Over half an hour of Xenoblade Chronicles X gameplay

Watch how the Wii U role-player begins.

Monolith Soft's successor to the top-notch Xenoblade Chronicles has been given an extensive demo during Nintendo's Treehouse E3 livestream.

Xenoblade Chronicles X, due for launch on Wii U next year, "doesn't really touch on the story" of the Wii original, but picks up on some of the "philosophical" points, Nintendo said.

The game's impressive CG opening shows the final battle in a war for Earth. Alien fighters descend on the planet as ark ships full of people flee. Things don't end well, and the United States' ark ship crashes on a far-flung planet.

As a survivor of the crash you wake up after a period in suspended animation, able to roam free over the new world in a similar fashion to the first Xenoblade.

There's a large emphasis on exploration and the discovery of other survivors who might be able to provide useful skills - crafting, for example.

Monster Hunter-style battles with local fauna are also a big feature, although here you're armed with guns rather than swords.

The demo ends with a brief glimpse of New Los Angeles, an already-burgeoning city which will act as a major hub in the game.

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