Fire Emblem: Three Houses Review

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An epic mashup of romance, war, and stereo instructions

 easy to care about the protagonist of a game. That’s your hero. You’re with them through everything, and you want them to succeed. But what about the side characters? What about the third healer in your army? Or that archer who’s not as good as your main archer? The Fire Emblem series is built on getting you to care about everyone, even down to the smallest peon.

But with Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it goes even further. Every death is brutal because everyone who dies was once your student. You worked with them as youngsters, guiding their growth, applauding their accomplishments. And then, suddenly, they’re dead. And it’s all your fault.

a close-up of a woman holding a sword in Fire Emblem: Three HousesIntelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo Games/Nintendo

Fire Emblem: Three Houses is many things. It’s an epic war story on a Game of Thrones scale. It’s a relationship simulator, with flirting, romance, and gift giving. Oh, and it’s a tactical strategy game. What’s so bizarre is that none of these elements play second fiddle. The story, the relationships, the tactical gameplay — they’re all treated as equally important, building to an even greater crescendo as they collide.

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