With the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed earlier this week, we had the opportunity to play through this incredible DLC and spoke very highly of it in our definitive review that covered every aspect of the game, including the history of a series and Torna comparisons. A lot of work went into the Torna segment and we’re rather proud of it, so much so, here it is again:
The Tale of Two DLCs: Torna vs Future Redeemed
Like Torna, Future Redeemed is a prequel story that takes place before a main game. Both are available as part of the expansion pass that was released for their respective games. Unlike Torna, despite both titles being titled as standalone games, there is no physical release of Future Redeemed planned.
That’s not the only difference, of course, as whilst both games are considered standalone, with Torna, you can actually play it without ever having played any other Xenoblade Chronicles game as no previous knowledge is required for maximum enjoyment. Whereas with Future Redeemed, although you can try playing it with no prior knowledge, given the fact the story, characters and more, make this adventure a very fan service heavy title, for maximum enjoyment, you need that knowledge.
Future Redeemed is the culmination of a saga that started in 2010 and without the previous games having been experienced first, there is plenty of emotional depth, references and connections that you will miss out on.
Another big difference between Torna and Future Redeemed, is that unlike the game that came before it, Torna was made with a different engine to that of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which resulted in improved graphics and performance. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 and Future Redeemed, however, were both made on the same engine and mirror each other perfectly. Having said that, Future Redeemed does feature improved gameplay, which is easily the best the series has had to offer so far.
Then there’s content. Both campaigns feature all of the regular staples of a Xenoblade Chronicles game, such as side quests, Unique Monsters, Secret Areas, exploration and a community-based system. With Torna, whilst the community feature was enjoyed by us, it wasn’t the most liked feature the game had. Still, it was worthwhile as it helps to make players care more about the NPCs around them before we come to that devastating ending. In Future Redeemed, however, the idea has been reworked and improved and feels a little more special as it ties into everything else nicely.
Still, if we’re talking about forgetting all the side quests and everything else that’s not really relevant if you just want to play the game’s story as quickly as possible, you could easily blitz through both Torna and Future Redeemed in around 14-16 hours. Then with Torna you can either spend another four to six hours to complete the rest of the game’s content, or just start another playthrough with New Game+, which adds an extra bit of content to the original campaign, including new Unique Monsters. With Future Redeemed, however, there is no New Game+ or extra incentive to play through Future Redeemed again.
Don’t be too disheartened though as beating Future Redeemed does see players rewarded with certain features, which you can make the most as you finish off any quest or Affinity Goal left outstanding. It also gives you another reason to go back to the main game, but let’s not get into that right now. Instead, what we will say is depending on how long it takes you to level up or complete the collectopedia and finish things off, you can easily turn that 14-16 hours playthrough into 23-30 hours. So, it is bigger, to a degree, but it is luck/RNG dependent.
Lastly, story and tone. As the prequel that we know it is, Torna’s story feels smaller compared to Future Redeemed in the grand scheme of things, but then Torna has a localised story, whereas Future Redeemed has a story that takes characters, gameplay and inspiration from every main series Xenoblade Chronicles game and brings them altogether for thrilling, yet satisfying conclusion.
Both games do a formidable job at making you care about their characters and come with plenty of emotional damage, but to answer which one is better? It’s a matter of personal preference. Both games are standout DLC that has been developed to perfection and offer the best possible experience inspired by the games that came before them. What’s more, both games are deserving of being considered their own full-length games, the only difference is they are smaller in length in content when compared to the larger offerings of the series, but when compared to other PRGs, they’re easily among some of the best RPG experiences we’ve had in a long time.