Fire Emblem Echoes Review in Progress Part 4: Story and Gameplay
Story is always super important in Fire Emblem games. Fire Emblem Awakening and Fire Emblem Fates had huge complex stories with a lot of dialogue, in cutscenes and support conversations. Fire Emblem Echoes is no different. For part 4 of our review in progress, we’ll take a look at Echoes’ story, how its gameplay ties into it, and whether or not the story and gameplay so far live up to the previous games. We’ll try to keep things as spoiler free as possible, though there may be some minor spoilers. So here’s a SPOILER WARNING just in case.
Fire Emblem Echoes tells the story of two armies who have different goals and yet their paths keep crossing. I’m definitely try to keep things as vague as possible here. I don’t want to spoiler Echoes story and yet I have to give you a little bit of context if I want to talk about it.
At first, you’ll control these armies in separate chapters but eventually you’ll be controlling them during the same chapter. When they are in the same chapter, you’ll get to choose who you play first. The path each army is on is very linear and there is no chance of getting lost at all. Is it easy to keep track of each armies storyline?
Surprisingly, its very easy to keep track of where you are in both stories and who all your characters are. All of Echoes characters have unique personalities and voices. The writing in this game is very good! The story is interesting and the dialogue is extremely well done. This is without a doubt a Fire Emblem game, though the new gameplay elements introduced in Echoes do allow for a little bit more freedom than we usually see in these games.
I have almost forty hours on Fire Emblem Echoes. It doesn’t feel like the story is going to end soon. I have been doing more than just go through the story in those hours though. Fire Emblem Echoes, more than the previous two games, has you building your character’s levels up in order to keep them strong for the next story challenge.
I am playing Echoes on Casual/normal mode and this game is still hard. Some of the battles can be really brutal. While your party members don’t die for good on casual, they can get knocked out of the battle easily. Oh and if you’re main person dies, the game is over.
Yes, there is still permeant death for the main heroes. I really don’t understand this. I’m not a fan of the game being over if your main person dies. It can be a real pain, especially if your hero dies in a dungeon and you haven’t saved for awhile!
Speaking of dungeons, most of these areas (at least so far) have been places where you can build up your character. I’ve ran into a couple of dungeons that were involved in the story, but most of them have just been side areas where you go to build up and find weapons. These areas are very important though. You will need to stop at them to build up.
Fire Emblem Echoes feels more like a regular rpg at times than a strategy rpg. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I love rpgs. I think the variety of gameplay that Fire Emblem Echoes has introduced here keeps things very interesting.
So far, I like Echoes story better than Awakening but not as much as Fates. And while I do miss some things about Fates gameplay (like base building), I have to admit that dungeon crawling and leveling up a lot speak to the rpg player inside me. I don’t think every Fire Emblem game should be this way, but its nice to see some new elements in this game.
You’ll have to wait for my full review to see just how much I liked the game’s story and gameplay. As of right now though, I am enjoying it a lot.
I will, hopefully, be back sometime next week with my full review of Fire Emblem Echoes!