Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes - Switch Review
"A superior musou experience in every way than the previous instalment."
Dive into an alternative timeline from Fire Emblem: Three Houses with Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, a spin off title that blends Musou Warriors gameplay with Fire Emblem mechanics. Explore an alternative timeline where Byleth never appears at Garreg Mach and becomes antagonistic towards your character. Smash your way through thousands of enemies, reclaim Fodlan and discover a new story with familiar faces as we dive back into the world of Three Hopes.
One of the best additions to Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is the expansion of the cast to include more of the students’ parents as they take a more active role in the story. Getting to see the legacy of these characters and the interactions between parent and child helps to round out the pre-established characters and gives more reasons behind their choices across both games.
The timeline between Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes comes from the character (not Byleth this time) that saves Claude, Edelgard, and Demetri. This iteration takes place in an alternate timeline; instead of Byleth becoming the new professor, they remain a mercenary, while the new player character becomes a student in a house of their choosing, which decides the story path you follow. There are three story paths for each of the three houses allowing for multiple playthroughs to experience each side of the war, which also unfolds in a completely different way due to the timeline differences.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes vastly improves on the gameplay that was established in the first Fire Emblem Warriors game, giving each character their own abilities to use during combat while still tying movesets to their classes. The original Fire Emblem Warriors had the issue of characters feeling the same in combat, including the DLC characters. This left a sour taste in my mouth, however by including the class promotion system and being able to spec characters down, the class tree in Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes removes this issue entirely.
Speaking of the class promotion system, Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes takes elements that were core to the Fire Emblem: Three Houses experience, including a central hub, chores, support conversations, recruitments and plenty more. The weapon triangle has been expanded upon to include an additional weapon triangle for archers, brawlers, and spell casters. This iteration is much better balanced; you genuinely have to capitalise on these weapon triangles to progress in the missions. And then there’s the new strategy resources feature that is used to recruit other students, while also making it easier to complete some of the unique challenges within each story mission.
- Expands on less notable characters
- Intriguing story
- Vastly improved gameplay
The biggest drawback I encountered was setting the difficulty too hard at the very beginning of the game as the recommended level was about 7-10 levels higher than what your character was able to attain through the tutorial levels. The issue is somewhat mitigated by grinding levels out on normal difficulty and then switching back to hard, but that defeats the purpose to initially do a hard playthrough in general. Then there is also the matter of training up and levelling an entire team of warriors to be able to maintain a suitable chance at completing a level, which will result in either a big gold and/or time sink.
This is an overall issue with musou games that are tied into a pre-established video game franchise as fans of said franchise may not enjoy the drastic change in gameplay, but still want to experience the story. This is most notable with Fire Emblem Warriors as the gameplay difference of a turn-based tactics rpg is vastly different to a musou; that’s not to say they don’t have a strategic element, though. Ultimately, it is up to the player if they want to experience a game that is different from what they’re used to but tells a story connected to the franchise they enjoy.
- Grindy on higher difficulty
- Gameplay is not for everyone
Final Score: 8/10
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes is a superior musou experience in every way than the previous instalment while also properly capturing the experience of Three Houses and expanding on the cast. While the difficulty is artificially bloated through level scaling, there is still plenty for fans of both titles, however you will experience a richer story with prior knowledge of the characters. So dive into the split timeline, discover what’s new with familiar faces and go fight thousands of warriors as a small eight man army.
Thank you for checking out our Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Switch review, thank you to Nintendo AU/NZ for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out)
- Bel Cubitt
- NintenVania Podcast
- Rachelle Suri-Tucker
For more reading, check out our Bright Memory Infinite: Gold Edition review.