During the E3 Direct, Nintendo announced a new piece of content for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Titled Torna ~ The Golden Country, it takes players back in time to 500 years before the events of the main game, allowing us to experience a war only discussed in 2's campaign. During Nintendo Treehouse Live, we got our first look at how this will play out, with the team playing through the first twenty-five minutes of the new expansion. We also get a few hints of story beats, as well as some new and returning mechanics.
Torna ~ The Golden Country gives us a look at the journey taken long ago by the Blade Jin and his Driver of that age, Lora, a human whom he is said to have grown close to after she managed to take him on when she was younger. One of the new features seen almost immediately is that, as both of these characters are strong fighters, you can actually play as both of them. Yes, Blades will be playable characters this time around, each holding their own abilities and arts, and there are even special abilities that can activate when you switch your current combatant from Driver to their equipped Blade. Jin's, for instance, immediately causes Topple when switched in against an enemy with the Break status.
As seen in the DLC's E3 trailer, Mythra also makes a return quite early on in this story, and she'll be accompanied by a Driver who was mentioned in the original game but never appeared: Adam. Both of these will join your party after you defeat them in combat, and you can again control both Driver and Blade in battle.
One of the coolest features for longtime Xenoblade fans will be the return of Talent Arts in the game. Like Shulk's Monado Arts in the original Xenoblade Chronicles, these are unique powers that each character has, which can either provide special effects or super powerful attacks. A few of these were revealed in the demo, such as Lora's ability to sacrifice a bit of HP to instantly charge up her Arts, or Adam's ability to extend the time of a Driver Combo, allowing him to unleash even more damage on foes.
There will be at least one major new region in this game, and that is the titular Kingdom of Torna. You can explore it in its entirety, and it's said to be quite a large area. Additionally, you'll be able to return to other titans from Rex's storyline and see what they were like 500 years before that journey took place, though not even the Treehouse reps were sure if all the titans will be returning.
Plenty of other information and combat was shown off in the demo, and you can watch it all in the video above! The Torna DLC will be sold both as add-on content for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as well as a standalone product this September, and the Treehouse indicated that you could play it either before or after the main game with little issue. Will you be tackling this new quest in the world of Alrest?