In addition to the story trailer, Nintendo showed off 26 minutes of gameplay for Fire Emblem Warriors showing off a mission and a bunch of the game’s mechanics.
If you have any fears that Fire Emblem Warriors will be a simple reskin of Hyrule Warriors or not try to remain faithful to its source material, then you’ll pleased to know that everything which was shown will put those fears to rest. FE Warriors is its own game through and through and not only incorporates a good many of the Fire Emblem series core mechanics, but its quite clear Koei Tecmo is improving the Warriors series from both a mechanical and gameplay perspective.
(Scroll down to the bottom if you want to get straight to the action)
To start, unlike previous Warriors games, the player has the ability to give commands to an allied character. By going to the pause screen, its possible to send off one of your characters to an an allied base or enemy base to help defend or assault it, respectively. Furthermore, players can switch between any allied character at will, allowing them to take direct control of a certain character when the situation demands. The ability to switch between characters at will and order them around the map is important because of the weapon triangle system imported from the Fire Emblem series — if a lance user is left to their own devices, they might wind up in an encampment filled with axe users; when this happens, players can opt to have them leave the area or reinforce them with a sword user.
While on the subject of the weapon triangle, there are quite a few other things that have been brought over from the main Fire Emblem series and woven in seamlessly. The pair-up system is in full effect in Fire Emblem Warriors, with players having the option of having two characters join forces and gain access to Dual Attack and Dual Guard. Not only that, but a unit’s stats will also increase so long as they’re paired-up together. Of course, there are some downsides to using the pair-up system. If two units are paired with one another, then you lose map coverage as they always have to be within close vicinity of one another. Therefore, players will need to assess whether they want to sacrifice a unit’s combat prowess in exchange for having greater potential control of the map and vice-versa. Support Bonuses were also confirmed by the announcers, but it remains unclear what gameplay benefits these provide.
As is always the case in Fire Emblem, leveling up is also in FE Warriors though the intricacies behind it remain unclear. For example, the characters seen in the demonstration can gain points in Magic, but there doesn’t appear any way for them to make use of that particular stat. Additionally, individual level ups appear entirely random, but each character might have unique maximum stats easily attainable by the maximum level. There’s also the possibility there will be items which permanently boost your stats. It’s all conjecture at this point.
Lastly, there’s an arena mode where players can select a character of their choosing and fight against six characters chosen at random. They go through a few waves of generic opponents before fighting a single enemy, they then move on and fight another enemy who’ll call for help when (s)he at 50 percent health and that process will repeat two more times when players go on to fight the third foe. Just like in the original Fire Emblem games, this looks like a good way to level up outside of the story mode.
Of course, there are still many mechanics from previous Warriors games that are present in Fire Emblem Warriors, such as Storm Rush and Rage Mode/Attack.
The game looks great so far and the demonstration really did a good job showcasing much of what the game has to offer. All I’m waiting on at this point is for a wider variety of characters, both in their weapons and the titles they represent. Here’s to hoping those expectations will be fulfilled when the game arrives this fall.
Check out the gameplay video below (0:40 – 26:20):