Fire Emblem: Three Houses took a dark, bloody turn at E3 2019

Class reunions are a funny thing. You run into old faces you haven’t seen in years, close friends you lost contact with, people who drastically changed over the years for better or worse. You might get nostalgic and reminisce on old memories, wondering to yourselves how life seemed so much simpler back then.

It’s all in good fun until blood spills and the three great nations behind your alma mater go to war.

With launch just a month away, Nintendo had a lot of ground to cover for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and E3 2019 certainly made up for lost time since the game’s formal unveiling last E3.

Three Houses opens to five years before all hell breaks loose between the Adrestian Empire, the Holy Kingdom of Faerghuis, and the Leicester Alliance on the continent of Fódlan. You assume control of Byleth, your avatar (no cosmetic customization this time, sadly), a new professor at the Officer’s Academy. The Academy is located within Garreg Mach Monastery, on neutral ground between the three nations.

Choose sides once again

Like in Fire Emblem Fates, you must choose between sides (and thankfully not between separate games). This seems inoffensive on the surface as you start by deciding which of the three nations’ respective nobles houses you will lead and teach. Between the Black Eagles, Blue Lions, and the Golden Deer, make sure you pick the noble house you’re most comfortable with; that’s the side you’re likely standing by when war is declared five years later. Things turn real dark between the Academy Phase and the War Phase.

Nintendo Treehouse went over some of the gameplay mechanics during their day 2 of their live E3 2019 show. These include specifics for tutoring, certification exams for class upgrades and Combat Arts, and seminars outside of battle. These will significantly influence your odds of winning on the battlefield; no rock-paper-scissors Weapons Triangle will save you this time around.

That said, you won’t be completely helpless if one of your allies falls in battle, Casual Mode aside. Three Houses does incorporate one neat little feature from its immediate predecessor, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. The Divine Pulse, known as Mila’s Turnwheel in Echoes, will allow you to turn back the clock a few turns and restart a battle before a certain point.

There’s also an amiibo Gazebo, but it is unknown what specific functionality will have in the game.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses launches worldwide on July 26, 2019 for Nintendo Switch after missing its initial Spring release window. Will you be picking up the game next month? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Jeffrey McDonell
I'm just a hobbyist freelancer who writes for fun, previously under Gamnesia and The Sonic Stadium. I grew up on Nintendo consoles since the Game Boy Advance and GameCube—with standouts like Sonic, Mario, and Zelda defining my childhood—and am especially fond of video game music and remixes.