Nintendo revealed today some new details on the gameplay of their upcoming Fire Emblem title for the Nintendo 3DS, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which they are currently showing at PAX East in Boston.
Shadows of Valentia will be a remake of sorts for the Fire Emblem series, described by Nintendo as inspired by the 1992 Japan-only Famicom title Fire Emblem Gaiden, but reworked and re-imagined on a grander scale.
The new title will bring a number of changes to the old formula; for one, the player will not be moved directly from one mission to the next in direct succession, but will now instead have a world map, which can be explored at will and gives the player some freedom in deciding where to go and what mission to do.
One new thing players can find on this world map are dungeons. In dungeons, the gameplay changes as the camera moves from the standard top-down view and players take control in a more action-game style, controlling their character in real time through a third-person camera view in 3D space. Players can search these dungeons for treasure chests and other items, and can also encounter enemies, which can be attacked briefly in the 3D setting before a more standard Fire Emblem battle is launched against them, pitting the player’s whole squad of characters against multiple enemies in the classic format. Any damage done to the enemy or taken by the player in the brief pre-battle stage will affect that character’s starting health at the beginning of the battle.
A number of changes have been made to the core battle gameplay in Shadows of Valentia as well. Some of these changes include archers now being able to counter-attack from a single tile away, giving freedom to place them in more aggressive positions, and mages losing some of their health when they cast spells, making them a more niche unit requiring greater care in deploying.
This will also be the first Fire Emblem title to be fully voice-acted, bringing more drama to the game’s storytelling and character interactions. The game will also feature not one but two playable protagonists, Celica and Alm, who both fight for the good of their country but with very different philosophies and styles. The player will play as both of these characters, with a certain degree of freedom to how frequently they switch back and forth between the two.
Alongside their PAX presentations, Ninendo also released today a short new trailer for Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, which shows off some of the new gameplay features, as well as a look into the game’s story and dueling protagonists through some dramatic cutscenes. Check it out below:
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia is scheduled to release for the Nintendo 3DS on May 19.