Fire Emblem Engage: release date, trailers, gameplay, and more

Fire Emblem is a series that took a long and strange path to popularity in the west, with most people’s first introduction to the characters being the inclusion of Marth and Roy in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Since then, interest in this tactics game slowly grew until it essentially exploded with the release of Fire Emblem: Three Houses. This mix of tactical combat — alongside well-written characters, deep relationship systems, and tons of replay value — made this a major franchise for Western audiences.

While we have gotten smaller spin-off titles since then, such as Fire Emblem: Three Hopes, most have been waiting for the next true entry in the Fire Emblem series. Nintendo delivered during their September 2022 direct with the announcement of Fire Emblem Engage. This will be the next core entry in the series, meaning there are a lot of expectations for it. If you’re ready to jump back into the world of intense combat and charming characters, here’s everything we know about Fire Emblem Engage.

Further reading Release date

In what has become a welcome trend with Nintendo Directs, the reveal of Fire Emblem Engage not only came with a firm release date but a close one at that. This title will come right at the beginning of the year on January 20, 2023.

Platforms Marth glowing blue.

As with all mainline games in the series, Fire Emblem Engage will be exclusive to Nintendo Switch. Unlike PlayStation or Xbox, both of which have begun allowing their exclusives to at least migrate to PC eventually, if not right away, Nintendo has yet to budge on keeping their biggest franchises locked to their hardware.

Trailers

Fire Emblem Engage – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

The only trailer given so far for Fire Emblem Engage was the announcement trailer from the Nintendo Direct.

In it, we are introduced to the setting of Elyos, which comprises four regions surrounding one holy area in the middle. These lands survived a vicious war against the Fell Dragon 1,000 years prior but were able to overcome by summoning heroes, aka Emblems. Now, however, it seems the Fell Dragon is about to return.

We get a flashy, very cinematic look at the main cast of characters unleashing their moves and abilities before the main hero, Alear, uses his ring to summon Marth.

It turns out that Alear has been asleep for 1,000 years and is actually a Divine Dragon. These are members of a royal family of dragons from the past.

After more gameplay, we get a hint at the plot. Alear refers to someone asking him to bring all the rings and use them to restore peace to Elyos. We know the rings are what allow him to summon Emblems, but this does imply that there may be more to their power than that.

It should also be noted that, while not featured in the trailer, Alear can be either male or female, depending on your preference.

Gameplay Alear and Marth open a door in Fire Emblem Engage.

Besides the cinematic moments, the trailer also did show off a good deal of what actual gameplay will look like in Fire Emblem Engage.

Right off the bat, the over-head, grid-based system will look instantly familiar to those who played prior games. You and your team will appear on the map with colored squares indicating where you can move and attack. Each unit has its own stats, weapons, and abilities to manage and plan around. The classic weapon triangle also appears to return.

What’s new is the Engage mechanic that allows units to summon Emblems of heroes from prior games, such as the previously mentioned Marth, Roy, Byleth, and many more. When summoned, the unit will somewhat fuse with the Emblem, almost acting like a Stand from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure that grants that unit new skills, stat buffs, weapons, and more. Each character will need to equip a specific ring associated with an Emblem to summon them, which can be swapped around.

We don’t know if there is some cost or limit to summoning Emblems, but there is likely something in place to balance the mechanic.

We also see some hub area exploration. While it doesn’t look as robust or deep as what we had in Three Hopes, at least so far, there does appear to be a large town and castle that will act as your base. Here we get some glimpses of shops and even an area where you can customize the outfits of your characters. These appear to be limited to changing their top and glasses or accessory.

What isn’t shown, but likely included in some way, is the ability for Alear to use their Divine Dragon ability to change into a dragon form. This has been possible when Divine Dragons were featured in past games, so should make a return here.

While we do know you can interact with your team and even Emblem heroes in this hub, it remains to be seen whether there will be any in-depth relationship system in Fire Emblem Engage.

Multiplayer

Fire Emblem Engage will not feature any multiplayer component. This should come as no surprise, since the series has never properly featured any form of multiplayer support.

Pre-order The divine edition of Fire Emblem Engage.

You can jump on your pre-order for Fire Emblem Engage right now! The game is available through Nintendo in two editions: the $60 digital game or the $100 Divine Edition. The latter will not only get you the game but also the following physical goods:

  • Steel book
  • Art cards
  • Art book
  • Poster

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