Follow TV Tropes
Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the first Fire Emblem game on a home console since the Tellius duology, does not disappoint, and is a worthwhile game for series veterans and newcomers.
In the game, you play as a mercenary who takes a job as a professor at an officers' academy, and can choose one of three houses to teach. This might sound innocuous enough, but your choice will determine your allegiance when war breaks out, as well as the fate of the continent of Fodlan.
By joining a house, you take on its students, who are generally a colorful and interesting bunch with fascinating personalities and relationships. Their supports not only reveal more about them and show them interacting with students who are quite similar to (or different from) them, but can also help shed light on the background and setting, which is one of the best-developed I've seen in the series. As such, it's well worth replaying the game and completing all the routes.
Each of the routes has its own individual story, with separate themes and revelations about the setting that are not found anywhere else. The characters in your house (including those you recruited from other houses) react realistically to the different events in each route, and those you did not recruit may end up becoming enemies you must defeat and kill. As you can expect, this game is fairly dark, since it deals with the horrors of war and operates on Grey and Gray Morality, but it manages to be appropriately serious without being hopeless.
The gameplay is also quite deep and engaging. The series' strategic combat is as well-done as ever, and the addition of battalions to assign to units, as well as "Gambits" (area of effect attacks or support skills with limited uses) gives a great deal of depth to the game. The ability to manage your free time, from honing your own skills to increasing your students to engaging in optional battles, makes the game significantly deeper, and gives you greater freedom when it comes to developing your units' skills, which ties in to my next point.
The class system is also more elaborate and flexible, featuring multiple tiers of classes that are unlocked by passing a certification exam (which requires you to develop related skills), each of which has an unlockable ability and several other inherent abilities. The ability to choose your characters' progression paths and which abilities they have equipped enables a good amount of flexibility when it comes to building your characters, and it's user-friendly enough that you won't feel lost.
If I had to name a flaw, it's that level-wise, the routes are a bit too similar. All but one the levels in the first half are functionally identical, and in the second half, all but one of the routes have similar missions to each other. Similarly, a lot of the random skirmishes used for Level Grinding use the same maps over and over again. While the maps are fairly well-designed, you'll probably get sick of fighting in the same maps all the time. On the story side, while I enjoyed most of the supports, there were a few characters I wished could spend time with each other for various reasons (for example, Marianne and Mercedes are both highly religious and don't have good relationships with their adoptive fathers).
All in all, Fire Emblem: Three Houses is perhaps the best Fire Emblem game I've ever played, featuring a compelling story and engaging gameplay, and is a must-have for tactical RPG fans who own a Switch.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?