Fire Emblem Three House is shaping up to be something special for Nintendo, going on what we've played so far of the game at E3 2019. There's a lot to look forward to, and a lot of changes from the series' past as well, like the absence of the famed weapon triangle combat system. In this guide to the new game, we'll be going over details like the Fire Emblem Three Houses release date, all the new Fire Emblem Three Houses gameplay that we've experienced, and more.
Fire Emblem Three Houses Release Date
The Fire Emblem Three Houses release date is July 26, 2019. This was revealed earlier in the year in February, where Nintendo held a special Direct presentation with the new Fire Emblem game as the main focus. Three Houses should act as the big Summer game for Nintendo, after Super Mario Maker 2 releases a month earlier in June.
Fire Emblem Three Houses E3 2019
At E3 2019, we went hands-on with Fire Emblem Three Houses on the Nintendo Switch. Head over to our Fire Emblem Three Houses preview for the full report, but our key take away from the demo was that the iconic weapon triangle from the series has been dropped for the new game.
In Three Houses, you're going to have swords, axes, lances, tomes, bows, and a brand new weapon type in gauntlets. Whereas before the weapons would have worked in a rock, paper, scissors-type fashion with a weapon triangle, that's all gone in Three Houses. Instead, you've got the Combat Arts system, which gives deeper and more meaningful combat encounters through weapons and abilities.
For example, a sword typically won't beat an axe in Three Houses. However you can teach the character with the sword the 'Axebreaker' Combat Art, to give them an edge against enemies with axes and even the playing field. However pulling off a Combat Art ability like this reduces your weapon durability, so you've got to think about when exactly you want to employ this ability. Do you want to charge in full force with a Combat Art, knowing that your sword might break merely three turns later?
Elsewhere in Fire Emblem Three Houses, each chapter of the game is split up into a calendar month. You spend a week training your students, in aspects like the Combat Arts that we mentioned. With this, Three Houses plays a bit like a management sim, with you needing to participate in activities with certain characters to heighten their motivation, so that they in turn can learn and adapt when you're teaching them.
Just below, you can see a full presentation from Nintendo Treehouse on Fire Emblem Three Houses. You can see the school system in action for roughly the first half of the presentation, and in the second half we get a good look at the combat system in action.
Fire Emblem Three Houses Characters
In the aforementioned Direct in February 2019, we finally got some solid details about the story of Fire Emblem Three Houses. You'll be able to choose between a male of female avatar, and you'll be taking on the role of a young soldier working under their father, Geralt (no, not that Geralt).
From there, you're given the chance to become a professor at the Officer's Academy, which is the training school for the Church of Seiros. It's this Church that maintains the balance of power between the three kingdoms of Fodlan, the leaders (or Heirs) of which you can see depicted just above.
As a professor, you'll pick one of the three houses to lead to victory within the academy. Yes, it's a bit like Harry Potter. We'll outline the houses and their leaders just below.
- Black Eagles House - Edelgard is the leader of this house, who is also the heir to the Adrestian Empire.
- Blue Lions House - This house is led by Dmitri, who is the heir to the Holy Kindgom of Faerghus.
- Golden Deer House - Finally, this house is led by Claude, and features students from the Leicester Alliance.
From the trailer debuted in the February 2019 Direct, it looks like your player character is actually friends with all three heirs, which is sure to lead to some drama. For the house that you ally yourself with, you can give students there lesson plans, train them with new skills, and increase their bonds with each other.
We mentioned Persona-like school mechanics previously in Fire Emblem Three Houses. The game is divided up into days at the school, and each day gives you the chance to interact with characters through a range of activities. There's going to be unique events like birthdays for certain characters, for example.
Fire Emblem Three Houses Gameplay
Back at E3 2018, we got our first gameplay for Fire Emblem Three Houses. You can see the trailer for the game just below, which gives us a glimpse of gameplay on the Switch.
In Fire Emblem Three Houses, you're going to spend most of your time tutoring your students. You'll have an instructor gauge which limits how many students you can interact with a week, but this gauge will increase as you progress through the game. Every student has a motivation gauge, which determines their level and growth, and you can increase this motivation level by interacting with a student through events.
Just below, you can see a few screenshots from combat in Fire Emblem Three Houses. The important thing to remember is that the game is maintaining the turn based combat loop, where characters lead troops across the battlefield. Furthermore, you can see some colorful screenshots of Fire Emblem Three Houses. The game is set in the brand new world of Fodlan, where the Church or Seiros exercises complete control over the people and the land.
The reveal trailer for Fire Emblem on the Nintendo Switch, which you can see just below, was originally released back in January 2017. At the time, the project went by the nickname of 'Fire Emblem Switch', and it wasn't until the E3 2018 presentation that the name of 'Three Houses' was revealed.
That's it for everything we know so far surrounding the upcoming Fire Emblem Three Houses project, but make sure to keep an eye on this guide, as we'll be updating it with all the forthcoming information that we hear from either Nintendo, or any leaks online.