To whet players’ appetites for the forthcoming tactical role-playing game Fire Emblem Engage, a new video has been released.
Fire Emblem Engage, the newest addition to the series of tactical fantasy RPGs, is scheduled for release on January 20 for the Nintendo Switch. Engage isn’t a direct successor to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, but it continues the series’ tradition of excellence. Expect a grand, high-stakes story, turn-based combat, and in-depth character interactions, since these hallmarks are shared by all Fire Emblem games.
Engage, though, appears to be taking a more conventional route, consistent with previous games in the series, at least based on the video. The protagonist, Alear, embarks on a trip across four countries in an effort to vanquish a malicious dragon, which is pure classic fantasy fare, thus the film definitely aspires to depict a more traditional fantasy tale.
When compared to the events of Three Houses, in which the protagonist eventually settles down and accepts a teaching position at an officer training college, this is a striking difference. The plot of Three Houses, while epic in scope and with enormous stakes, was rooted in the life of the institution and its students.
Going back to the basics is a risky strategy, and time will tell if it benefits the show.
Infernal Emblem With Three Houses, the formula for the series was given a mystical twist. As a professor at the officer’s academy, you’re responsible for more than just leading your pupils into war; you’re also responsible for educating them and becoming their friend. Time management was also implemented in Three Houses, with monthly limits placed on how many students you may interact with socially or teach.
Despite being a radical departure for the franchise, the Persona 5-style restrictions on how you could play made every second count. Not only that, but it allowed you to learn more about the cast than you would have through the standard method of obtaining new lines of dialogue (called “support talks”), which is activated simply by being in close proximity to a certain ally during combat.
The officer’s academy provided a deep and immersive backdrop for the tale and gave something really unique, even if support chats have always been a nice addition to the games’ welcome feeling of depth to the connections between characters.
Mix Mix Some New With the Old
Many classic but long-forgotten gaming features are making a comeback in Engage. There will be a return to the rock-paper-scissors-style strengths and weaknesses that characterized the weaponry triangle in the previous games. To add insult to injury, the legions of troops that backed the characters in Three Houses don’t appear to be making a reappearance either, at least not in the first teaser (which opens in a new tab).
Having played Fire Emblem for a ridiculously long time, I can say that I am among the fans that are pleased to see some of the series’ classic elements make a comeback. But it would be a mistake to give up good, newer elements in favor of returning to the series’ roots.
Still, one should not give up hope. Alear was shown in the first video exploring a location that looked much like the officer’s academy in Three Houses, and while we don’t know much about this “Somniel” locale just yet, it’s conceivable that Intelligent Systems isn’t completely changing course after the success of that game. That, of course, is something only time can reveal.