a blast out of Torna if you’re even a little bit of an RPG fan.