This is similar to Fates' town-building in a separate dimension that could be accessed from anywhere. What annoys me the most about all these places, including Garreg Mach, is just how bloated they are with features that Fire Emblem does not need at all. All these things are just wasting time and taking away from the core gameplay of battles, so all these new FE games would have been better without these free-roaming spots.
It has gotten to the point where the Fire Emblem Warriors games are more enjoyable than the mainline games, because the Warriors games focus on what matters without offering anything else. Of course the gameplay style is very different, but regardless, I like Three Hopes a lot more than Three Houses. Not to mention that new game plus is a lot better in Three Hopes as well, making additional playthroughs a lot more fun.
Sadly, Engage looks like it will continue the tradition of Fire Emblem post 2010. It seems like the best I can hope for is that they'll scratch the multi-story approach for this one, because I am honestly sick of strategy games that necessitate 3+ playthroughs to have seen everything.
Despite of this trailers indicate, most reviews are stating the game is more focused on battles instead of social simulation and story, so you might like Engage more than Three Houses. Seems they removed the complete tree of classes and made proficiency levels more restricted instead of FE which is a sandbox where you can give any weapon to any character in any class as long as this character have the right proficiency
I like this approach, but I think I'm more inclined to the open sandbox experience where you can pretty much everything with every character. I also like visual novels RPGs like Persona and Three Houses and the idea of a fixed main cast, one think I don't like much about awakening is you can get so many characters and can easily replace them as if they were disposable (and they are indeed, as long you have the right pairs to give them children, the children can simply replace the parents once they join the party)
In other hand, the game seems to do a much better job of technical side. Better animations, graphics and detailed environment. The colors looks much more vibrant and well designed, unfortunately this is coming along with terrible anime-like design for the characters, specially the female ones who all resemble generic waifus. This breaks my immersion and compromise my involvement with the story, which is of the most importance in a role playing game.
The maps are said to be well designed, which is good to hear and overall they are stating options in battle are plenty, and saying the emblems are instrumental to make the experience more varied, although I have a strong impression this game is actually pretty easy and those emblems rings are their way to make your characters overpowered (you can equip your whole party with them) and ensure newbies won't drop the game because they are overwhelmed by the difficult