Nintendo Switch Review: Fire Emblem Engage

Should you engage with this latest Fire Emblem title?

In a war against the Fell Dragon, four kingdoms worked together with heroes from other worlds to seal away this great evil. One-thousand years later, this seal has weakened and the Fell Dragon is about to reawaken. As a Divine Dragon, use rich strategies and robust customization to meet your destiny—to collect Emblem Rings and bring peace back to the Continent of Elyos. Team up with iconic heroes from past Fire Emblem games. Summon valiant heroes like Marth and Celica with the power of Emblem Rings and add their power to yours in this brand-new Fire Emblem story. Aside from merging appearances, Engaging lets you inherit weapons, skills, and more from these battle-tested legends. The turn-based, tactical battle system returns with a fresh cast of characters you can customize and Engage to carefully craft your strategy.

I’ve played a good few Fire Emblem games over the past couple of years and each has been superb in different ways. Fire Emblem Warriors took the Dynasty Warriors approach for a nice spin-off and continued this in other spin-off Three Hopes, which itself was a “What if…” game from the Three Houses saga. Engage is more a return to form but it does have a few key differences.

The story has you fighting alongside other key Fire Emblem characters like Marth who you can use the new “Engage” ability which fuses you with the character for more powerful moves for a limited amount of turns. The turn-based strategy is still in place and moving your units onto different terrain does have positive and negative effects as you would expect but the new Engage feature definitely mixes things up and makes you change what would be your normal stratagem going forward.

If there’s a complaint to be made, it’s that the game is actually too combat focused. The relationship and romance options that fans enjoyed in Three Houses are essentially gone, instead replaced by more of a straight narrative and while that’s fine and well, I know that fans will have mixed feelings about it.

The anime-style of the game looks amazing and shows there’s still quite some life left in the Switch yet. Cutscenes are well detailed and characters are nicely animated. Voice-acting is a mixed bag as you would expect but it’s not half as bad as you would expect from an anime-looking game. The soundtrack is also superb with some great tracks to accompany you in battle.

The Verdict

Fire Emblem Engage is a return to form for the series, but it does mix things up nicely with the Engage ability. It may be more combat-focused than Three Houses but it doesn’t take away that is one tactical RPG you can’t let pass you by.

Score: 8.5