Nintendo is starting off the new year strong with the release of Fire Emblem Engage on Switch later this week. The turn-based strategy game is the 17th core release in the series and garnering early praise from critics, though it isn’t without its faults.
“While Fire Emblem Engage certainly builds on the deep and rewarding tactical combat, the predictable story and repetitive side activities feel like a step backward for the long-running series,” Jake Dekker writes in GameSpot’s Fire Emblem Engage review. This new entry returns to a traditional narrative structure compared to what Three Houses offered in 2019.
Players assume the role of Alear, a son or daughter of the Divine Dragon, and can fight alongside previous heroes from the franchise, like Marth and Roy (who also may be remembered from their Super Smash Bros. appearances). This is possible by finding 12 Emblem Rings throughout the game.
On GameSpot sister site Metacritic, Fire Emblem Engage currently has an 82 score with 63 critic reviews. Here are what other writers are saying about the Nintendo Switch exclusive.
- Game: Fire Emblem Engage
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Developer: Intelligent Systems
- Release Date: January 20
- Price: $60
GameSpot — 7/10
“While Fire Emblem’s combat mechanics have never been better, Engage’s story and structure lack the ambition of its predecessors. The result is a predictable and straightforward romp that’s carried by its fantastic presentation and engaging combat. And although the Emblem Rings add a deep and satisfying wrinkle to the battles, the heroes contained within them are one-dimensional apparitions that leave a lot to be desired. If you’re looking for a deep tactical RPG with some colorful characters, it will certainly scratch that itch. But beyond that, Fire Emblem Engage feels like a safe, straightforward entry in Nintendo’s long-running series.” — Jake Dekker [Full review]
Siliconera — 9/10
“But when you think about it, only having those four issues after I’ve spent over 60 hours with Fire Emblem Engage isn’t bad! In fact, I’d say it is a testament to how solid this strategy game is. Intelligent Systems and Nintendo really went above and beyond when tailoring this tactical timesink.” — Jenni Lada [Full review]
IGN — 9/10
“It’s no small feat that Fire Emblem Engage is able to tell a simple-but-fun story that celebrates the vast history of its series in a way that doesn’t rely on prior knowledge of that legacy. Building the perfect team of diverse characters and pairing them with the Emblem Rings of past heroes allows for tons of customization and strategy, and blasting through the enemy ranks with their special powers is always immensely satisfying. Both its main and side missions provide a good deal of challenge, and clever twists and obstacles offset a reliance on overly familiar mission objectives. Couple all that with a suite of quality-of-life improvements that immediately feel vital and Fire Emblem Engage proves itself worthy enough to be counted alongside the legacy it honors so well.” — Brendan Graeber [Full review]
Game Informer — 9/10
“Engage’s characters and social systems never quite hit the high bar set by Three Houses, but it does surpass its predecessor in almost every other way. Players looking for deep customization, expertly crafted strategy RPG combat, and a heartfelt story with adoration for more than 30 years of Fire Emblem history will find that and more in Engage. It’s one of the most gripping games I’ve played on Switch and, ultimately, one I struggled to peel myself away from.” — Wesley LeBlanc [Full review]
Video Games Chronicle — 3/5
“Fire Emblem Engage is a great strategy game, but we don’t think it’s a great modern Fire Emblem game. Whether the reverence for the social elements of Three Houses came as a surprise to the team or not, the dearth of those moments in Engage makes it feel like it’s missing half of its core at times.” — Jordan Middler [Full review]
Fire Emblem Engage Everything To Know
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