Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes improves upon the foundation built by its predecessors in just about every way, my full review.
The latest chapter in the Fire Emblem saga, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Houses, improves upon the foundation set by its predecessor. The story is more engaging, gameplay has an added tactical layer, and the overall package is more polished. At it's core it's still a Musou game, the genre the hack n' slash series gave birth to, but it also evolves the formula in many fresh new ways to keep the experience interesting. Is it enough to appeal to long time fans while welcoming a new audience? Let's delve into the war torn land of Fódlan and find out!
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review Details
Developer(s): Omega Force
Genre: Action RPG
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer (1-2 players on a single system)
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The Story in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
The story of Three Hopes is a major selling point to the overall experience; it not only extends the game, but it personally kept me more invested. It introduces Shez, a mercenary who lost their entire squad to Byleth in battle, leading them on a path to revenge. Shez ends up enrolling in the military academy of Garreg Mach Monastery and becoming a student in one of three classes. This, like Three Houses lets you select between different paths: Azure Gleam, Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire.
"This, like Three Houses lets you select between different paths: Azure Gleam, Scarlet Blaze and Golden Wildfire."
Choose carefully, as each lead to different narrative paths and playable characters. Each path is also it's own 12-15 hour experience, packing a lot of replayability into Three Hopes. The story is presented in such a way that you can go in playing as a rookie, although you might miss out on more subtle narrative nuances.
An alternate reality
I won't spoil too much of the story, but it offers a new perspective retelling the core Three Houses story. It's much more interesting than the previous instalments plot, offering a complex tale of politics, war, and betrayal. The cast of characters is also much deeper this time around, with plenty of heartwarming moments to offset the heavier themes. If you're a fan of the Fire Emblem series, Three Hopes offers an intriguing alternate take that's worth checking out.
" If you're a fan of the Fire Emblem series, Three Hopes offers an intriguing alternate take that's worth checking out."
While the story depth is a nice addition, it's the gameplay where Three Hopes really shines.
The gameplay in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes has seen some changes, most notably the addition of tactical elements. If you are not familiar with the Musou-style of gameplay, it is basically 1 (you) vs. 1000 (them). You also have the option to switch between playing as different powerful warriors on your "roster" to take down hordes of enemies.
"If you are not familiar with the Musou-style of gameplay, it is basically 1 (you) vs. 1000 (them)."
The warrior class you choose might make you weaker or stronger against certain types of enemies. Keep this in mind before jumping into battle. This makes for a more strategic experience, as players will need to carefully consider their weapons and other items. These additions make the game more challenging and rewarding, it gave me a greater sense of satisfaction when I overcame a difficult encounter.
The graphics in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes feature a more cartoonish art direction that I really liked the look of. Character models boast a lot more detail and life-like qualities than in the previous game.
"Character models boast a lot more detail and life-like qualities than in the previous game."
I did find the environments a little drab and redundant, certain enemies types were also often repeated. It would have been great to see more visual variety in my adventure.
Overall visual performance
I did not encounter any major performance issues while playing Three Hopes, like game crashes, but the frame rate did oscillate quite a bit. The biggest frame rate dips took place when too many enemies were on screen at once, but it was nothing that drastically impacted my gameplay experience.
"The biggest frame rate dips took place when too many enemies were on screen at once, but it was nothing that drastically impacted my gameplay experience."
Overall, the game averages between 30-40fps which is noticeable with the hack n' slash combat. When it comes to resolution, Three Hopes maxes out at 810p when docked, and 540p when in portable mode. Overall, it looks pretty good on the Switch hardware, and looked especially sharp on my Switch OLED.
The sound design in Three Houses is great, with an epic and emotional score to match the game's more fast paced narrative. A lot of familiar tracks from Three Houses have been remixed and rearranged with a more "rock-centric" vibe to them. The audio effects are also top notch, with each weapon and spell sounding unique.
"The audio effects are also top notch, with each weapon and spell sounding unique."
I didn't encounter any major audio issues like clipping or echoing. The voice acting is also quite good, with some very good performances from the cast. I did notice that some of the character dialogue didn't quite land, but it didn't bother me too much.
Final Thoughts on Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a great addition to the Musou-genre, managing to improve on the previous game in a lot of ways. The story is more engaging, because it has a more fleshed-out narrative than previous games, and the cast of characters are more likeable.
Three Hopes also features a more robust and strategic gameplay experience, with a little more variety. The graphics are good, but the frame rate can be quite inconsistent. The sound design is excellent, with a great score and top-notch audio effects. If you are a fan of Fire Emblem or Musou-style games, I would highly recommend picking up Three Hopes. Even if you are new to the series, Three Hopes offers a great starting point with its accessible gameplay and engaging story.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes PROS
+Combat is fast and satisfying
+3 different campaigns to play
+Large cast of charming characters
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes CONS
-Enemies and environments can start to look the same after a while.
-Side quests can get repetitive
-Inconsistent frame rate can pull you out of the experience.
Overall Rating: 32/40 (80%)
A copy of the game was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review.
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