Fire Emblem Engage impressions: strong start from Three Houses

If Fire symbol: Three houses is a zigzag, Fire Emblem joins is the result zag. While the 2019 epic plunges headfirst into the simulation of the relationship between turn-based battles, the sequel To rent almost entirely focused on the military side of things.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t not at all social factors in To rent. Throughout the first eight chapters (which I am allowed to talk about here), I spent a lot of time to Somniel, the operating base of this game. I dined with some teammates, exercised with others, and gifted my allies with many of the items I found around our Headquarters. At times, the “assist rating” between the two characters has been improved from a “C” to “B” rating, promising close range support in subsequent missions.

To rentThe intermittent social elements of are fleeting, with less concern for character development than for how these interactions will manifest in the ensuing battle. three houses gave you a specific group of students to guide, train and Infatuated throughout your campaignwhen To rent Return to the traditional new recruit formula as you traverse the world map. In fact, it throws rookie in you. By the time Chapter 8 ended, I defaulted to using the same dozen characters for most battles, always leaving eight or more characters to spare.

Clanne, Alear, Vander and Framme from Fire Emblem Engage pose for the camera

Image: Intelligent system/Nintendo

Enabling the permadeath option might need to rely on greenhorns more often, but I turned it off for this playthrough to avoid missing out on any interesting side-scrolls. With a few exceptions so far, though, all of the cast members feel like rough drafts—one likes to cook, while the other likes to lift weights. Their 10-second assist cutscenes all revolve around (you guessed it) cooking and lifting weights. In To rentcharacters rarely transcend the one or two interests that define them, and as a result the web of relationships is just as fragile.

So no, you won’t be spending your time at Somniel getting to know a small group of characters — instead, you’ll be micromanaging your warriors’ skills, gathering cooking ingredients , do pushups to gain summoner spells in the next skirmish, and adopt a real zoo of caged animals to give you supplies. If three houses was inspired by Persona’s calendar-focused and character-oriented game loop, To rent feels more like a management simulation, where you’re heading back to base to do errands and maintenance before the action starts all over again. The overall loop is really more like Fire Emblem games used come, before three houses shake everything. (I also remember last year Sheep Cult.)

Missing like To rent is that socially, it spikes in turn-based battles. The maps in the first eight chapters are varied, with rivers, castle ramparts, siege equipment, and fog of war creating fascinating obstacles for you to tackle and exploit. It was an absolute pleasure to send a powerful armored unit (in this case Louis, a royal bodyguard) into a band of bandits before covering him at great distances with a bolt of lightning from a mage (Clanne, a powerful sorceress who begins as a lowly soldier), and ends the rest with cavalry, archers, and skilled sword masters.

A battlefield scene in Fire Emblem: Engage, in which the protagonist Aear goes ahead of his army to confront the enemy

Image: Intelligent system/Nintendo

beforethree houses, the Fire Emblem game used a rock-paper-scissaw system for weapons, and it’s back here: Alfred, a prince, starts the game with a powerful spear-wielding skill, such as being able to stop attackers. Use the enemy’s sword to counterattack. That swordsman can break any of my soldiers with an ax. Finally, the ax is the cause of the spear. The cycle of vulnerabilities adds another consideration to every step you take.

To rentThe biggest difference of the game from previous games might be how these characters actually master new weapons, classes and skills. Enter: ring system. Via “link” to different Icon Rings (whether by wearing them in battle or through a useful activity in the Somniel), characters can inherit ring-related character skills, each of them being a character from the franchise’s past. Increase the bond between a character and martin, for example, will unlock sword proficiency, allowing the character to transition into sword-focused classes. They’ll also gain new attacks, defensive skills, and passive abilities, all of which are vaguely Marth-themed.

A menu screen in Fire Emblem: Engage showing the relationship between protagonist Alear and Marth, whose iconic Ring grants sword-based abilities

Image: Intelligent system/Nintendo

Any character wearing the iconic Ring during battle will also be able to perform the typical “Join” action, essentially speeding them up for three turns and granting them game-breaking abilities. My favorite asks for Micah’s ring (from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn): It heals all allies in battle, but reduces the user’s hit points by one.

To rentThe ring’s system was difficult to parse at first, but now that I’ve spent hours in the menus, I’ve discovered one of the more versatile class systems in any Fire Emblem to date. By allowing any character to learn any weapon (regardless of their original character traits), To rent leaves the door open to the army’s myriad possibilities. My current army relies heavily on mages, cavalry, and armored frontlines, but I’ve theoretically built some other army components when I’m not playing.

As of now, To rent yes i connect. Its social elements are lacking, and I imagine that a lots of of those who came to the series with three houses will be disappointed and/or overwhelmed with this new outing. In fact, looking back, three houses The current feels less like a blueprint for the upcoming series but more like an aberration from its previous trajectory.

But as someone who appreciates strategy games allows me find my own stories among a diverse group of warriors, I’m enjoying the hell of it so far. It’s always rushing to get to the next battle where one of my weaker archers can deliver the finishing blow to a problem enemy, level up, earn a new class and become one of the shooters. pruning is my highest rated. Fire Emblem joins, at least for the first eight chapters, is all about the nuances of turn-based battles. Everything in between is just preparation.


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