Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes builds on two separate games in the franchise to deliver an action packed adventure. With great improvements from the original Fire Emblem Warriors, coupled with the deep interactions system present in Three Houses, Three Hopes feels like a combination of two previous games.
It delivers an experience that undoubtedly will put a smile on the faces of Dynasty Warriors and Fire Emblem fans. That being said, will the game appeal to the masses?
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Omega Force
Genre: Action, Strategy, Role-playing, Simulation
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer (1-2 players on a single system)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
A deep, compelling story
One criticism that is often lobbed at the original Fire Emblem Warriors is that the game lacked a compelling story. While it had Fire Emblem features, it just didn’t quite hit like the franchise it was trying to replicate. All of that is rectified in Three Hopes, although your mileage with the story will vary.
Three Hopes is another take on the timeline of Three Houses. You play as a brand new protagonist named Shez, and will interact with all your favourite characters from Three Houses. At least they might be your favourite characters if you played the latest mainline Fire Emblem game. If you didn’t, the story is still fun to play through.
Although, you will miss some of those deeper plot points that require some knowledge of Three Houses. See, in Three Hopes, you actually play against the Three Houses protagonist, Byleth. Without giving away too much, Three Hopes takes an alternative look at the previous title, turning Byleth from the ultimate hero into the ultimate enemy. And, Byleth can throw down!
The story pacing is well done, and provides a solid experience throughout. One thing I noticed right away is the amount of dialogue sequences and cutscenes early on. There is quite a lot! However, after a few hours you can really make decisions on what aspects of the story you want to explore.
If you want to learn more about the characters by your side, you definitely can. If you want to streamline the process and just focus on the main story plot points, you can do that too. And with three playthroughs to experience, there is a ton of story to uncover!
When it comes to the game’s combat, there is not much new. If you have played Dynasty Warriors or perhaps Samurai Warriors , you probably have a solid handle on how the game plays. Weak attacks give way to strong attacks, and when combed together they can deal some crazy damage.
Special attacks can also be used, and while Three Hopes puts a slight spin on how and when these attacks are executed, it is still ultimately the same result. You dish out a massive attack, with a massive radius, dealing massive damage. Where the game does differentiate a bit is when you move into the in-fight menus, where you can take a more tactical approach to the battle.
Allies can be assigned specific tasks. For example, capturing a stronghold, defending a person of interest, or engaging in an all out attack on a foreboding boss. As with past games in the series, Fire Emblem has a fairly standard strength and weakness system. This can all be seen and dealt with in the menu, allowing you to use your allies strategically.
No more menus
One way that Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is differentiating itself from other Warriors games is the ability to spend time walking around an interactive camp. For long-time fans, requiring you to walk around a camp to make upgrades and interact with characters might actually be a negative. For fans of Fire Emblem, however, the experience will make you feel right at home.
For the majority of my 30 hour adventure, I actually quite enjoyed upgrading the camp and talking with fellow classmates and house leaders. It allowed me to expand the relationships I wanted to expand, while upgrading shops and more. This experience does lag a bit in the latter half of the game. During this time, I wanted to spend more time in battles and less time in the camp.
Three Hopes for all
The combat and upgrade systems for Warriors games are always a bit complex. The various combos, special attacks, and unit upgrades can be daunting. Thankfully, this experience can be as complex, or as simple as you might want.
Before you even begin, you can set the difficulty level for the game, whether you want to have permadeath on, and a few other key settings. As someone who is not as adept at playing a Warriors game, I opted for an easier gameplay experience.
Although I was able to get a handle on all the different mechanisms, on the easiest settings I would argue players could probably do minimal background work between fights and still get to enjoy the entire story. That is a huge bonus for what has been a daunting experience in the past.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is the most accessible and complete version to date
Omega Force with Koei Tecmo have developed a ton of Warriors titles to date, and Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is easily the most complete version available. There will be a portion of Warriors fans who will not be onboard with some of the changes that make the game feel more like a Fire Emblem experience. However, I think the average Nintendo fan will find this experience more accessible than Dynasty Warriors or Samurai Warriors.
At times, portions of the game drag. And, some of the dialogue between characters seems unnecessary. However, the overall story is interesting enough to keep you going for a 30-hour campaign.
If you enjoy Warriors games and the Fire Emblem franchise, there is a great experience waiting to be uncovered here. That being said, a healthy knowledge of Fire Emblem: Three Houses will go a long way to making Three Hopes a much better experience.
+ Extremely fun combat with brilliant special moves
+ Great tactical menu for strategizing fights
+ Dropped menus in favour of a large camp to explore
– Some may miss preparing in a menu between fights
– To fully realize every story and character, there is tons of unnecessary dialogue
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF FIRE EMBLEM WARRIORS: THREE HOPES
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5