Hackin’ & slashin’ & bashin’.
It has been five years since the fire emblem and Dynasty Warriors franchises collaborated for the last time Fire Emblem Warriorsback in 2017. As the original title settled into a new world with the appearance of various characters from the franchise, Fire Emblem Warriors Three Hopes is a demonic beast of a different type.
three hopes puts you in the land of Fódlan, just like in 2019 Three Housesbut in an alternate story: instead of playing as Byleth, the mercenary blessed by the mute goddess who decided the path of war, you play as Shez – a different mercenary, blessed by a different divine being.
After a mercenary confrontation with Byleth leaves Shez floored, he is invited to the Officers’ Academy at Garreg Mach Monastery – but as a student rather than an instructor. After spending time at the monastery and choosing a house to study, the original game’s war quickly crumbles and Garreg Mach’s three houses become the three key forces in the continent-spanning war. After choosing between the Black Lion, Blue Eagle, and Golden Deer houses, you’ll find that the game’s story diverges significantly after the early chapters (just like with Three Houses). At the start of the war, your initial force will consist of your house members in the Academy, with the ability to expand your ranks and recruit additional members over time.
As you play through your chosen campaign, your play cycle will be divided into three main categories: your central camp, the war map, and then your individual battles. If that already seems like a lot, wait! Within your encampment, you can explore, check in with your various companions, and perform a number of army maintenance tasks to aid you in the battles ahead. This includes training sessions to help your party members improve their rank and get new jobs, tasks to increase support rank between people, cooking meals to provide buffs in battle, collecting supplies, upgrade your camp facilities, upgrade weapons. Like I said, there’s a lot going on at camp.
Luckily, this is all handed out at a gradual enough pace that it doesn’t feel like an overwhelming to-do list, and the fast travel points in the camp mean you can get right in front of whatever NPC you need. While it may seem reductive at first to simply teleport from A to B, the sheer volume of visits between battles you’ll make to camp throughout the game’s story makes it a necessity (and much appreciated). On-screen tips also tell you about new options available (facility upgrades, support conversations, achievement rewards), meaning you never know what to do.
Exiting the camp, the war map presents the regions available to conquer during each chapter of the game, laid out like a deck of Risk (or a real war map, I guess). Typically, you’ll need to complete a few skirmishes to conquer regions leading up to the chapter’s major battle. Each conquered region offers new points of interest to check out for rewards in the form of money, skill upgrades, provisions, and other perks to aid you in your quest to control Fódlan.
While you can make it to the final fight without completely taking over all regions, they offer bonuses to your strategic resources – a currency you can use to purchase special assistance in the chapter’s final fight, allowing you to turn the tide of the battle in your favour. , or even opening the possibility of recruiting additional members for the group. The selection of options each time is always more than you can afford at one time, but the more time you spend completing each war map, the more you can spread out your options.
Once in combat, you’ll find yourself moving much faster. Typical of the Warriors series, each battle will see you controlling and directing multiple characters, either through direct control or by ordering them on the game map. needed to keep a check on all the characters I had with me in battle. Given the number of skirmishes you will play between each major story battle, each fight is much shorter than usual Warriors game – some missions will set their objective completion time to just seven minutes, a far cry from the average half-hour battles of the past. This keeps things moving quickly and in my experience definitely makes every fight short and sweet so you don’t burn out on long missions.
Previously with games like the Hyrule Warriors titles, I found myself only wanting to control Link – only switching to other characters when I absolutely had to. Here though, I enjoyed switching from Shez to any of the other members in battle, depending on who was in the best position for my next objective. The ability for each character to swap job classes means that whether it’s a new party member or just a new job, you’re always changing your playstyle from match to match. other. three hopes even expands on this by having two members of your party “energized” before each battle, and if deployed in the next fight, they will gain bonus experience. This is a great tactic to encourage play with more characters, so no one sits idle for long.
In all honesty, I found that Fire Emblem Warriors Three Hopes reinvigorated my enjoyment of Warriors genre as a whole. The game takes the basic conquering and crowd-destroying combat that I love, and ramps up the speed so that every fight feels like a whirlwind. It was actually great to feel how quickly the tables could turn against me, compared to the slower, inevitable victory of games past. Grouping all my characters together to spawn a threat at the other end of the map was intense, and it was great to make choices like sending cavalry units to confront them, knowing they would move faster. It increases the active strategy element of this type of game, and it hits just the right spot.
Add to that the deep layering of fire emblem mechanics to be able to refine the construction of each character. All the Three Houses the details are here for those who like to craft their perfect gear, through gear, job classes, and setting passive/active abilities for each character – or if that’s not for you, there’s an option Optimize to do everything automatically with just one button press. Like the inclusion of fire emblemThe usual classic and casual modes (permadeath versus a less final version), these options all work to make this a perfect game for both min/maxers and people who just want to have a good time.
While staying true to the mechanics fans loved Fire Emblem Three Houses, three hopes takes all of this into account and offers a fresh twist both with its more active combat and the all-new ways the story branches out due to Shez’s involvement. Seeing Byleth presented as a terribly unstoppable enemy will resonate with the player of Three Housesgiven how easy it was for Byleth to become an unstoppable one-man army during your playthrough.
Seeing all that strength on the other side of the sword puts into perspective how your enemies felt last time around. That said, Fire Emblem Warriors Three Hopes feels like a great throwback to hanging out with a gang of characters that’s hooked me for dozens of hours, but with a whole new tale keeping me on my toes at the same time. You’ll no doubt enjoy spending time with your friends again, as you decimate the battlefield hand in hand.
Fire Emblem Three Hopes was reviewed using a promotional code on Nintendo Switch, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about the Stevivor grading scale.
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