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‘Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes’ Preview: A Faithful Spin-Off

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‘Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes’ Preview: A Faithful Spin-Off

As I eye the mission objective, I take in the countless enemies littering the map. The nameless peons are numerous but nothing compared to their leader. This soft-faced opponent is none other than Byleth from Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and as the battle begins, it’s clear that Three Hopes is bolder than any Warriors game I’ve played before. 

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See the trailer for Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes here:

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From Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity to Persona 5 Strikers, developer Koei Tecmo’s Omega Force division has produced enjoyable spin-offs that honour the source material while delivering the hack and slash combat of the Dynasty Warriors franchise. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes takes this tradition to new heights, by feeling almost exactly like Fire Emblem: Three Houses in almost every area.

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Naturally, the grid-based tactical combat used throughout the mainline Fire Emblem titles has been replaced in Three Hopes, but there are still motifs from that gameplay style present. For example, when you load up the map during a level, you’ll see pixel art avatars representing characters on a sea of tiny squares.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo

What Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes really captures well, though, is the RPG and life sim elements of Three Houses. In between the fights, you are able to free roam a hub area filled with NPC allies. Many of these characters will be familiar to fans of Three Houses, such as Edelgard and Petra, and you can spend time with them doing various activities, ranging from training to cooking, and more. 

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How you manage your time with your allies affects your bond with them, as well as how strong and experienced they are in battle. To clarify, by you, I mean the player character. While canonically known as Shez, you have the power over their name and gender, just as you do over Byleth in this game, too. All of this reflects the RPG elements of Three Hopes, but there’s more.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo

There are a wealth of different weapons and fighting styles present in the game. Each character has a job tree offering roles such as ‘swordmaster’ and ‘mage’, with each class serving up different ways of fighting. It’s worth having a mix of roles when heading into battle, especially as you can switch between characters as you please, so you can use the right person for each scenario.

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The ability to swap between warriors is particularly handy when wanting to cover the whole map quickly, as you’re able to command your allies to move to set areas or attack/guard specific characters from the pause menu. This strategic approach, while also reminiscent of traditional Fire Emblem games, is vital when up against a time limit.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes / Credit: Nintendo

As this is only a preview, there is much I’ve yet to discover in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, but what has impressed me so far is the amount of choice in the game. As well as picking weapons, roles and which troops you want to battle with, you also have the choice of which character’s campaign you embark on.

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The house heads from Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Dimitri, Claude and the aforementioned Edelgard - are all present, and they each ask you to join them in their destinies. Whoever you choose to join dictates the story that unfolds, the allies you fight alongside, and the opponents you face, so think your decision through.

In short, despite only being 16 hours into the game, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes stays faithful to its parent series while delivering sumptuous hack and slash combat. If the tactical action of traditional Fire Emblem titles isn’t for you then this game could be just what you’re looking for. 

 Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes was tested on Nintendo Switch with code provided by the publisher. The game releases June 24, 2022 exclusively for Switch. 

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Nintendo Switch

James Daly
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