The Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes demo dropped today, and we can’t express just how much fun we’re having with the game. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is one of the greatest strategy RPGs of all time. And based on our experience with the Three Hopes demo, it’s looking to take the title of one of the best Fire Emblem and Musou-type games of all time.
If we had to make a comparison, think of Persona 5 and Persona 5: Strikers. Persona 5 was lauded as one of the greatest RPGs of all time. When Strikers was announced as a sequel to Persona 5, it was mislabeled as a Musou-type game, even though it played as more of an action RPG a la Kingdom Hearts.
Strikers itself was an amazing game full of heart and served as a love letter to Persona 5 fans. We’re happy to say that based on the demo of Three Hopes, we think it’s going to go down as one of the best Fire Emblem games once the game fully releases on June 24, 2022.
The demo lets players go up to Chapter 4 in each of the game’s 3 routes, so there’s a lot of content to enjoy. And progress made in the demo carries over to the game’s full release.
Let’s get into the review as we explain what’s so fun about Three Hopes.
Our favorite characters return
In Three Hopes, players take on the role of Shez – who can be either a male or female character. Like Sothis in Three Houses, Shez is supported by an apparition named Arval. Unlike Sothis, who has a bit rude, Arval is a comedy genius who has a level of sarcasm we can’t even begin to describe.
But more importantly, all of the characters from Three Houses have returned. And most of them are as loveable as ever. So far, 24 playable characters have been revealed, but we expect a few surprises in the game’s full release.
While some characters have had their traits “flanderized” to the max, like Felix and his constant insults towards Dimitri, most of the characters are exactly as you remember them. You’ll get to see new interactions between characters who hadn’t interacted in Three Houses.
Since Three Hopes takes place in an alternate timeline, the game is also less serious than Three Houses. You can expect lots of comedic moments throughout the demo.
Each character has support conversations to improve your bond with them and to help them improve their performance on the battlefield. Tea time conversations return as well so players can get to know their favorite characters even better.
Plus, Ferdinand von Aegir has a support ability called, “Name Drop” which is the most perfect name for a support ability in the series.
Three Hopes runs like a dream
It’s no secret the Nintendo Switch isn’t a powerful console. It’s not going to run lightning fast like the PS5 and Xbox Series X anytime soon. But kudos to the developers as Three Hopes runs like a dream. Throughout our time with the demo, we maintained a consistent 30 FPS with no significant performance drops or noticeable bugs. Even with large battles with hundreds of enemies onscreen, the game ran smoothly.
However, unlike the previous Fire Emblem Warriors game, there is no option to choose between Performance or Quality mode. Load times were lightning fast and as well. Most battles loaded within 3-4 seconds.
The gameplay is excellent
Like most Musou games, your characters move around areas using easy combos and showy special moves to tear through thousands of enemies. Special movies, flashy super abilities, and magic attacks return, as does the Awakening mechanic. You can also perform vital rushes and team up with supports for spectacular team combos.
As in Fire Emblem Warriors, some weapons are better versus others. In practice, you just scroll through your available warriors and the combat map indicates with blue and red indicators if that fighter is stronger or weaker versus your current adversaries.
Character customization looks deep
Anyone who’s played the previous Fire Emblem Warriors knows how deep the game’s customization systems were. And Three Hopes looks to continue that trend. We were floored by how much you can improve and specialize your favorite characters, whom you can then switch between in-game. You can switch between classes as you see fit.
For example, Shez starts as the Fluegel class, which specializes in dual-wielding swords, but you can switch to any of the game’s other branching classes, all of which progress up through beginner, intermediate, advanced, and master levels.
The battle camp from Fire Emblem Warriors returns, with new ways to connect with your party. Chores allow you to acquire battle bonuses by teaming up to perform jobs around camp. Cooking allows you to bestow boons upon yourself and your party by filling your bellies with tasty meals before attacking another horde of evil people.
You’ll also discover a record keeper who lets you relive critical fights for XP and awards, a facilities manager who helps you upgrade your camp, a training area, blacksmith, battalion master, shopkeeper, armourer, and more.
Between combat, you can explore Fire Emblem’s character relationships. You’ll have specific chats with crucial characters to create these relationships. We don’t yet know how far or in what direction these particular relationships will go, but fans of the series will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the Three Houses characters.
We’ve experienced all 3 houses and their protagonists — and this gave us plenty of characters to level up, equip, and get to know. There’s lot to dig into here when you consider all three house paths and any potential crossing of fates down the line.
Final verdict: 4/5
The Three Hopes demo is one of the best demos we’ve ever played for a video game. If you want fun gameplay, great characters, and tactical gameplay, go ahead and download the demo today. It’s free so might as well give it a shot.
And we’re even more excited for the game’s full release on June 24, 2022.