While i wasn’t planning to review the full game soon since i still need to play Three Houses first, the release of a demo at least give me an excuse to talk about the new Fire Emblem Warriors, so compromise it is! Dr. Killinger was right after all.
Since i have no familiarity with the aforementioned FE entry, i will not talk in detail about the plot seen in the demo, even though this is described as an alternative story set in the same world.
I mean, judging from the prologue’s cutscenes, narration and overwiew, it feels fitting that this specific FE game has a dedicated Warriors spin-off, since it feels like a medieval european take on the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms. Just with more school and church stuff.
It’s a fairly meaty demo, that lets you the entire prologue and ends just before the final battle of Chapter 4, for roughly 4 hours of content, more than usual and more than enough to know if you like the game or not.
The combat system it’s the classic Dynasty Warriors dealio, with some twists, aside some reshuffling and the terminology getting changed.
In an unexpected (i guess unexpected if you didn’t play Three Houses), the weapons have durability… but NOT for the normal and combo attacks, Omega Force didn’t go completely insane.
No, oddly the weapon durability doesn’t affect the actual weapon, but it consumed by using the special/magic attacks (performed by the usual combination of trigger dorsal button and face buttons) with cooldown. It’s restored after each battle but there’s also pickup items to restore it during battle, so it’s not an actual issue or problem, despite what it sounds like.
There’s some throwbacks to old systems, like the auxiliary base captains are important to stop the enemy pumping out soldiers as they were in Hyrule Warriors, and in a similar – but enhanced/expanded – fashion returns the boss-like huge monsters with specific weakness needed to put them down for critical blows/finisher. Base capture on the other hand works exactly like in the older Fire Emblem Warriors, so their “energy” is tied to the HP of the captain defending it.
And a base camp between battles where you can talk to various characters to learn more and improve your bonds/affinity with them, it’s been a while since we saw that done proper (looking at you Warriors Orochi 4)!
Pretty much all the distinctive features seen in the older Fire Emblem Warriors return, like the gauge to deplete to unleash a finisher/critical blow, character forming duos, the strongholds make you regain HP if they’re under ally control (and viceversa), the classes have advantages and weaknesses between each other, with flying units (pegasus knight, wyvern mounted riders) being especially weak against archers, and regardless of the class, some special attacks have the side effect of being more effective against – for example – armored units or monsters.
Even better, the tactical options are more broad and varied, as you can now issue an “all out assault” to the other playable units, and characters now have specific passive abilities for when they’re issued a command. Which is great, as it the ability for mounted units to mount or dismount, the characters and mount aren’t “glued” together anymore.
Aside from the original mercenary character (named by default Shez) controlled by the players, you can try the main houses/faction leaders, and play as the faction-specific characters, as you have to choose into which house enroll early on. I did choose Eldegard’s, and to have this article out quick, i didn’t check the other factions/houses characters, and i forgot to keep a save before you have to choose the faction.
Yep, i “forgor”.
Sorry if this is not the indepth hands on on the demo you expected, but especially since the demo itself it’s quite meaty, i didn’t have time to do it all over again just to see the other factions.
My only gripe is that the movesets are tied to the class of the characters, but even from this demo it seems this is not as big as an issue as it was in the previous Fire Emblem Warriors, not only because every character can change class (with the Fighter being able to use axes, knuckles or bows, while most classes are tied to a single weapon), evolve the class into a higher or different one (the Myrmidon can become a Thief unit, if you so desire), but because the unique abilities help differentiate them.
For example, even units that use Magic Tomes can have the attacks imbued with an element due to the character’s abilities, like Manuela’s that by attacking she creates lightining imbued music notes and she can detonate them when her unique ability gauge is full (like Xu Yu from DW 8 Empires).
Also, some units have specific special moves even if they use the same weapons, and advanced classes that technically use the same base weapon have different-evolved movesets, see a basic Fighter using the axe and the Armored Lord class of Eldegard for example.
There’s actually more to talk about, like the War Map, but i’m gonna stop here.
Performance is similar to Age of Calamity, which is “ok” as in what do you honestly expect from a Omega Force musou game on the Switch at this point? It’s more smooth and stable when used in docked mode, as expected, but while i would prefer a better framerate… it’s a musou game on Switch by Omega Force, come on.
You know the deal by now, questionable as it is.
So overall, this is some excellent musou, fellas, basically improving on the previous FEW in every way, this is what most of already navigated fans have been looking forward, and unlike Touken Ranbu Warriors, this is clearly not aimed at “newbies”.
Can’t honestly wait to get my hands on the full game, pretty dang good stuff.