Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a fantastic hack and slash game that anyone can sink hours into. The world is immersive, featuring a roster of interesting characters that you can build relationships with. While the story is slightly overwhelming at the start, this is a game that anyone could enjoy, even if you have never touched the franchise before.
- Entertaining battles
- Multiple storylines to explore
- Engaging characters
- Quirky and interesting art style
- Too many cutscenes
- Fights can become repetitive
- Camera can be annoying
- Platforms:Available for the Nintendo Switch
- Release date:24th June 2022
- Genre:RPG, fighting, hack and slash and adventure
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is an incredibly easy game to get into, with hours upon hours of gameplay and an immersive world.
As someone with little to no Fire Emblem experience, I found this game to be engaging and fun, even if the story beats were occasionally too complicated to follow.
Keep reading to see what I thought about Fire Emblem: Three Hopes.
- Up to hundreds of hours of content
- Multiple sidequests
- Three paths to choose from
Fire Emblem: Three Hopes takes place on the battlefields of Fódlan, bringing together some familiar faces from Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Houses along with some new characters.
I decided to play this game on Normal difficulty in Casual mode, which meant that my fellow fighters were resurrected after death in battle, instead of being permanently dead for the rest of the story. For anyone like me that doesn’t have a lot of Fire Emblem experience, I would recommend sticking to Casual mode, as you can miss out on important story beats if certain characters are not around.
You play as Shez, a mercenary that can be either male or female. After battling Byleth from Three Houses and losing terribly in the opening act, you are approached by three characters: Edelgard, Claude and Dimitri. After working together in a camp and enjoyable battle, you are tasked with choosing which team you want to join.
I liked the freedom in this game, as I was able to rename the protagonist and even Byleth, making the story feel more personal than if everything was set out for me. I decided to join Edelgard in her Scarlet Blaze team, being joined by a roster of new characters that fight with you through the game.
As a newcomer, I was originally overwhelmed by the large group of characters and seemingly deep lore that you’re presented with at the start of the story. However, it becomes apparent early on that you don’t need any prior knowledge to enjoy this game, with the many cutscenes and conversations between characters providing enough content.
Since I can’t reveal too much about the story for embargo reasons, but I can reveal that the overall story is engaging, with more specks of information and gossip being revealed as you talk to more people and battle more enemies. A lot of the story can be diluted down into rival factions, but the nuanced story beats and character interactions keep things interesting, with a few twists along the way that I never saw coming.
While it took me 20 hours to complete my playthrough, I can easily see this game taking upwards of 100 hours. Not only will it depend on which faction you join – I can’t say how long Claude and Dimitri’s stories are – but there are multiple side quests you can delve into, with the option to replay levels if you want to explore every nook and cranny.
- Multiple playable characters
- Activity and training points to use
- Hack and slash combat throughout
Three Hopes has a set gameplay routine throughout. Your camp will move to a new location wherein you can take on multiple battles before defeating the final boss of that area, though after taking on the final boss you cannot return. This makes progression feel linear, and it gives you a chance to level up and gather resources before moving on to a new area.
Whilst in camp, you can talk to team members and use your Training and Activity points. These are gained after battles and can be used to boost morale, develop bonds between characters and activate certain boosts before battles.
While only a small part of the game, I liked how much freedom the protagonist has and how you can roam through camp. Cooking meals for teammates was my personal favourite, and it was nice to see the bonds between characters grow after gifting people special flowers and items you can procure in battle.
The first few hours of the game, however, do take on a very slow pace, with multiple cut scenes and character conversations lasting a little too long for me. While some of it was definitely needed to catch me up on the lore, it felt like the developers didn’t trust me to make certain obvious judgements on characters.
The long cut scenes are pretty consistent for the whole game, with each battle ending on a round-up from my team and sometimes even the enemies. While they do help to create a more interesting world, I would have preferred the start of the game to be more combat and action-focused, rather than constantly slowing down to tell a story.
Out of the camp and on the war map is where the real run starts, however. After picking your battle, you can choose who is in your roster, though not every fight allows the same amount or even type of people. There is victory and defeat conditions for all battles, giving you an idea of what sort of strategy and attack you should take on.
Once fighting, you can pull up the full-screen map to command your teammates to take on certain foes or defend a base. This reminded me of Total War: Warhammer 3, as you can direct specific forces, like archers, to attack certain groups where they will have an advantage. I found this riveting, as it was really satisfying to deploy team members west as you run east in the final minutes of a battle.
Even with the strategic elements, this title is still mostly a hack and slash. I enjoyed tearing through hundreds of enemies with my character and the fact that unique combat styles work differently depending on the situation also made me flip through my team more often.
My favourite character to play was myself, followed by Edelgard. My character primarily used a sword while Edelgard favoured the axe, giving both players a distinctive vibe. While Edelgard felt heavier and fought best against heavy-duty enemies, I liked how quick Shez could navigate the map and the force with which her sword would cut through enemies.
While I do think that the gameplay felt fresh for a majority of the game, the last few hours did start to get repetitive. While there are different moves and special moves for each player, I found I could manage many battles simply by button mashing on anything but the highest difficulties. I still liked this, and there is something innately fun about watching your enemy fly up into the air after a long combo, this may not be stimulating enough for anyone who prefers the tighter combat of games like God of War.
Thankfully, even with the button-mashing aside, I did not find the gameplay overly simple. I played on Normal mode and found there were multiple challenging foes which demanded more time, with my team even losing some battles due to poor strategy.
Overall, I thought the gameplay was a lot of fun and an overall rewarding experience. The camp dialogue and fast-paced combat keep you on your toes, even if it isn’t the most challenging game I’ve played.
- Quirky and interesting character design
- Fighting animations looks grand
- Switch has slow graphical load-up times
- Camera can be a hindrance
Since this is a Nintendo game, I had high hopes for the graphics. With games like Breath of the Wild and the recent Metroid Dread looking so impressive, I was pleased to find the same level of detail and personality in Three Hopes.
Scarlet Blaze has an almost gothic aesthetic, with the characters embodying their personalities through their fashion. The fighting animations are very grand, with the special moves showing off vibrant colours and engaging combat. I loved watching my character rear up and pull dozens of enemies into a ball of slashes, sending large enemies flying across the map.
However, even though the close-up animation and design look great, Three Hopes has the same issue as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, wherein the Switch can’t seem to load the environments fast enough. This isn’t a huge issue and was actually only noticeable when you’re racing through the map, since the combat was usually too frantic and busy for me to notice new trees sprouting a few feet in front of me.
Playing on the big screen did not alleviate this issue, and it was slightly jarring to see huge enemies appearing in front of me all of a sudden. Like Arceus, is it not a deal-breaking issue, and I do think the overall style makes up for it, but it’s frustrating to see the Switch stumble during these instances.
A final big bear for me in this game is the camera, as a lot of the time, it felt like it had a mind of its own. While you can lock on to certain enemies, sometimes the camera will force you to turn around for no reason and can zoom in really tight during special moves.
Due to the nature of the game, the camera issues never resulted in me dying or getting trapped, but it was more confusing to navigate than I would have liked.
Should you buy it?
You want a hack and slash experience:
Whether you have played Fire Emblem before or not, this game is really easy to recommend. The combat is thrilling and it feels great to mow down hundreds of enemies in one fell swoop.
You want a shorter game experience:
If you don’t want to sink dozens of hours into a title, you may want to steer clear of Three Hopes. While the game won’t necessarily take too long to finish, the multitude of side quests and extra content is a worthwhile experience and would be a shame to skip out on.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a fantastic game. While I may have found the beginning to be a little slow, once the battles pick up there are hours of fun to be had.
The button-mashing technique is simple but thrilling and will please anyone that enjoys racking up large combos. Hacking and slashing through enemies feels rewarding, and the added strategic element allows for experimentation in how you take on each battle.
And ignoring the awkward camera, the style of the game is wonderful to look at, with each playable character having their own distinctive style and aesthetic. This game has ignited a love for Fire Emblem that I didn’t even know I had, and I think this is a great choice for anyone after a new Switch game.
How we test
We play every game we review through to the end, outside of certain exceptions where getting 100% completion, like Skyrim, is close to impossible to do. When we don’t fully finish a game before reviewing it we will always alert the reader.
Played on Nintendo Switch
Played through the entire single player campaign
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The run-through time will depend on the choices you make in the game. My playthrough took 20 hours, though yours may look very different.
This game is set with some familiar characters but in a different land, focusing on the world of Fódlan.