Published on November 17th, 2017 | by voxx0
Fire Emblem Warriors
Fire Emblem Warriors for Nintendo Switch is a great game in its own right, but even more so for existing Fire Emblem fans. If you know the characters, the thrill of suddenly controlling Corrin and realising she’s about to turn into a dragon is a great way to hype you up for what’s to come. While gameplay naturally deviates massively from Fire Emblem games past (this is not a core Fire Emblem title), it still somehow has that Fire Emblem feel to it, and introducing in-depth strategies into an action-packed hack and slash kind of game actually produces interesting results.
This game has a large focus on the characters we’ve come to know and love over the years, with particular attention paid to Awakening and Fates, especially in the beginning. We may be using them to fight firsthand instead of ordering them around a battlefield in a turn-based fashion, but we can still pair our heroes up to build support levels, change their classes with the use of master seals, optimise their equipment and raise them to inherit special skills and buffs.
The character dynamics stay true to form (Owain is still so typically Owain, and Lucina starts off wearing a mask), but the use of facial animation and voice acting creates a welcome new edge, breathing a bit of fun into the relationship between characters such as Frederick and Chrom, who I feel never truly connected as genuine friends in Awakening.
The story is fairly straightforward. A threat looms over a kingdom led by young twins Prince Rowan and Princess Lianna, and a number of heroes from various different worlds (i.e. different Fire Emblem titles) unknowingly travel through the outrealms to offer their support. It’s your job to fight off the threats and find all the lost heroes to utilise their power.
The basic gameplay style is simple enough to grasp. You cut your way through swarms of enemies, focusing on taking down bosses along the way, and you can switch freely between characters to explore different areas of the map or to come to another character’s aid. Strategy-wise, Fire Emblem’s weapons triangle is back, meaning you should think carefully about which characters to station where. Considerations like making sure your Pegasus knights avoid archers return too.
In each stage you will have a main mission to complete, but will also be prompted to engage in new missions and side quests throughout. Some of the battle condition changes are vital (such as X character cannot die), while others are entirely optional and depend upon how much you want the reward for completing them, such as stopping a thief from escaping in order to take a treasure back from them. If you let him escape, you lose the treasure, but not the stage.
Anna also has a pop up shop where you can obtain a collectable in each stage, but each has different conditions for making her appear. There’s so much going on that at times it’s difficult to keep track of everyone and you’re thrown into chaos. Thankfully though, on the lower difficulties your NPCs and other party members are pretty good at taking care of themselves for at least long enough for you to reach them to help out before they die, which takes the pressure off ever so slightly. In short though, a typical stage is very fast-paced and pretty manic – but that’s what makes it fun.
Overall, it’s kind of a hard one to describe, but if you’re a fan of Fire Emblem or just like high-stakes action and swinging a sword like a mad man (or woman), it’s definitely worth picking up. Knowing the characters already helps you identify more with your cast, but as a standalone game this is not by any means essential if you’ve never even heard of Marth or Chrom. It’s still immersive, addictive, at times challenging and full of life, and the graphics are gorgeous! What more could you possibly want from a game?
- By Victoria Hydes