Fire Emblem Fates is composed of three games that each have individual stories, gameplay, and price tags. Unless you preordered the $80 special edition in November, you have to start with either Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, or Conquest, for $40. After choosing one, you can purchase the other two games as DLC for $20 each. Don’t be fooled by Revelations just because it’s only available as a download: it’s as big as the two mainline games.
It's important to understand the differences between each game, so we have reviewed each version of Fates to help you decide whether any edition is right for you. We've posted excerpts from each review below, but to get the full picture--and understand why each game got a different score--be sure to look at the full reviews for more detailed insight and analysis.
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright - 8/10
Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright Review, Alexa Ray Corriea - "Birthright--one in a trio of Fire Emblem Fates titles--continues the series' time-tested spin on strategy role-playing games. But is also adds a new layer to interactions between characters that makes things intimate--steamy, even. Mechanically, Birthright is more forgiving than its sister titles Conquest and Revelations, offering players easier access to resources and units as well as more opportunities to grind out experience. As for the narrative, there are some awkward moments and cheap drama that pull you out of the moment, but these are brief and overshadowed by a handful of powerful scenes. Even the melodrama can't keep Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright from being worthy experience."
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest - 7/10
Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest Review, Peter Brown - "Conquest's demanding challenges force you to work hard as a strategist and a matchmaker, but it never lets you revel in either on your own terms. I do appreciate how hard combat is, and I get a lot out of the relationship building opportunities that arise, but I desperately wanted more time with my army, on and off the battlefield. Every version of Fates has 28 chapters, but Birthright and Revelations give you the chance to go on scouting missions, where you can give the plot a break to train and get to know your soldiers on a more personal level. No such option exists in Conquest."
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation - 9/10
Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation Review, Alexa Ray Corriea - "Of all three Fire Emblem Fates titles, Revelation is the most rewarding. It marries the best parts of sister titles Birthright and Conquest, offering varying maps with complex and often interactive terrain, as well as ample opportunities to grind for experience and build relationships between members of its warrings kingdoms. Whether you're carefully maneuvering your troops to make the best use of floating platforms to rout the enemy, or pairing up the heir to the Hoshido throne with the eldest princess of Nohr and praying they birth an amazing child, there is a lot of love in nearly every facet of its design."