Intelligent Systems director Toshiyuki Kusakihara estimates that it may take over 200 hours to complete all three paths available in the upcoming game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. As indicated by its title, the newest installment in the Fire Emblem franchise has three noble houses that engage in a war — it’s up to the player to choose a house to play with and determine the outcome of said war.
This is a huge jump from the usual lengths of Fire Emblem games. Fire Emblem: Awakening, whose success brought many new fans into the franchise, played at about an average of 44 hours, while all three games in Fire Emblem: Fates would take about 30-40 hours each. Still, the playtime of Three Houses being comparable to that of full-scale console JRPGs isn’t so implausible considering that this Switch exclusive release is Fire Emblem’s first return to the big screen since 2008’s Radiant Dawn for the Wii. And from what we’ve been shown so far, Three Houses is adding a lot of new elements that the series hasn’t seen before such as the Persona-styled daily life activities, as well as the new battalion system. Overall, it looks like Three Houses is going to be the start of a new generation of Fire Emblem games.
However, some players may be skeptical as to the possibility of this installment delivering 200 whole hours worth of engaging content. With all these new additions to the mechanics of the game, it might be the case that most of that 200 hour estimate will be spent on finicky, bloated fights and activity micromanagement rather than good storytelling or engaging gameplay. After the debacle with Fates (including but not limited to: the true story being locked over three different purchases, the strangely encouraged and enabled incest that was only quietly retconned post-release, etc.) many fans might be doubtful of the developers’ ability to tell a cohesive story with intelligent gameplay design — much less one that spans 80 hours a piece. Only time will tell if Intelligent Systems will be able to live up to their name with this newest release.