The characters are cool, though we need more time.
I've been a big Fire Emblem fan since the first Western release, enough that I went back and played the Japan-exclusive entries. On the flipside, I also enjoy the Warriors game quite a bit. Hyrule Warriors was one of the best gameplay experiences I had on Wii U and I was thrilled to see Fire Emblem getting the treatment. That being said, my optimism has been on a true rollercoaster ride with this entry. It didn't help that they are only pulling from three different FE entries. Sometimes though, you will need to keep your head up and hope for the very best.
Luckily, the gameplay is as solid as it has ever been. You have your weak and strong attacks, which you activate with the Y and X buttons respectively. With these in hand, you make combos that can nail loads of opponents in quick succession. As I just wanted to keep playing, I learned the combos for each character as I went on. I say for each character, because you can freely switch between your allies with the D-Pad. This is critically important for a couple of reasons. With FE Warriors, there are more troop pushes from other sectors on the map and keeping your characters alive is critical. Next to this, the famous weapon triangle is in play here, allowing you to shut down opponents more actively.
Naturally, the player will still take on large masses of soldiers and wipe them out without too much hassle. As in Hyrule you will need to be active during the main and side quests on every map. One of the missions represented was destroying a few Pegasus Riders. It is here that I had to rely on one of the newly announced characters Takumi and his bow and arrows. Takumi had a great selection of attack patterns, with one having him shooting arrows into the sky as they coming crashing down on his opponents. Next to that, he has this speed move that allows him to maintain rapid fire throughout.
That being said, speed only does so much against major enemies. During the new demo, we had to fight the likes of Corrin and Leo. Their huge health and stamina bars made certain moves riskier. Leo in particular was quite hard hitting, using magic to just demolish hit points in seconds. During those moments, you would clearly need the help of Cordelia and Camilla. Their beasts could fly over the battleground with ease, and dodging with them was an absolute joy. With enough skill and patience, you will pull off the special attacks and Awakening mode. These deal a lot of damage and can drain the boss's stamina meter, which will make them completely defenseless to any attack.
After defeating Corrin, the demo was over and I got the time to reflect on all of this. You see, for all the negative points I've given it, I do really enjoy the gameplay a lot. This Warriors game is more focused on hard hitting moves and quickly shifting focus. That alone made Fire Emblem Warriors one of the more action packed demos I've played during Gamescom. I can't deny that they only seem to focus on a handful of character types. If you compare that to Hyrule Warriors, it seems like that game is more of a series celebration. Still, we will have to see how it will play out.