The Warriors series of games from Koei Tecmo has been running for 20 years now. Mostly, it’s stayed in its comfort zone as a beat-’em-up, only mixing up things with little extra features once in a while. However, from what I’ve seen from in the TGS 2017 demo of Fire Emblem Warriors, a collaboration between the long-running Warriors series and Nintendo’s Fire Emblem strategy RPG series, things are changed up a little bit more in ways that make it feel like not just a Dynasty Warriors game with a Fire Emblem skin.

Fire Emblem Warriors is one that throws together various heroes from the franchise across its extensive franchise into one place. Zian (Rowan) and Lian (Lianna), the son and daughter of a kingdom destroyed by monsters that came from another dimension, are given the chance to save their land when legendary warriors come to them, thanks to the power of the “Flame Shield” given to them by their mother. These warriors include ones from older Fire Emblem titles like The Blazing Blade and newer ones like Awakening.

In Dynasty Warriors and its spinoff Samurai Warriors, the player usually plays with one character, having to go around the field alone and complete missions, defeating officers and conquering bases. A lot of the time, your allies are quite worthless, and you have to save them a lot. It feels like you’re running the army all on your own, which is fun, but a bit stressful. In the Warriors Orochi collaboration series that combines the roster of both Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, you can usually use three characters at a time, switching them out whenever you please.

When I saw four character panels at the top of the screen during my demo playthrough, I thought I could change my characters. While this was true, it turns out that characters do move as a group. Each of the four characters are in different places on the field, and by switching who you can play, you’re able to save yourself when you’re in trouble or capture an important base if it’s closer to a certain character than the one you are currently controlling. It’s nice to have control of a number of characters instead of having to run back and forth, babysitting them all, and using this feature to its limits is something I’m looking forward to trying out.

Another feature I saw promise for was the “Double” feature. It allows the playable character to team up with a character not playable during the battle, even giving the player the ability to use a double special attack, which is basically a double “musou” attack from the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors games. In my playthrough, I combined the powers of Princess Sakura and Prince Marth, two characters who don’t usually meet. It makes my mind race to think about the different kinds of combinations that I will be able to enact in the full game.

“This isn’t good… I have to get stronger… I hate to do this, but I have no choice but to retreat…”

With conversations between comrades unlocked by raising affection and more playable characters seemingly on the way, I’m very excited to eventually buy a Switch and pick this one up.

Fire Emblem Warriors will be available in Japan for the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo 3DS on September 28.

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