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Fire Emblem Warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

We've been fending off thousands of bad guys in what is perhaps the best Musou title in recent memory.

  • Text: Jonas Mäki

Fire Emblem Warriors saw us play as a scrawny blonde young man with a lame haircut and weak one-liners (there's also the option to play as a female character too) as we start to rhythmically mash the Y button to fight hordes of enemies off. In one such situation the body count climbs at a fast pace and a counter ticks up, and as a finale we activated our special attack. Nearly a hundred enemies are then taken care of, but Fire Emblem Warriors is one of Omega Force's oh so popular Musou games, and the body count is about as impressive as tying your laces. Around the corner there's another bunch of hundreds of enemies waiting for a taste of our sword, and further away, a boss is lurking. It's time to start chopping again and rhythmically press the Y button.

It would be easy to just smack a low grade on Fire Emblem Warriors and move on. It differs very little from other entries in the Musou series, which have now grown into more versions and spinoffs than anyone could reasonably desire to play. They all have enemies in big hordes that throw themselves against your weapons like lemmings with a nasty death wish, and there really isn't a whole lot more to it. Originally the series covered the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms (Dynasty Warriors), albeit with very liberal interpretations of what happened, but we've also seen Samurai Warriors as well as renditions of the One Piece anime and the Zelda series in Hyrule Warriors.

Fire Emblem Warriors

However, we have absolutely no plans to give it a low grade - on the contrary. Basically, all the incarnations of the game we have tested have had one thing in common: they have all been fun to play. It's a series that succeeds with the task of offering intuitive entertainment while there's still plenty of depth to let players hone their skills from start to finish - and then still be in a hurry to play it another round (or two).

This time, Fire Emblem is the theme, and although this is normally a strategy game, it's still very well-suited thematically. Instead of taking turns to kill off evil-doers, we get to run around freely and slash enemies in real time. It's the same basic idea, just with a completely different perspective on the matter. The origin as a strategy game is also still noticeable too, and there's a lot of fan service waiting for those who really like the series. For example, there are pixel versions of all heroes in the menus and you can still choose to play the game with permadeath switched on.

Perhaps the most obvious connection to the main series gameplay-wise is how the classic weapon triangles in Fire Emblem games are used in this game by highlighting which enemies you have a particular advantage and disadvantage against. This means there's always a point in ensuring that your warriors are properly armed and that you order the right person to tackle the corresponding enemy. Swords beat axes, axes beat lances, and the lances of course beat swords. Before each battle starts, you can therefore easily play commander and move folks around to put them in favourable positions. You have to decide if you need someone on your side for strong team-based attacks (and for relationship-building purposes) or for healing, or should you send Frederick and this huge war horse straight through enemies in search of any remote minibosses?

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