Worth getting fired up over?
Hyrule Warriors was obviously a big enough success for Nintendo, because Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force is back with another attempt to mix a classic Nintendo franchise into the ‘musou’ style of game which they’ve been developing for the last 17 years or so. But is “Fire Emblem Warriors” any good?
Omega Force certainly don’t waste much time pandering to the lore of the Fire Emblem series. The plot is basically a universe-bending enabler for a ‘greatest hits’ set of sequences where stars of various Fire Emblem games can appear on screen at once and eventually team up together. It’s a bit silly, and thankfully seems to know it is, with a variety of tongue-in-cheek moments and 4th wall-breaking sequences. The storyline focuses on series newcomers Lianna and Rowan, who are both pretty annoying in their own ways, although thankfully you’ll quickly pick up other characters who you can use for gameplay at least.
Thankfully, this isn’t a straight up Warriors game at least. Whilst I’ve played a few in the past, the base games tend to be lacking much substance. I much prefer the ‘Empires’ spin-offs, because they add a layer of strategy to keep your interest.
Fire Emblem Warriors thankfully takes a good look at the source material to bring in some of the more appropriate aspects of Nintendo’s classic franchise. The cast of characters is large, and if you let them die, then permadeath is a feature (albeit some characters can be revived under some circumstances). You also can craft weapons through collecting materials, and Fire Emblem’s long-held tradition of the ‘weapon triangle’ which is basically a variant of ‘rock, paper, scissors.’ Except here swords beat axes, which beat lances, which beat swords.
After the first few missions, you’ll be fighting with numerous different characters, so you’ll never have to worry about much more than which character to select. Furthermore, on the easy and normal difficulty, half of the time the system barely even matters too much anyway, because you’ll be powerful enough to brute force your way through the enemies. Pressing ‘+’ will allow you see the map of the level, and issue orders to the other characters which you aren’t currently controlling. Whilst their pathfinding is normally good, on any difficulty other than easy the AI isn’t great and will frequently run into trouble.
These elements do at least add some variety to the traditional musou gameplay. Coupled with some branching aspects to the storyline, and you’ve got a game that stands up there with the Empires games. Unfortunately some traditional Omega Force issues do creep in. The camera is absolutely dreadful and the optional lock-on for boss characters barely seems to work. The enemy AI is even more mindless than the Fire Emblem team.
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