Almost three years since release, Fire Emblem Three Houses comes back in fashion with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. This time it’s now a musou style game with hordes of enemies to eliminate with returning cast from it’s original game. However, there’s a new character that you can choose and shape their destiny of becoming stronger while carrying out your duty as a mercenary.
A deep Warriors like experience combined with Fire Emblem has been done before with some fairly decent results but almost a lack of other systems and, personally, feeling a slight bit underwhelming. Things seem optimistic this time with a coherent story, a slight bump to graphics, and more side content to enrich the experience. How does this new entry into Fire Emblem spin-offs do when brought out almost 3 years after the original? Find out here with our review of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Developer: Intelligent Systems, Omega Force, Intelligent Systems
Platform: Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)
Release Date: June 25th, 2022
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes opens into the world again, with you playing as a new character tasked with taking out Jeralt and his mercenaries. Upon them is the former main character of Three Hopes, Byleth, known as the Ashen Demon. After failing to complete your mission, and with your allies slain, you are introduced to Arval who exists as companion in some ways.
Fodlan is controlled by three ruling powers which are, for the most part, at peace. There are still bandits and mercenaries that travel from place to place causing trouble for others and have ambushed the original cast and their militia.
After setting up camp, you can exchange conversation with fan favorite characters from before and find out more details of the events in between Three Houses and Three Hopes.
Without giving spoilers in our Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes review, you will align yourself with a house and then fight alongside the other students and help solve more of the mystery surrounding Jeralt’s mercenaries and the Ashen Demon.
It’s a Fire Emblem game first and a musou game second, so the story will be enjoyable for anyone wanting to see these characters from Three Houses again in a different style of game. It’s not boring by any stretch; it’s a game that takes patience but with a weird sense of urgency that feels welcoming with the steady advancement of plot and constant learning.
As with any Warriors style game, you fight huge pools of enemies at their strongholds to take them over. More powerful enemies will appear to help push you out; In your part of characters, you will have certain types of advantages over the enemies and their types like with other Fire Emblem games.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is like other entries where using a bow against mounted flying enemies and so on works in a rock, paper, scissors fashion to quicker elimination of enemies and clearing objectives.
While at base camp, you can interact with characters from each house and gain support from them which translates to stronger bonds with actual controllable characters. When you’re not controlling your character, you can swap between others in your unit to complete missions yourself or you can assign them to different locations to eliminate enemies and control strongholds.
Awakening is similar to an “overdrive” type of mode where you are able to dole out more damage along with other benefits and bonuses. Using your Warrior Special lets out a devastating ultimate attack and ends your Awakened state.
There are so many more small things here and there in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes that can’t be summed up, but it does happen to expand on the Fire Emblem Warriors formula that I felt was barren when I originally played it.
While mainly a single player game, you can team up in two-player mode and take on the challenges of the game with a friend. There are also plenty of other things to manage like your character’s weapons, abilities, and relationships with other students which can sometimes feel overwhelming but it gives you all of the knowledge of how to play optimally.
It’s fairly easy if you’re familiar with these types of games, so I’d suggest playing on Hard difficulty to get the best experience; however, be warned that by doing so you can lose units if their health is depleted.
Par for the course, the Nintendo Switch does still run this game at 30 frames per second in most of the game with some segments of menus and results screens being closer to 60. Despite being around 30 frames per second, the game does move fluid most of the time while in combat, but I believe this is because of the smaller number of enemies on screen than other musou games.
Cutscenes are great looking because of being mostly prerendered instead of being fully in engine; this isn’t a negative and looks fine on a TV but also immerses you in the story even further like previous games.
With some in-engine cutscenes that are present, you get the same assisted visual novel style text and photo along with them as a, somewhat, unintentional bonus. The in-engine cutscenes of exposition are not so stiff that it breaks immersion but could almost use some slight polish, but it’s ultimately not needed.
Textures and character models in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes are pretty detailed for the hardware they run on and I’m personally very happy about it. It seems that for more graphics and less frame drops, they opted for less cannon fodder enemies on the screen, which is noticeable after you look for it long enough.
In line with it’s standard new artstyle, everything has a great splash of color and lighting that brings the world to life yet again and it feels like a step up from the previous Fire Emblem Warriors game from 2017.
One thing I noticed while slashing away at enemies was the soundtrack, which sounds as you’d expect from a Fire Emblem game – and they even added in a few “remixed” tracks. All of the sounds from previous entries return (as they should anyways) and it’s always nice to hear and see consistency from this long standing franchise.
Ultimately, you should give Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes a shot even if you haven’t played the main game it’s a follow up to. Introductions to characters happen at the base camp near the beginning of the game and help you get acquainted before you choose your house.
With a good soundtrack, memorable characters, and jam-packed gameplay elements, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is highly recommended for someone wanting to get into the series as a whole or wanting a new experience from their beloved franchise.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a copy provided by Nintendo. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is available for Nintendo Switch.