Video: Digital Foundry’s Technical Analysis Of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 On Switch

Image: Nintendo / Monolith Soft

If there’s one area that the Xenoblade series has struggled with on Switch, its performance and resolution — especially in handheld mode. But the folks at Digital Foundry have some pleasant news to deliver regarding Xenoblade Chronicles 3, the latest game in the series which releases this Friday.

Something we noted in our review of the game was that “this new entry is a big step up from its predecessors” in terms of performance. And Digital Foundry has reached a similar conclusion to us in its technical analysis of the game.

The first big improvement it notes is in the image quality. The game will render at 1080p docked and 720p in handheld mode, which is a jump from the previous entry in the series, Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Digital Foundry has even gone on to say that this game delivers “one of the sharpest images from all the high-end titles we’ve seen on Switch” , even if the resolution can slip to lower levels at times.

Character and world rendering are two of the game’s best assets, and improvements have been made to the game’s animations, including areas where the character’s feet will adapt to the surroundings, resulting in less clipping. Cutscene animations have also seen a boost, with per-object motion blur used (both in cutscenes and in gameplay too!).

There are, however, some constraints to environmental rendering. The level of detail pop-in is mixed when transitioning between quiet and busy environments, with trees, rocks, and other background details appearing. But this does not diminish from the majesty of the world.

Performance, while having seen a bit of a bump, is still hit and miss says Digital Foundry. While the game maintains a steady 30 fps throughout the environment, it varies on what’s going on at any one time, as well as the size and scope of the area. But the game is much more mixed when it comes to combat, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 introduces a seven-character party system. So all of the effects and animations on screen are multiplied compared to previous entries.

So, essentially, while there are some hiccups, this seems like a pretty big step-up for the series! You can check out the full breakdown from Digital Foundry above, and let us know whether you’re impressed by what you’ve seen and heard about the game in the comments!

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