In The Game: ‘Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes’ is an Excellent Mesh of Story and Action

I love when I get absolutely surprised by something pop culturey, be it movies, music, comics or, in the case of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, video games.

I went into this new Nintendo exclusive absolutely, 100% totally blind. I hadn’t played any previous instalments from the franchise that’s been around since 1990, and I really didn’t even know much about this new entry, and I’m seriously glad I didn’t, because I have been having an awesome time playing Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.

Here’s the log line on what it’s all about:

Step into the shoes of Shez, as they meet Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, and other Fire Emblem: Three Houses characters as you fight for the future of Fódlan. Align with a leader to build and command an army in 1 vs. 1,000-style battles and deep strategy. The house you choose will bring you through one of three compelling stories, each with a different outcome. Each Fire Emblem: Three Houses character you recruit on these journeys has a distinct set of flashy combos and powerful specials that can cut through hordes of enemies.

Use the strategy of Fire Emblem to gain the tactical advantage in Warriors-style gameplay

Dive into real-time battles as you and your army of Fire Emblem: Three Houses characters take on hundreds of opponents, while using elements from Fire Emblem to maximize your strategy. Issue commands to your army in the midst of the chaos of battle to achieve missions and objectives. Plan ahead and prepare for battle by equipping weapons, skills, and classes that capitalize on opponent weaknesses. Assign elements from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, like crests or battalions, to characters to further hone how you plan your approach.

Strengthen your bonds in and out of battle

Develop and build battle-tested relationships with other Fire Emblem: Three Houses characters as you fight for the future of Fódlan. Deepen the relationships between characters to give yourself a tactical advantage on the battlefield and to see them open up in support conversations. Bring characters closer together by pairing them up in battle or by spending time together at base camp. Develop your base camp and train, shop, and prepare each of your team members before jumping into the heat of battle.

With that, you’ve got more information that I had when I started into the game, but quite honestly, I didn’t need it. The writing in the game is exceptionaly engaging, and I was immediately drawn into the word of Fódlan and the game’s lead character, Shez (who you have the option of renaming but I don’t know why you would.) There’s a lot of political intrigue as you navigate the various Houses and the whims and desires of various characters, but it’s all wrapped up in a great narrative where you know the choices you make actually matter. There are a ton of characters in Fire Emblem: Three Hopes and it’s definitely easy to lose track of who everybody is; ultimately, you’ll find yourself gravitating to a chosen few (for me, I’ve been Edelgard track, though as it explains above, there are three distinct paths you can follow, depending on which house Shez aligns with).

One thing worth noting is that there is an abundance of mentions of the Church of Seiros throughout the game, church being the key word, and which may be a turn-off for those of a religious nature. While the story is set in a fantasy world, the potential that someone could be offended with an uprising against a church might be there, so just keep that it mind. It didn’t bother me in the least, but I thought it worth mentioning.

While the story is great, the massive hack and slash battles are just as fun. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes always looks outstanding, even when you’re battling hundreds of soliders on screen. You can effortlessly switch between your party members during battle, though again, I find myself sticking mainly with Shez, as I try to build up all of her stats. There are special moves galore that are spectacularly delivered and that look good either in handheld mode or if your Switch is docked and you’re playing on your television. I was actually impressed at how the colours of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes popped on a large screen; during the cut scenes, I felt that I was watching a proper anime.

Because I don’t have the background with the series, I can’t speak to how longtime lovers of the Fire Emblem Warriors franchise will feel about Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. I can say that as a newcomer, I am absolutely engrossed with the game, and I think that’s as solid a recommendation you can hope for when it comes to a new title. It’s an excellent medling of great storytelling and all-out action, and I definietly recommend it if either of those qualities sound appealing.

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