For most people, their introduction to the Fire Emblem series was a pair of weirdly out-of-place Smash Bros. characters wielding swords. Originally a Japan exclusive, the series got a slow start gaining popularity in the west, but by the time Fire Emblem: Three Houses hit the Nintendo Switch, the series had become one of the most popular tactics titles, with a dash of life sim, ever released. Most titles in this series are distinct from one another, not all that unlike the Final Fantasy series, but considering just how popular the setting and characters established in Fire Emblem: Three Houses were, a follow-up of sorts makes perfect sense.
Revealed during a massive Nintendo direct in February, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is looking to be the equivalent of what Hyrule Warriors was to the Zelda games, or perhaps more accurately, what Persona 5 Strikers was to Persona 5. For all the fans who only recently joined in on the main series and don’t know what the Warriors tag means for the series, or anyone who has been following the series for years and wants to know what’s in store with this next entry, we have an early look at the game and are excited to share everything we know about Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes.
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Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is right on the horizon. Despite only just being revealed in February 2022, the game is already slated to be released on June 24, 2022. This has become somewhat of a trend for Nintendo to announce and release games in short order, and we appreciate not being forced to wait years for games we’re excited about.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, as with mainline every entry in this series, is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch. None of the mainline games have ever seen a release on any other platform, so don’t hold out hope of this game coming to PC or any other console, unfortunately.
The announcement trailer opens with some imagery of armies marching and views of the world of Fodlan before we see our first familiar face, Byleth. We then get a flashy montage of sorts where we see a handful of characters in battle, including Edelgard, Dmitir, and Claude, using some special moves and mowing down dozens of enemies in typical Warriors fashion. Each character gives a few lines of dialogue we can’t really glean much from regarding the goings-on, but thankfully, other sources give more insight into the plot of the game.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes will consist of four story paths that you, as Byleth, can progress down based on the choices you make. Despite taking place in the same place and with the same characters as Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the events of that game won’t impact the story of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Based on the trailer, and the new antagonist that seems to be the main focus of conflict, some speculate that the three houses will team up against this new threat, even though we do see them engaged in combat in the trailer. How you choose to interact with the other houses might be some of the decisions that impact which story path you follow.
The Mysterious Mercenary Trailer showcases more of what appears to be the main antagonist of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes called the Ashen Demon. First, though, we are finally introduced to our main protagonist canonically named Shez (but both their name and gender can be changed). They are shown off most prominently wielding dual swords. This trailer also explicitly states that there will be three paths to choose from, each represented by one of the three houses you can align yourself with. Shez will go from an unlikely mercenary to a hero destined to take down this Ashen Demon. In a twist, the trailer ends with you having the ability to select the Ashen Demon’s form, either a male or female Byleth.
A whole new suite of footage of characters was revealed, starting with Scarlet Blaze, an ax-wielding knight aligned with the Adrestian Empire. Next is Azure Gleam, fighting with a lance, from the Holy Kingdom of Faerghus. Golden Wildfire is a ranger riding a small drake from the Leicester Alliance.
The Kingdom of Faerghus trailer dropping also showed off additional characters from this kingdom we can play as. Dimitri, Dedue, Mercedes, Ashe, Felix, Annette, Sylvain, and Ingrid all join the roster.
Whether you’re a fan of it or not, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is following that tried-and-true Warriors-style gameplay for the most part. On the field, you can expect to take control of one, maybe multiple, characters from Fire Emblem: Three Houses and travel through massive battlefields, completing objectives, leveling up, and cutting down hundreds upon hundreds of grunts in your path. You will have special moves that can deal damage in wide areas, long-range, over long distances, and more, unique to each character.
In each mission, you can swap between up to four characters at the tap of the D-pad or give instructions to the ones you’re not directly controlling to attack or defend different key areas on the map.
There will also be mounts, which is not a new addition to the formula, except that dragons will be rideable. This gives the character tons of mobility and presumably brand new moves as well. We also see some winged horses you can ride in battle, which we assume will function just like the dragons. Speaking of giant monsters, we also see a few massive beasts that you will need to contend with that look like the boss-style enemies seen in Hyrule Warriors for this game.
The trailer also showed a small glimpse at the battle map portion of the game. This shows the regions you have control over, areas you need to conquer, and some more details on them. One shown off in the trailer was called “Prepare for the Conquest of Garreg Mach,” which had an enemy level of 8, an objective of “clear a path for the conquest of Garreg Mach by defeating the Church of Seiros army,” and separate rewards for getting an S rank and a Capture reward.
We can also see merchants pop up on the map screen where you can trade gold for different items. These seem to be fixed areas on the map that you can visit once you’ve conquered that region.
Before a fight, you will be able to outfit your characters with equipment, which also shows all the stats of that weapon’s skills and abilities, and change their class. This system gets fairly deep and encourages a lot of party, skill, and class management between each mission. There is also a fully explorable camp area where you can train with your allies to gain new classes or just hang out and enjoy a meal with each other. The camp is full of different vendors that all can be upgraded overtime using resources. It is an addictive loop of investing and upgrading that offers a second level of progression to work toward.
On the field, like in past Warriors games, you can issue orders to characters you’re not controlling to send them toward different objectives while you tackle others or to meet up to join forces somewhere on the map. This will let you use Partner Special moves that combine the best of both characters’ moves.
In terms of playable characters, Warriors games often have a very extensive cast to pick from. For now, however, we only know of a select few that will be playable in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Based on the trailer, we know that Edelgard, Dimitri, Claude, and Byleth are confirmed to be playable, but we also see different versions of each of them that might count as completely different characters. We also expect that Byleth will have both a male and female form to pick from as well. If the previous Fire Emblem Warriors’ initial roster is anything to go by, which had 25 at launch plus nine more added later, there’s still plenty of room for surprises on this roster.
Based on our hands-on preview, the cast is, once again, the star of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Not only did we enjoy reuniting with old favorites, but we also liked the opportunity to get to know other characters from Three Houses that we hadn’t had the time to before.
While the trailer didn’t say, we can thank the game box for Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes to confirm that it will allow for both one and two players. This is almost certainly a co-op mode, as has been common for just about every Warriors game that does include multiplayer, and would feel right at home on this Switch version. According to the details from retailers, multiplayer will be limited to local play only, meaning you can’t join or host online sessions with friends.
Pre-orders are up on most major retailers for physical and digital editions of the game. GameStop and Target both have them for your normal retail price of $60, though there is a Limited Edition floating around that, for now, looks exclusive to European markets. This edition includes the Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes game, an art book, tapestry map, five acrylic figurines, and a character postcard. Hopefully, we in the west get a chance to get our hands on this addition as well, but for now, only the basic version looks to be available. We’ll keep you updated should that change.
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