Regardless of public cynicism about musou video games, which seem to be easy hack-and-slash fests in opposition to armies of faceless foes amid chaotic battlefields, I’ve lengthy felt that this fashion of gameplay might convey out Fireplace Emblem’s greatest war-simulating potential. Two months in the past, I wrote about how Fireplace Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes might really be excellent. I performed the demo over the weekend, and I’m blissful to verify that I’m proper. Whereas the early sport has some hiccups, Three Hopes is the refreshing and authentic entry that this 32-year-old collection sorely wanted.
Three Hopes’ major plot takes place in an alternate timeline of 2019’s Three Homes—the newest sport in the primary collection—however its gameplay builds off of Fireplace Emblem Warriors, the 2017 title that first crossed Fireplace Emblem with over-the-top musou motion. As an alternative of maneuvering your models one flip at a time like in a convoluted sport of chess, you’re thrown right into a real-time battle through which you must hack and slash your method by way of hordes of enemies, seize ever-shifting forts, and full escort quests. However regardless of what the gameplay trailers may present you, Three Hopes is much more devoted to technique than the unique Warriors.
Every character has a devoted private means that helps outline their area of interest within the roster. As I attacked enemies with Hubert, for instance, I noticed that he would trigger shadowy wounds to seem on his foes. By urgent the proper set off, I might trigger these wounds to blow up for additional injury. The principle character’s particular means permits them to sprint ahead, and Bernadetta’s creates a small area that will increase her vital hit fee.
These differ barely from the primary Warriors sport, which had talents that principally fiddled with injury numbers. Three Hopes has private abilities that truly change how characters play. Particular weapons add additional customizable bonuses to every character’s assaults, somewhat than merely having larger base injury like in Warriors. For instance, the uncommon Venin Axe can poison enemies that aren’t felled by your first blow. With the ability to swap distinctive weapons added one other strategic layer into my pre-battle planning.
Regardless of the extra considerate gameplay design, I felt somewhat perplexed at what the sport was attempting to be. It’s loads strategic for anybody who enjoys in depth conflict planning (not making the most of the merchandise pots will result in a much less very best run), nevertheless it additionally did away with the give attention to capturing forts. In actual fact, I’ve cleared maps with out capturing each single fort. Once I did attempt to curb stomp all of my enemies, I used to be punished with an A (somewhat than the superior S) ranking for taking an excessive amount of time. I believe there’s nonetheless a number of room for the complete model of Three Hopes to shift my opinion about how balanced the sport is. The demo appears to tone down a number of the “hack-and-slashiness” of the style. It’s rather a lot more durable to replenish the particular energy bars, and potion drops are rather a lot much less frequent than I bear in mind from the primary Warriors sport.
However sufficient about technique! You’re most likely studying this weblog since you performed the extra in style Three Homes tactical RPG, and also you wish to know if Three Hopes is a worthy follow-up to that records-shattering technique sim. Clearly, I can’t say a lot concerning the precise plot as a result of the complete sport doesn’t launch till June 24. However to this point, it nails the in depth worldbuilding that made me fall in love with the continent of Fódlan in Three Homes. I used to be talking to a generic NPC at my conflict camp, and she or he instructed me a narrative that hinted at some shady energy dynamics inside the church. That’s the great shit that made Three Homes a standout in a collection identified for storytelling, and I’m stoked to see extra when the complete sport launches.
What I’ve all the time liked about Three Homes is how totally the writers totally dedicated to “what-if” situations throughout its completely different timelines, and Three Hopes continues that custom. I received’t spoil something, however I felt very glad with how the story makes an attempt to discover plot situations that would by no means have occurred within the first sport. You understand how the Three Homes protagonist Byleth was heartlessly attempting to homicide your character within the Three Hopes trailer? I lastly bought to play the right context round it, and the scene didn’t really feel misplaced in any respect. I began considering: It wasn’t sufficient to be acquainted with a personality’s kindness. To really perceive a personality, you must be acquainted with their cruelty, too. And Three Hopes is each idealistic and merciless in a method that solely a non-linear online game could be.
If this may be your first Fódlan-set sport, then I’d counsel enjoying Three Homes first. Three Hopes’ plot strikes significantly extra shortly and assumes prior information of the prior journey. And that’s precisely what I need from a sequel to one in every of my favourite Fireplace Emblem video games.