Downloadable content (DLC) can significantly impact the longevity of a game. Examples such as the infamous “horse armour” in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion or the ambitious updates introduced by Hello Games in No Man’s Sky, illustrate the extremes regarding the value of post-launch content. The Fire Emblem franchise has somewhat successfully explored both ends of this spectrum, and has, fortunately, managed to strike a balance between the best and worst case scenarios. This achievement is attributed to reasonable expansion pass costs and compelling base campaigns justifying the asking prices. As far as expansions go, the good news is Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue acts as an exceptional addition, making it a justifiable fourth wave DLC in what seems like a mediocre-at-best expansion pass.
At first glance, the Fire Emblem Engage expansion pass may seem to offer only incremental additions to the already-massive roster of classes and abilities players can unlock and utilise throughout the main campaign. However, those who stick with it or obtain it will discover an entirely new and game-changing narrative addition. Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue introduces an entirely new branching story, new characters, and a plethora of classes, making it well worth the price tag.
Fire Emblem Engage stands out as an exceptional title. While Strategy Role-playing games (RPG) often aim to cater to newer fans with simplistic gameplay, Fire Emblem Engage was purposefully designed with a new generation of fans in mind. Nevertheless, it still includes enough content to satisfy long-standing fans. The initial three waves of the Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass merely introduce new classes, all based on fan-favourite characters from previous titles. This set includes Emblems Tiki, from Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon, and Edelgard, Dimitri, and Claude, from Fire Emblem Three Houses.
The second wave of DLC features Emblems Soren from Fire Emblem Path of Radiance, Hector from Fire Emblem Blazing Blade, and Camilla from Fire Emblem Fates. The third wave includes Emblems Chrom and Robin from Fire Emblem Awakening and Veronica from Fire Emblem Heroes. As a result, Fire Emblem Engage players acquire numerous new skills by diving into the fray with this new addition to the title.
The first batch of DLC, however, is quite standard. It offers classes (and their associated skills), a handful of unlockable Emblem characters based on these classes, and support items and accessories related to the characters. For new players, there might not be much incentive to care about it. Nevertheless, the final wave of DLC provides the needed incentive.
In contrast to Fire Emblem Engage‘s inclination to defy the new norm, its expansion pass also takes a unique approach. Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue presents a brand-new story scenario unlocking around the sixth chapter of the main campaign. It introduces new characters and their associated classes whilst also unveiling new locations, maps, and class types. The result fundamentally alters the gameplay experience, for the better, up to that particular point.
For context, Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue is an expansive story addition centred around the siblings Nel and Nil, two Fell Dragon children from an alternate reality. In their version of events, Alear has died, resulting in the world falling into ruin. Thankfully, the Alear from the main reality is alive and well and, as a result, gets involuntarily pulled into the alternative reality. It then becomes the player’s responsibility to navigate this strange new actuality, which feels both familiar and welcoming yet also uncomfortable. As Alear, the player must assist Nel and Nil in collecting seven Emblems from their own world to save all of existence.
Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue introduces alternate good-guy versions of the evil Four Hounds called Four Winds, and many of the heroes of the regular Elyos have turned evil. While mostly following the same gameplay featured in the main campaign, such stories are always appreciated. Having the studio’s writers not take shortcuts to create an entire game’s worth of narrative around it, is equally refreshing. Who doesn’t enjoy a good “what if” scenario thrown into the middle of an exceptionally engaging narrative?
To top off Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue comes the surprise of five recruitable heroes at the end. Players who have completed this interlude can choose to recruit any one or even all five of the main characters featured in Fell Xenologue: Zelestia, Madeline, Gregory, Nel, and Rafal, each of whom come with additional support conversations integrating into the main campaign! The inclusion of support conversations is often overlooked for DLC characters in the franchise, making them feel like hollow fan service and nothing more. Players, whether new or old, will find how the Four Winds, as well as the new additions Nel and Rafal, are fully realised characters who can interact with Alear, Veyle, and Mauvier of the Four Hounds. They even have conversations and interactions with other Emblems from previous titles, such as all those added in the other DLC waves. It is a welcome and surprising addition.
Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue also includes two brand-new class types. The Enchanter is a support class relying heavily on tonics to buff allies and grant boons to the party, while the Mage Cannonner acts as a long-range bruiser thanks to magic ammo. Like the characters from the interlude campaign, these classes seamlessly integrate into the main campaign, providing brand-new forms of utility separate from the main campaign classes.
It is clear how Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue emerges as a remarkable addition to the Fire Emblem Engage expansion pass. This DLC presents an enticing and game-changing narrative with a focus on the story of the Fell Dragon children, Nel and Nil; providing players with a compelling and captivating “what if” scenario from start to finish. The world falling into ruin due to the death of Alear in the alternate reality creates a sense of urgency and significance in the player’s mission to save all of reality. Moreover, the inclusion of alternate versions of the Four Hounds, known as the Four Winds, and the transformation of once-heroic characters into malevolent forces, adds depth and intrigue to the narrative. What truly sets it apart, however, is the seamless integration of these new characters and classes into the main campaign and how it enhances gameplay diversity and enjoyment.
In essence, Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue stands as a shining example of downloadable content going above and beyond, offering players a substantial and immersive experience — especially so considering the much more mediocre offerings of the Expansion Pass proper. Thanks in large part to its well-crafted story, diverse characters, and seamless integration, Fire Emblem Engage: Fell Xenologue undoubtedly contributes to the enduring appeal of Fire Emblem Engage and leaves players eagerly anticipating the franchise’s future endeavours.
|Fell Xenologue adds a gripping new spin to the already-great main campaign||The first three waves of the expansion pass serves little in the way of outstanding content|
|Five recruitable characters from the fourth wave integrates beautifully||Basically just fan service|
|Massive addition in terms of gameplay|
Title reviewed on Nintendo Switch with code supplied by Nintendo.
Junior Editor at Vamers. From Superman to Ironman; Bill Rizer to Sam Fisher and everything in-between, Edward loves it all. He is a Bachelor of Arts student and English Major specialising in Language and Literature. He is an avid writer and casual social networker with a flare for all things tech related.