Three years ago, Fire Emblem: Three Houses established itself as one of the must-have titles for the Nintendo Switch by offering an all-new adventure in the world of Fódlan. Three years later, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes plunges us back into this universe with an alternative formula: that of the musô. Dragon Quest Heroes, Hyrule Warriors or even Persona 5 Strikers, we can no longer count the number of great saga drawing an episode specially dedicated to this increasingly popular genre. Even Fire Emblem has already been there with Fire Emblem Warriors released in 2017. But then, is the title just another spin-off without much interest or does it deserve our attention?
A pale sequel?
If one would have thought that Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes was only a sequel to the previous opus Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Houses, it is not so. Indeed, if we find with pleasure the characters that we were able to meet in Three Houses such as Dimitri, Claude or Edelgard, Three Hopes stands out for its three storyline branches which intervene much more quickly in the game and which therefore allow the scenario to take off by mixing quest for revenge and political intrigue. A rather positive point since one of the strengths of the title is to offer three different scenarios, and it is interesting to do them all to more easily understand the workings of the world of Foldan and the conflict between the different fractions.
It therefore seems obvious not to have to repeat the same chapters several times to have a different story. It also makes it possible to escape, at least from a scriptwriting point of view, the repetitive essence of the genre. The plot also plays its role correctly since it delays our desire to turn off our console as much as possible.
The same cannot be said for the gaming experience and especially for the tactical aspect of the fights themselves, which take up a significant place in the opus and which, unfortunately, suffer from the imprint of the genre despite the knowledge -make of Koei Tecmo. We will have learned during our session not to chain the battles too much at the risk of blowing very hard.
The revival of the genre?
Koei Tecmo distills Fire Emblem with musô hoping to shine and participate in the revival of the genre. If it works for two or three hours of play with a strategic aspect and a “hub”, it just feels like going from battlefield to battlefield without really seeing the end, until the point where we turn off our console, tired of crushing enemies like flies with extraordinary combos. It’s a shame because we feel all the good will of the developers to push the very essence of the genre to the back of the closet.
The mechanics taken from the franchise try to breathe new life, particularly in terms of the pace of the experience, but also from a strategic point of view. Indeed, by definition, a musô relies heavily on the action of battles. Through troop management mechanics, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes manages to offer a fairly complete set that can satisfy fans of the franchise.
Thus, the game manages for a short time to blur this feeling of chaining the missions by a few passages in the camp, the side missions, the development of relations with the different characters or, more interestingly, the fact of being able to improve the units. Are you a “dialogue-phobe”? Take your pain in patience, it is the price to pay to strengthen friendships so that they are more effective in pairs on the battlefield. Optimization is the key word of this opus and allows you to add a few dozen hours of play.
Far from reinventing the genre, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes still brings a breath of fresh air to classic musô by combining action and strategy. If, indeed, the latter is perhaps not as extensive as one would expect from the franchise, it is enough for this opus to not be one musô too many, but a title in its own right with a renewed formula. .
Indeed, the strategy is also invited during the fight where it is possible to give orders to the units and to send them to specific points on the map thanks to the return of the famous triangle of weapons. If one can think that it is just a question of sending a unit to a place, the impact is more decisive and can even lead to defeat.
While these elements offer longevity to the gaming experience and a welcome change of pace, they don’t make us forget about the usual genre issues that are unfortunately found in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes . Beyond the repetitive aspect inherent in the genre, the game interface during the battle phases is too often invaded by information and windows of all kinds. The reading becomes confused and disordered, like the fights.