Fire Emblem Warriors: The Three Hopes Prepare to Become a Belt

Image: Nintendo / Koei Tecmo

It’s been a full five years since Nintendo Fire Emblem and Koei Tecmo Warriors the series collided for the first time, resulting in the magnificent Fire Emblem Warriors game we call “one of the best Musou tours” what “combines enjoyable combat with real-time tactics in an honest tribute to the two franchises it brings together.”

Yes, we may have been a bit worried ahead of a spectacular 2017 spectacle, fearing we’d get little more than a standard Musou effort with a quick Fire Emblem change, but our fears proved unfounded as Omega Force and Team Ninja managed to create a delightful fusion. two unexpected guys. It was a game that successfully combined the strategy and relationship elements of Nintendo’s turn-based tactical RPG with the OTT action of Koei Tecmo’s longtime Musou franchise, resulting in a delightful experience comparable to games like Hyrule Warriors. the best that the genre has presented in the last ten years.

Of course, we’ve seen the huge success of Fire Emblem: Three Houses on Switch since 2017, so it’s no wonder we’re returning to the battlefields of Fodlan on June 24th in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. a game that looks like it will improve on everything we loved about its predecessor. We’ve been stuck with the game for the past week or so, getting ready for our full review, and for now, we think it looks like a bit of a winner.

If you’ve dabbled in Fire Emblem Warriors before, you’ll basically know the score here, as the game features the entire cast from Three Houses this time around. We counted 24 characters in total, along with a brand new main character, and threw them headlong into Musou-style battles against hordes of enemies. The essence of the gameplay here remains much the same as it was in 2017, you will start by choosing whether you want to play in classic or normal mode, which means that your comrades will either be resurrected or die forever, and you can also make a choice. between “slow and steady” or “fast and efficient” mode, which affects how much pre and post battle planning and number processing you have to sit through.

Once you’ve made your choices in this regard, you’re introduced to the game’s new protagonist, Shez (who can be male or female), who fights Byleth, is quickly defeated, and goes off to lick his wounds before joining forces. with Edelgard, Dimitri and Claude to defeat some nasty bandits, a chance encounter in which they are invited to join one of the game’s three houses before embarking on a brand new adventure.

The first big difference in the main structure here compared to the 2017 effort is that you can choose to ally with Edelgard’s Black Eagles, Dimitri’s Blue Lions, or Claude’s Golden Daggers when you intend to help them in their individual quest lines. Not only does this choice of three paths increase replay value, but it does a lot – as far as we’ve seen, at least in the first few chapters – to improve the story aspect of previous Fire Emblem Warriors, an element that’s been sorely lacking.

There’s just a lot more to dig into here in terms of characters and storytelling (not something you can often say about a Musou game!), and there are plenty of cutscenes, dialogue options, and discussions in the first doors to dive into. we decided to run with Edelgard for our first playthrough, and between battles we spent a lot of time with Hubert, Ferdinand, Lienhardt, Kaspar, Felix. and othersThe aspect of the process that the game pushes through a smorgasbord of side actions that give you the opportunity to improve or worsen relationships is a factor that directly affects how well your comrades perform on the battlefield.

The combat camp element of Fire Emblem Warriors is back here, and as expected, it’s been bolstered with new ways to interact with your party members. Housework is back, allowing you to earn combat bonuses by teaming up for camp duties, as is cooking, which allows you to bestow boons on yourself and your group by stuffing your bellies with delicious food before heading out to beat up another angry horde of bad guys.

While staying in the camp, you will also find a record keeper that allows you to replay key battles for experience and rewards, an object manager that will help you improve your camp, giving you access to more ways to interact with comrades and receive bonuses. , training ground, blacksmith, battalion master, shopkeeper, gunsmith and more. Ugh!

In short, between battles here you have plenty of ways to bide your time and dig into the characteristic aspects of Fire Emblem relationships. You will even have special conversations with key characters where you can be alone and develop these relationships further. We’re not entirely sure how far or in what direction this special relationship is going, we’re still fairly early on with the game, but fans of the series are certainly well served here in regards to how much interaction they get. with the entire composition of the “Three Houses”.

Considering that while we’re only seeing one house and its main characters – and that’s given us more than enough characters to get down to leveling, equipping, equipping, and getting to know – it definitely feels like there’s a ton to dig into here when you consider all three paths at home and any potential intersection of destinies that may or may not occur further down the line.

On the battlefield, as we’ve already mentioned, it’s pretty much the same as always, with your chosen group of warriors racing across the maps and using a combination of simple combos and flashy special moves to blast your way through a massive amount of enemies. Class special moves, martial arts, and magic attacks return, as does the awakening mechanic that temporarily increases your power. You can also perform critical dashes and team up with any nearby party member – known here as “Adjutant Assignment” – to pull off super flashy team combos. Like in Fire Emblem Warriors, there is also a weapon triangle, where some types of weapons are more effective against others. It may seem a little complicated, but in practice you just scroll through the available warriors and the battle map will indicate with blue and red icons whether that fighter is stronger or weaker against the enemies you are currently facing.

In terms of picking warriors from your roster, we were also impressed with how much you can go into upgrading and specializing your favorite characters, which you can then play as swapping during combat. There are many different classes here, and you can swap places and train in any of them as you see fit. Shez, for example, starts out in the Fluegel class, which specializes in two-handed swords, but you can then practice and switch to any of the game’s other branching classes, all of which work their way through the beginner to intermediate levels. , advanced and master levels. We can’t reveal some of the tastier aspects of what’s new with the various game classes and master levels just yet, but rest assured there’s a lot to enjoy if you know what’s what with your Fire Emblem strategies.

Of course, all of this is directly related to one big difference between this game and the regular Warriors game, which is the ability to pause the action at any time to give your group current orders and direct them across the battlefield. You will need to direct your squad to assault and capture fortresses, protect and guard various special units while completing bonus missions on the fly, and make sure you cover all bases to prevent enemies from regaining control of positions as soon as you moved to another area of ​​the map. Before the battle, you will get the opportunity to choose exactly who you want to take on the note, and this is where you keep track of who is best at fighting the enemies of the level will pay dividends.

If all these systems sound like a lot of hassle, fear not, it’s all impressively streamlined in fact, and it gives the repetitive nature of Musou’s main combat a satisfying strategic level.

If this all sounds like a lot of hassle, fear not, it’s all impressively streamlined in fact, and it gives the repetitive nature of Musou’s main combat a satisfying strategic layer, as does the ability to switch between any character currently on the field with the push of a button. which allows you to juggle who is fighting with whom in real time.

On the game’s world map that you sit on before the missions, you have a main campaign objective to work towards, engaging in small battles as you slowly conquer the region. Once you complete these battles and successfully complete the main story confrontation in a certain region, you will have a bunch of additional side activities to collect loot, as well as additional character-specific quests and expeditions. in which you get loot, weapons, materials, XP and so on. We were a bit concerned about the length of the few combat missions we played – some of them feel like they’re over without really starting, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that they’ll turn into much more powerful confrontations further down the road.

In terms of performance, which has been a major factor in Musou games on Switch in the past, we’ve been very impressed with what we’ve experienced so far. We’ve been in some pretty massive battles here and there, taking on hordes of enemies and a handful of bosses and other beasts, and we haven’t noticed any frame rate issues yet. There is no choice of graphics settings this time around, no quality or performance modes to switch between, but what we have played so far works superbly and looks fantastic for the most part both in stationary and handheld modes, with plenty of flashy attacks and some nice environments make up for the slight lack of detail on enemy units.

We’ve yet to try co-op combat in the game, a gameplay option that unlocks after chapter 4 that allows for some fun hack-and-slash, but in all other respects this one looks like it manages to avoid technical issues. which we have seen in games like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

The demo is rumored to be released and it most likely won’t be too long before you get your hands on it, and given the few hours we’ve spent so far, we’re optimistic that we have in our hands a bit of a belt that should please both Fire Emblem fans and Warriors fans alike.

Will you be playing Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes when it releases later this month? Let us know about it in the comments!

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