The Fire Emblem series has come in many shapes and forms over its lifespan. Many of which have spawned into this Musou action genre. For those who don’t know, the Musou genre is what you get when you play games like Dynasty Warriors. You play as a powerful hero and lay waste to thousands of enemies across a battlefield. For the most part, I enjoy these sort of games. I especially loved the Dragon Quest Heroes series because of my love for the franchise. Sadly, when I started Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes for the first time, I could not help but say “not another one”.
Don’t get me wrong, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a fun game and hits the nail on the head when it comes to its large-scale battles and intense conflict. However, I feel like we just did this just the other day in other titles. While the Dynasty Warrior studio definitely manages to skin the game with all the Fire Emblem love possible, the genre is sadly becoming a snoozefest and I don’t know how many more Musou games we need in our lives.
You know you can only spam the same attack over and over again with the same character before you start to crave something new and these sort of games hit their peak of excitement very early into the story. For the most part, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes does a good job delivering enough pace between it combat and side objectives to make the game feel authentic and if anything, unique. At the same time, you really need to be into this sort of game to want to play it through to the end.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is essentially a sequel to the 2017 release, Fire Emblem Warriors. It shares a lot in common with other Musou games like Hyrule Warriors, Dragon Quest Heroes and even Persona 5 Strikers. The game focuses on a mercenary named Shez in a region called Byleth. The “Three Houses” comes from the three houses Shez joins in order to seek revenge.
While the story is told through some great cutscenes and stellar voice work, the general gameplay in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes has been expanded upon for a more intimate experience. For starters, when I wasn’t running around a battlefield smashing thousands of enemies around, I could walk around and meet the dozens of fighters and characters that I picked up along the way. I could upgrade my camp, tend to friendships and even take someone horseback riding before engaging in a very awkward questionnaire about their lives.
There are a lot of personal mechanics in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes that sets it apart from other Musou games. If anything, I wish other titles did this too as Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes manages to deliver a fun and interactive break from the action. Most other titles force you to sit through cinematics and menu systems before simply jumping back into the next chapter.
Speaking of chapters, combat in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes isn’t necessarily revolutionary. Although, there are a fair amount of new things to do and see that make the game stand out. Missions consist of a range of enemy types that all have their own weaknesses. You have your sword masters, mages, ranged enemies and more. The game makes it easy to understand what weaknesses each enemy has thanks to the game’s weapon wheel. Of course, you’ll spend a lot of time whipping around the game’s fodder, as these games usually go. You’ll then fight a boss every now and then and all of this trickled across various objectives tieing into the game’s story.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes expands on the previous stun meter. Players can deal enough damage to tanky enemies before knocking them down opening them up for a super move. This move is cool to see in action and also sweeps away other enemies or brings them into the fight at the same time. These super moves combine with the Awakening Mode and Warrior Specials to result in a very fun and addictive combat style. There’s always some cool move to pull off or flashy finisher to watch. Knowing what to use when makes the combat very enjoyable.
Shaz can also command more of the battlefield than before. For example, AI characters can be sent to fight certain enemies in other sectors. Extra characters can be equipped with better gear and equipment. It gave my inventory something to do for a change. Shaz can also teleport around the battlefield for a limited number of times per mission. So between that and being able to switch to different characters, the battlefields felt a lot more connected than before. If anything, I didn’t have to mindless run around all the time.
While the battles have been almost perfected, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes does suffer from some tedious mandatory filler content that gets in the way. There are unskippable side missions that are boring, lots of text to read through during the middle of these missions and smaller skirmishes that take place on a war map. This might sound like great content but if you’re sitting through this game with the intention of finishing it in a week, it is sadly a chore. You really need to take your time with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes else it will burn you out.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a good Musou game. I’m not going to say the story and Fire Emblem skin are enough to make it a must-play, but if you’re a fan of the series then you’ll probably find something to enjoy here. Again, this is one of those games you’ll play a mission on every day or so and if that’s the case, you won’t be overwhelmed by the tedious combat and filler content.
This Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes review is based on a code sent to us by Nintendo. The game launches on 24 June for Nintendo Switch. you can pick it up starting at R1,199.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Story - 7.5/10
Gameplay - 7.5/10
Presentation - 7.5/10
Value - 7.5/10
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes doesn’t reinvent the wheel and the smaller new features and additions don’t give reason to invest unless you’re a big fan
New combat features
Things to do outside of chapters
Gets tedious after a while