- Total Score - 9.2/109.2/10
Fire Emblem: Three Hopes isn’t a mere Warriors spin-off. It’s a true fusion of two different styles merging to make something new and great. #BlackEagles
Developer –Koei Tecmo Games, Omega Force
Publisher – Nintendo
Platforms – Nintendo Switch
I will admit right up front, that I was completely caught off guard by Fire Emblem Warriors. As a spin-off, the integration between Fire Emblem and Dynasty Warriors worked far better than I even hoped.
I’ve long been a fan of Fire Emblem, and Three Houses was one of my absolute favorite games the year it was released. It’s been great watching Omega Force develop and use licenses in great ways through the years but when they announced Three Hopes, my expectations were high.
When I first booted this up, I honestly wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The very opening of the game, in which you play as a new mercenary and face off against Byleth, set the tone for the rest to follow.
The accessibility in Three Hopes is standard, but fully functioning. This game consists of a lot of gameplay features and menus, which makes navigating and deciphering what to do next a simple process. In battle, location warnings for enemy attacks and the incredible orders system help manage the chaos of battle a great deal. Multiple difficulties and casual mode help round out the package and makes this one of the more accessible Warriors games I’ve had the privilege of experiencing.
As the story and roster grew, mission after mission, it was pretty easy to see once again why Fire Emblem was such a great fit for the Warrior’s style of beat em’ up. Even the story premise is pretty straightforward. Instead of a prequel or sequel, Three Hopes is a dramatic retelling of the Three Houses story and plot. Featuring many of the moments, characters, and drama that I loved in that game so very much. Despite the dramatic change in main character and villain, Three Hopes does a remarkable job of keeping the story concise.
As a Three Houses veteran, each character feels very well developed, and all of their motivations are told in various sub-missions and through in-game cutscenes. The support system returns with even more content than you’d expect. Even the character dynamics and pairings have new story beats, so it isn’t all just a rehashing of what was done before.
Now obviously it’s not recreating the Three Houses one-to-one, but this was sufficient motivation to continue the story and find some new favorite characters and plot twists along the way.
Gameplay-wise, Three Hopes differentiates from the traditional formula by the sheer breadth of its characters and RPG mechanics. Various combo strings, special moves and super abilities are all here, but so are the adjacent system, dynamic support system, and hefty camp and base building mechanics.
Every character has varying degrees of in-depth air juggles and combo opportunities. The Fire Emblem class structure is here in full force, with more than a dozen available classes and some advanced late-game special classes as well.
Three Hopes also features various major boss battles. These battles use a lock-on feature and are home to some of the more intense set-piece moments.
Three Hopes features local multiplayer, and even on a split-screen, this game runs far better than Age of Calamity does. Omega Force has really improved performance, and in portable mode, Three Hopes never breaks a sweat.
Three Hopes is far more than just a Warriors spin0off. The love and attention to detail with every aspect of gameplay are evident. The sheer amount of gameplay systems is vast, but each layer of progression is doled out smoothly through each chapter of the campaign.
Omega Force did a great of bringing these characters to life and beloved story to life. Even as a stout Three Houses fan, they did that game justice, while elevating their own gameplay and style to new levels.