Going into Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t dive deep into the Musso genre since the PlayStation 2 generation of Dynasty Warriors games focused on hacking and slashing through hordes of enemies while strategically taking down battlefield generals in a meaningful way. Is. Plus, it’s a spinoff to one of my favorite Switch games in a completely different genre. Now, after 36 hours of rolling credits with Adelgaard and the Black Eagles, I can say that Three Hopes successfully embraced everything I loved about Fire Emblem: combining the Three Houses into a strategic, combo- In heavy breath. It is a blast to drive and packs a thrilling story just like Three Houses.
Three Hopes embarks on a field trip with a few dozen teenagers, and it’s where protagonist Shez meets Gareg Much Math class. After a beautiful display of your mercenary skills, you head to the monastery and choose the house you want to join. I reconnected with Adelgaard’s Black Eagles. I’m glad I did because this story gave me a completely new perspective on the path I saw in Three Houses, albeit an alternate theory.
A time skip quickly occurs, and now, Adelgard is charging into Fodlan, attempting to reunite the lands. His greatest enemy remains the Church, but he also has to deal with Alliance Leader Claude, Kingdom Leader Dimitri, and soldiers who were once his friends in Gareg Mach. Witnessing these clashes is amusing, thrilling and heart-wrenching. Watching characters who were once my friends is brutal, especially when it’s at the end of my Blade, Arrow or fiery magic.
The Mussu War of the Three Hopes only magnified the effect. Crowds are easy to crush, but former classmates and other designated NPCs require more strategy. These enemies have health bars, an armor class, and associated weaknesses. A mounted enemy, like Bernadetta, may be vulnerable to archer attacks, but strong against sword attacks, such as sedges.
In this situation, I could either take direct control of Bernadetta or use Three Hopes’ battle map to select Bernadetta and order her to attack. I love how this screen allows me to pause an ongoing fight, take a breath, and plan my next move. This became beneficial in the more challenging stages as you need to complete most of the main missions and several side quests to achieve the coveted S rank, which comes with bountiful rewards. I’ve always pursued S rank, which you can earn based on how quickly you completed a mission, defeated enemies, and more.
It was refreshing and satisfying to knock down dozens of enemies on my Three Hopes journey. Even toward the end, when I thought the game had overtaken its reception, I still smiled at the sheer amount of destruction taking place on the screen. It also didn’t hurt that everything I did outside of combat was familiar in a way that kept me hooked.
This is because of how much Three Hopes borrows from Three Houses. The gifts return, as do the support grades for building relationships with the characters. You can take them on expeditions and have tea with them. Shops, blacksmiths, training instructors and cooking sessions also return. There’s even Fire Emblem’s traditional rock-paper-scissors gameplay, with different classes dealing more damage to certain types of enemies. I love how much Three Hopes encourages me to pay attention to this formula because it kept me from just using Shays. Instead, I used everyone who encouraged new strategies and helped me properly level up my entire army and prepare for the next battle.
That formula and how it affected the war also influenced the political warfare aspect of the game. I felt a general drooling out order, changing characters to investigate different objectives, and changing strategy on the fly for new side missions and extra formidable enemies. Combine this with overly engaging narrative, and Three Hopes feels political and flashy at times. game of Thrones’ best weather.
However, for me it’s not all flowers and rainbows with Three Hopes. While playing it is a thrilling experience, its visuals mostly fail to live up to the rest of the game. It plays great, but except for the beautiful character art, you’re mostly looking at the same jagged and dull castles, forts, and surrounding scenery. Like your main camp highlights here and there, but I spent most of my time on the battlefield, which was rarely visible. I wanted the scenes in Three Hopes to get as much attention and love as the rest of the game.
Three Hopes makes some chapters run too long, and some of the late-game twists don’t have the effect they should have, but my 36 hours were pretty good. Three Hopes successfully and efficiently integrates everything about Three Houses into its MUSU format, both in narrative and in gameplay; As a result this has been one of my favorite Switch experiences in recent memory. If you like Three Houses, you should play Three Hopes, and I highly recommend it, even if you’re not familiar with the Moose genre. And if you haven’t played Three Houses, there’s a good chance it will be your next game after the credits roll.