Fire Emblem Warriors (Switch)
Fire Emblem Warriors offers numerous improvements over its predecessor Hyrule Warriors. The framerate is better in both the single-player and multiplayer despite an increased enemy count; the S-rank requirement was lifted from 1,200 killed enemies to 2,000 kills while the time limit remained the same. Related, the required kills to unlock the true power of character-specific weapons was reduced from 25,000 to 10,000 which makes things a lot more manageable in combination with the higher enemy frequency. EXP gains are much more generous, allowing you to gain at least one level up, even if your character is already ~20 levels above the recommendation for a battlefield.
Furthermore, the pair up system allows you to quickly level up characters that lag behind without playing them; they gain the same EXP as the lead character. Other benefits of pairing up are increased support points, slightly increased stats, being able to take more advantage of the weapon triangle and other weaknesses, and an automatic guard in case you get hit. Said guard takes some seconds to be available again, but it makes Fire Emblem Warriors rather easy because off-screen attacks and other unexpected hits don't penalize you; it could also be said that the game is getting rid of unfair moments. Speaking in general though, difficulty shouldn't be the reason why you play a Warriors game to begin with as most of the real difficulty comes from the small strategic element of taking down enemy commanders that are crucial to fulfilling your map objectives.
The game's ecosystem once again allows you to feed unneeded materials into temporary perks that increase the chances to get what you really need. Unneeded weapons can be sold off, the money can be used to buy EXP. Weapons are divided in only six types and up to 100 of each type can be stored and accessed by all eligible characters. The cast is heavy on sword users (10 out of 23 characters) and consists of FEW-specific twins, Fates royals, Awakening's starters, Shadow Dragon's key members, Lyn and Celica. Unfortunately, the DLC packs will focus on Fates, Awakening and Shadow Dragon again, so if you are hoping for more members of other Fire Emblem titles, you will probably be out of luck. Personally, I don't mind the existing choices too much.
Looking further at the DLC packs, they will virtually be a necessity to complete all supports and get enough of the materials to max out everyone. With the first pack being already released at the time of writing this review, it is safe to say that the DLC is worth it for everyone who likes Fire Emblem Warriors. The Fates pack adds three History maps with a playtime total of 15-20 hours and an item that essentially doubles support points if equipped. The remaining two packs can be expected to be similarly useful, so the season pass for €/$20 is a steal.
I like this game very much. It doesn't necessitate grinding to get underused characters up to snuff. The pace of progress is fast. The weapon triangle and other Fire Emblem staples are implemented in a satisfactory manner. The multiplayer is a lot more playable than in Hyrule Warriors. Being able to switch between four playable characters on most maps grants the benefits of covering more space and leveling up several characters simultaneously. Fire Emblem Warriors is really about the good parts of the Warriors formula.
|Controls||10||The control scheme is intuitive. The basics of
attacking and dodging work very well.
|Gameplay||Kill thousands of bad guys, conquer fortresses, complete
objectives and level up in a thought through ecosystem.
|Story||The storylines are very forced to unite the casts of various
Fire Emblem games. Support conversations don't bring much new.
|Single-player||The addictive gameplay limits its eventual repetition by reducing
grinding significantly in comparison to Hyrule Warriors.
|Multiplayer||The reduced enemy count in splitscreen makes the battlefields
less impactful, but the framerate is mostly stable.
|Graphics||Choose resolution or framerate. An actual choice in single-player,
but for multiplayer you will want the framerate.
|Sound||The Fire Emblem IP has a rich history of memorable music,
so the soundtrack in this crossover is awesome.
|Value||It takes over 50 hours to complete the Story and History
modes and attain all S-ranks.
|Replay Value||The almost complete absence of tiresome grinding makes
this game one that you won't mind restarting.
|Score||8||Fire Emblem Warriors does a lot of things right and emphasizes
the enjoyable portions of the Warriors formula.