The action game Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes takes things further than ever by incorporating all the elements of the strategy genre that I enjoy outside of the turn-based gameplay. Systems, menus, and perk trees all competing for your attention result in a large, crammed game. However, nothing alters the reality that Three Hopes is a game about utilising a sword to launch hordes of foes into the air in a 2000-hit combination that I enjoyably find ludicrous.
Over time, the musou genre has had several crossovers, bringing anything from enormous anime mechs to superpowered pirates to the action and some board games. While Omega Force’s creators initially stayed extremely true to their successful model, more recent collaborations with Nintendo characters have shown a willingness to try new things.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review
While officially a straight successor to Fire Emblem Warriors from 2017, Three Hopes has considerably more in common with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity from 2020. It presents a different interpretation of Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ plot, with a mercenary called Shez taking Byleth’s place. As Shez teams up with one of the three families and pursues vengeance, the old hero becomes into a villain.
Thanks to multiple fully spoken cutscenes and other dialogue chances, the tale has a classic Fire Emblem feel to it. When characters discuss their distant ancestors and which fiefdom they intend to capture next, things can become convoluted, but it works.
No matter how many troops, pegasi, or enormous wolves are on screen, none of the action slows down on the Switch OLED, with very few exceptions. Nothing technically impairs gameplay, but there are still a lot of adversaries that appear and disappear as you move through them. The alternate history of Three Hopes feels like simply another journey in the same universe because of how similar the graphics are to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, both in-game and in cutscenes.
You can freely roam this camp, which is a fully developed habitat.
Three Hopes accomplishes a lot to keep the plot flowing, even outside of the primary tasks. This game’s camp is a fully developed area that you are free to roam in, as opposed to living inside a menu. You may communicate with each individual you’ve hired, purchase items for them, offer your army to help with tasks, train and advance in levels, or even prepare food for your allies. It’s a separate game that contributes to battles by providing the health and attack power upgrades that are essential.
This is wonderful for a little time, but running errands while wandering around large, open spaces becomes boring quickly. Before long, you’ll probably start warping about using a convenient menu, and even that gets tedious near the conclusion of the game. A class improvement or a brand-new magic spell for a favourite character is a satisfying outcome of your efforts, even though progression might be tedious given the action game speed everywhere else.
In Fire Emblem Warriors, there existed a support system, but it seemed little in comparison to what was offered in Three Hopes. Not every character couple gets a cutscene when their relationship reaches a particular degree, but the majority of them do, notably with Shez. It doesn’t go as far as marriage, but you can get enhancements that you can’t get anyplace else by trading a special item with Shez’s close buddy.
This is exactly how difficult the implementation is.
Shez can lead characters on horseback outside the camp for a sit-down discussion to get to that point. As you are evaluated based on how effectively you can reply to questions and remarks via multiple choice, these times feel less like an intimate encounter and more like a pop quiz. The camera pans in a little and allows you get a closer look at your partner while they make jokes about how you should keep your gaze polite if you’re astute enough to predict the right answers three times in a row.
Fire Emblem has included this kind of interaction for some time, but this instance’s execution is as clunky as it sounds, making the pastime unappealing to most people. Three Hopes has a degree of growth that many other musou lack between improving camp amenities and maintaining friendships. Between bouts, there are usually a few things to do, and improvements come out often, so you’re never inundated with choices.
The repetitive nature of Warriors-style fighting is nearly made up for, and it will be fantastic to see Omega Force apply what it has learnt here to the Dynasty and Samurai titles, which could clearly need some methods of gameplay variety.
If you’ve played any of this genre of game before, you know what to anticipate when you start a new mission because the majority of the novel concepts in Three Hopes don’t take place on the battlefield. Swordsmen, knights, magicians, and archers make up your army; each has strengths and weaknesses determined by the Fire Emblem weapon wheel.
Only the greatest monsters pose a threat; any one character with a respectable level can destroy the majority of fodder adversaries and minor generals. If you develop your skills properly, remain with a core group of heroes, and keep an eye on the always shifting goals, missions are simple and enjoyable.
It resembles Glory Kills from DOOM 2016 in certain ways.
That is not to imply that combat has not altered at all. By extending the stun metres featured in the most recent Fire Emblem Warriors, Three Hopes forces you closer than ever to named opponents. Stronghold leaders and other distinct adversaries can be repeatedly hit to bring them down, allowing you to use a super move that sweeps up fodder foes and typically deals a fatal blow.
The gameplay as a consequence is far more spectacular than you would anticipate, in addition to the returning Awakening Mode and Warrior Specials. It resembles DOOM 2016’s Glory Kills in some ways since battles help you go forward and provide you more of the screen-clearing mayhem that draws fans to this genre in the first place.
In comparison to its predecessor, Three Hopes has also improved at getting out of its own way during battle. The stat-boost panels have all been moved by default to the level’s finish, so levelling no longer interrupts the action mid-fight. You may leverage the limited fighting skills of AI characters to your advantage by assigning them to battle certain generals on the map rather than merely whole castles.
It’s also amazing how quickly you can give your extra characters the greatest equipment and skills given how many swords, axes, and spellbooks end up gathering dust in your inventory. Shez may teleport to friendly locations up to three times every mission, making it simpler than ever to move around the battlefield.
This is made up for by the side goals and even some whole missions, which adds more variation to the battlefield than I had anticipated. As you save encircled generals and prevent wizards from launching fireballs at your locations, switching between heroes at will is important. No matter who you play as, you may move quickly and complete these side goals while still moving in the direction of your main aim.
These upgrades are necessary since Three Hopes anticipates you engaging in combat frequently. There are a number of can’t-miss side missions plus a tonne of optional story tasks for each main adventure. The method begins to crumble under its own weight when your army must march toward the goal by winning minor skirmishes on a war map.
You play musou games for the battle, but Three Hopes has too much fluff, even if you disregard everything optional, and throughout the course of its 25-ish hours, there is some annoying repetition. You’ll probably weary of fighting the same battles well before the end credits start to roll, unless you intend on experiencing the tale piecemeal over the period of one to two months. Pace yourself, in my opinion.
The numerous twists and turns in the plot on your first playthrough and the variations offered by the two nations you don’t immediately select are not taken into account by that excessively extended game. You can occasionally bring in players from outside your selected house, but unless you’re prepared to go through the campaign several times, you won’t be able to complete all of each house’s tasks.
There is a lot of stuff here, whether you play by yourself or in couch co-op with a companion. It does a better job at it than we’ve seen in this genre thus far, but even the enhanced advancement can’t completely offset the monotony that comes with any Warriors game.
When you start up any Omega Force games, you often know what to expect, but Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes has some unexpected surprises. Three Hopes succeeds despite overstaying its welcome and falling short when it comes to the more intimate interactions, unlike the first Fire Emblem Warriors, which felt like a musou game with references to other series layered on.
Three Hopes is a true hybrid of Fire Emblem’s social gameplay and Warriors’ battles. Any development in the Warriors series is excellent, and Three Hopes contains several thoughtful additions that should be encouraging for the future.
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- June 24, 2022