Generally favorable reviews - based on 123 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 97 out of 123
  2. Negative: 0 out of 123
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  1. Jan 27, 2023
    Fire Emblem: Engage feels like a massive step backward from both Awakening and Three Houses. Losing many of the features that made modern Fire Emblem games, ironically, engaging, we’re left with a barebones game that barely feels like a Fire Emblem title. Stories are poorly written, characters are barely fleshed out anime tropes, graphics are muddled, and the series’ signature bold and clear tactical battlefields have been replaced with PS2 era maps with indistinguishable tiny 3D models on them that look near identical until the camera swoops in.
  2. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is an okay addition to the Fire Emblem series, with fun and varied maps and enough changes to the tactical mechanics to make it probably worth playing for any FE fan, though not all of its changes are winners. Its spectacular graphics are something to behold; it’s just a shame that it is accompanied by a story that falls completely flat and emblem heroes that are shadows of their former selves. It’s just sadly underwhelming in the face of what its predecessor, Three Houses, achieved better. 
  3. Jan 17, 2023
    As a fan of the Fire Emblem series, I enjoyed the new game for what it was. The story isn't exactly original, the gameplay isn't exactly innovative, and there's perhaps a bit too much emphasis on nostalgia (nostalgia that English language fans can't even truly appreciate, given how many Fire Emblem games didn't get released outside of Japan). However, the game is a treat to view and the combat is just challenging enough to keep you on the edge of your seat even if the same handful of tactics seem to work on every map. Fire Emblem Engage neither stands above the other Fire Emblem games nor does it fall below them. It firmly sits in the middle of the pack, which should be good enough for most fans of the franchise but might not appeal to those who haven't really experienced the franchise before. 
  4. Jan 30, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage offers the most rewarding, fleshed out and beautifully balanced strategic combat of the series so far, and performs beautifully on the Switch. Its story, characters and social sim element, however, are not up to the standard expected of this beloved franchise. While the combat has matured beautifully, the overall tone has taken a step back. If you're only interested in the trademark Fire Emblem combat, then you'll likely have more fun than you ever have with the series. For players who want a little more from Engage's characters and story, though… you may be disappointed.
  5. Feb 14, 2023
    Engage plays confidently and is a highly enjoyable game when you're thrust into battle, the small innovations pushing the strategy and combat into new territory for the series. But it's held back by bland storytelling that fails to provoke much emotion or convey a sense of drive as you canter towards the next destination on the world map. It's a solid Fire Emblem, but lacks the lasting impact to rank as a classic.
  6. Jan 25, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is mostly a streamlined experience that gives you a taste of what the series has to offer, but doesn’t showcase its true potential as a strategy game. It lacks genuine innovation, and doesn’t quite meet the standards set by previous entries or establish a challenging and balanced system that reflects Fire Emblem's core identity.
  7. Feb 21, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is a return to the series' more established format, and the renewed emphasis on combat and strategy is a boon. Yet these improvements come at the cost of losing the charm and character depth seen in Three Houses. Ideally, there needs to be a path forward that combines the best of both approaches, and in that regard, Engage feels like a missed opportunity. Additionally, the developers really need to address some quality of life issues that kill the pacing, especially when it comes to interacting with your home base. It’s a good effort, but it definitely falls short of the total package we’ve come to expect from Fire Emblem.
  8. Edge Magazine
    Jan 26, 2023
    There's no denying that the fire burns a little less brightly than before. [Issue#381, p.92]
  9. Feb 1, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage drowns a solid and entertaining tactics game under layer upon layer of boring filler nonsense that does a very good job of ruining the experience.
  10. Jan 19, 2023
    The score would be higher if not for the fact that this very same series managed to reach much greater heights with its previous instalment. This time around, the socializing seems perfunctory at best and the story itself feels very, very flat. The combat system is still amazing, but the narrative struggles pretty badly.
  11. Jan 17, 2023
    While Fire Emblem's combat mechanics have never been better, Engage's story and structure lack the ambition of its predecessors. The result is a predictable and straightforward romp that's carried by its fantastic presentation and engaging combat. And although the Emblem Rings add a deep and satisfying wrinkle to the battles, the heroes contained within them are one-dimensional apparitions that leave a lot to be desired. If you’re looking for a deep tactical RPG with some colorful characters, it will certainly scratch that itch. But beyond that, Fire Emblem Engage feels like a safe, straightforward entry in Nintendo’s long-running series.
  12. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage resurrects the weapon triangle to great effect, making the turn-based combat feel like a game of death and dares, while an unmemorable cast of characters and an unexplored world sadly drag behind it.
  13. Feb 2, 2023
    Fire Emblem: Engage offers a very pleasant and engaging combat system, but the story leaves a lot to be desired (especially when it comes to characters).
  14. Jan 31, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is a clear step backward for a great series. While the strategy gameplay at the core of it is perhaps the series’ best, everything else here feels weaker. I still enjoyed my time with the game, ultimately thanks to its gameplay which is some of the best in the genre, but after how great Three Houses with, it’s hard not to come away from Engage disappointed.
  15. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem’s tradition of focusing on character relationships hit a peak in Three Houses, and we all kind of assumed that would continue into Engage. Sadly, that’s not the case. Fire Emblem Engage scales its social interactions down to a bare minimum, leaving a cast of underdeveloped characters in its wake. At the same time, it features some of Fire Emblem’s best tactical combat, making the game feel as sharply divided as its protagonist’s over-discussed red-and-blue hair.
  16. Feb 10, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage has a lot of great elements, from its striking visuals to the classic Fire Emblem turn-based strategy gameplay. The story being told, however, does not live up to the bar set by other games in the series, while some battles drag on to the point where I'm fighting off a nap just as hard as I'm fighting the enemy armies. I enjoy the game in spurts, but before long I find myself wondering when I can stop engaging with this Fire Emblem. There's enough here to enjoy Fire Emblem Engage, but only the most dedicated will be able to see this through to the end.
  17. Feb 6, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage features familiar excellent gameplay with copious ways to customize your team. However, the story is rather dull, and the large roster is hurt by the limited character depth. There's plenty of tactical RPG gameplay to enjoy here, but it feels like a light step back for the series.
  18. Feb 19, 2023
    Engage is a below-average game for the Fire Emblem series, but if you're not interested in anything but strategy genre, you'll love it.
  19. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage recalls earlier series entries by hitting familiar tactical notes, but it augments them with a cool, new team-up system. Its multiplayer modes need work, though.
  20. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage has so much to love, yet feels a little empty. With tight and tricky combat, gorgeous graphics and art, and vibrant character designs, its first impression is a good one. But as the story progresses, things feel a little soulless. It’s good and it’s bad, and how much you like it just depends on what you want from it.
  21. Feb 23, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage emerges as a decent but ultimately fairly forgettable entry in the series. It seems like a game undecided whether it wants to spend its time celebrating the past or leaving its own mark on the series, and doesn’t really do either. Combat is definitely its strongest point, and here tactical RPG fans will find much to appreciate, but other systems feel like they are there out of sense of obligation rather than being designed to fully complement it. It’s still a good and enjoyable game, but with a firmer direction it could’ve made more of an impact.
  22. Jan 29, 2023
    What makes Fire Emblem Engage especially frustrating is that, even for all of its glaring issues, there’s an undeniable joy in successfully conquering a difficult battalion through a mixture of skill, luck, and good timing.
  23. Jan 17, 2023
    At the end of the day, Fire Emblem Engage ends up being a rather middling experience that wasn't afraid to try a few new things as far as combat is concerned, but couldn't come close to the heights that its predecessors have set for the series. I don't necessarily see myself revisiting Engage anytime soon, but if you just want an excuse to see your favorite icons from the series again, or if you're craving more tactical RPG goodness, you could do a lot worse.
  24. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is a great strategy game, but we don’t think it’s a great modern Fire Emblem game. Whether the reverence for the social elements of Three Houses came as a surprise to the team or not, the dearth of those moments in Engage makes it feel like it’s missing half of its core at times.
  25. 70
    As a turn-based tactical RPG, Fire Emblem Engage delivers on all fronts. On the other hand, when it comes to its social sim systems and story, this latest entry falls short of the mark, especially when compared to its predecessors.
  26. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is enjoyable but leaves little impression. If the narrative was more compelling, if the character relationships were deeper and more interesting or if combat was more varied, there’s every chance that Engage would have felt more robust and impactful. In the absence of those things, Engage just feels…fine.
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  1. Jan 20, 2023
    Although the story is awful, the rest of the game is simply brilliant. [Recommended]
  2. Jan 17, 2023
    Nintendo's long-running fantasy series looks to its rich history for this smart, satisfying turn-based strategy game. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  3. Feb 1, 2023
    I’ve always believed that mobile games are an approachable gateway for new fans to enjoy an otherwise esoteric IP, and Engage streamlines the gameplay in all the right ways. Unfortunately, though, the story falls short of what I’ve come to expect from any Fire Emblem game, and I’m still struggling to understand why. With Fates, the poor writing could be attributed to its sheer character bloat, but Engage has a reasonably normal-sized cast. The watered-down stories felt like an intentional appeal to capture new audiences. But at some point, I want to move on from the appetizer to the main course. With its disposable conversations, shallow handling of themes, and incohesive visual design, Engage is the chicken wing, rather than a full chicken dinner.
  4. Jan 17, 2023
    Engage, even when it’s fixated on stats and weapons and training, is always rushing toward the next battle, because that’s where the story lies. It’s not a reinvention of the genre, but a distillation. It can’t quite reach the crescendos that Three Houses did, and it certainly doesn’t achieve the longevity of Awakening. But it is consistently great. And it’s confident enough to let me take the reins. [Polygon Recommends]
  5. Jan 17, 2023
    There’s something deeply seductive about Fire Emblem Engage’s combat. It’s the reason why I contentedly spent over 70 hours in a game that otherwise has little else to recommend it. As Fire Emblems go, it’s a great jumping in point if you’ve never experienced Nintendo’s foundational tactical RPG series. But if you’re like me and desperate to feel the same emotions Three Houses or Fates made you feel, you’re simply better off playing those games again.
  6. Jan 17, 2023
    Fire Emblem Engage is obsessed with the series’ past. It builds itself around the protagonists of previous games, re-uses those game’s most memorable maps, and builds its narrative around referencing the beats of older, better told stories. If the next Fire Emblem game is like this, it will be a disappointment. Engage’s tactics, however, set a new standard for the series. IntelligentSystems managed to perfectly meld mechanics and tone, but the tone they picked was fun, but ultimately empty. If they could manage to apply these same principles to more interesting narrative ends, the next Fire Emblem game would be the series’ best.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 698 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Jan 21, 2023
    When viewed in the context of the entire franchise, Engage is a disappointment that represents a regression rather than a progression inWhen viewed in the context of the entire franchise, Engage is a disappointment that represents a regression rather than a progression in quality.

    Whilst containing an admittedly interesting new battle system, it fails to reach the heights of games like Thracia and Conquest and will seem utterly unremarkable to long-time fans. Furthermore, whatever pleasure is granted by the battle mechanics fails to compensate for the lacklustre nature of the game in all other areas. Alear wanders through a generic world of forgettable characters trying to obtain macguffins whilst nothing interesting or of note occurs. It is a plot and world so generic and formulaic that one wonders if they fed the previous scripts into an AI and generated it mechanically. Plot beats range from mind-numbingly bland to hilariously overdramatic and forced: Engage is a game that seems to want emotional pay-off whilst giving you no reason to care for the characters it establishes.
    Characters are regression to the shallow tropes of Fates which feel poorly thought out and like there was no underlying intention to them other than to pad out the roster. Beyond some exceptions such as Diamant, they range from non-entities to Jar Jar Binks level irritating presences that have one personality trait and will repeat it for hundreds of lines of dialogue. The music is serviceable but the most generic of the post-Awakening Fire Emblem games. Character design is awful; it is ironic that despite being so flashy and outrageous, none of these characters will stick in the player's mind once they go off-screen.

    It would be interesting to see the break and emblem mechanics in a game that knew what its identity was.
    There is no artistic vision or cohesive idea underlying Engage: it is a bundle of elements of poor quality slapped together on top of a gameplay system that whilst may be impressive to players whose only prior experience was Three Houses, fails to come even remotely close to being the best of what the franchise has to offer, or to make it worthwhile suffering through the other aspects of the game.
    Engage, by all metrics, is at best an average Fire Emblem entry, and at worst a cynical, soulless product with an identity crisis.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 21, 2023
    While the story is much less gripping, the return to form of "there's the evil dragon, go kill it" feels refreshing in an odd way. TheWhile the story is much less gripping, the return to form of "there's the evil dragon, go kill it" feels refreshing in an odd way. The gameplay is some of the best of the series we've had so far, with the Emblems providing a nice layer of stratagy to the game. Full Review »
  3. Jan 22, 2023
    This game is probably like 7 but I am harsher on it because it seems that the franchise is going in the wrong direction. With a story andThis game is probably like 7 but I am harsher on it because it seems that the franchise is going in the wrong direction. With a story and visual presentation worse than the previous game and relying on previous franchise for cameos instead of creating new characters. The simpler battle systems seem a step back from me compared to three houses options. Worldbuilding also suffers a step down even if is not FATES level. Full Review »