Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation DLC


Review by · June 3, 2016

If it isn’t weird enough that Fates has legitimized Fire Emblem as a series capable of multi-version releases, there’s also this matter of its third, digital-only path. Billed as something of a final act, the aptly-named Revelation sheds light on the unseen forces lurking behind the scenes of Birthright and Conquest, but the fact that it’s a DLC offering rather than a standalone retail game is no doubt going to throw some people for a loop.

For $20, Revelation adds on to your preferred copy of Fates without all the charmingly brazen lock-on technology of yesteryear, and the package itself is effectively another full-fledged game. Where Birthright and Conquest break off into two very different flavors of FE, Revelation instead blends both sides together for a surprisingly robust experience. And while the mechanics and faces all remain the same, there’s a slew of new content exclusive to this version that offers the best of both worlds for Fates owners.

I mentioned the exceptional map aesthetics in my Birthright review and the same holds true in Revelation, but the missions here strive to match (maybe even surpass) those of Conquest. These draconic battlefields test the player’s ability to endure enemy barrages while also dealing with hazards at a frequent clip. Expect lots of trials by gales, skirmishes cloaked in fog of war, and everything in between, but the sheer variety from map to map is definitely a cut-above past installments and makes for a deeply engrossing experience over the game’s 27 chapters.

Just because it borrows the notorious challenge from Conquest doesn’t mean that fans of Birthright won’t also find lots to love in Revelation. With its expanded cast, there’s a huge assortment of recruitable units in this release and plenty of room to experiment with different combinations of characters. Matching up unlikely friends has always been a series staple, but Revelation adds a new angle to these interactions by portraying how trust blurs the lines between friend and foe, and even family. The results aren’t always a slam dunk (Xander and Sakura supports, for example, are a total snoozefest), but for the most part these added pairings offer some fun possibilities not found in the isolated versions.

Gameplay-wise, this breadth of units introduces some balancing issues in a few chapters, given how many extraordinarily powerful royal characters are at your disposal. The game can’t quite figure out how to properly compensate for this at times, thus some scenarios can feel more lopsided than others. Sometimes your army is the clear-cut victor, other times the opponent will steamroll even your best units with frustrating ease. There’s still a good amount of legitimate challenge here though, especially as Revelation culminates towards the endgame — where a tactician’s eye is all but required to weather onslaughts of savage foes.

The story succeeds at integrating both factions into the fold and filling in the blanks left over by Conquest and Birthright’s campaigns. Though not entirely in lock and step with series tradition, long-time fans should feel right at home with the cataclysmic stakes in Revelation. And without going too much into spoilers, I must admit there are some unintentionally hilarious *cough* “revelations” and plot happenings sprinkled throughout, so mileage may vary depending on your threshold for tropey narratives. I’d wager most folks that enjoyed the other Fates games will have a perfectly good time with Revelation, if not appreciate getting the full picture in terms of these warring kingdoms’ histories with one another and how closely their *cough* “fates” *cough* are intertwined.

For DLC, Revelation does not disappoint, and it’s honestly the most complete of the three versions in terms of overall content, which makes it an easy sell at half the cost of a new 3DS game. It can go toe-to-toe with Birthright and Conquest on all fronts, and there’s a case to be made that it handles social features like supports even better than its siblings. The flaws that do exist here and there are either inherited from two of the better Fire Emblem games in recent history or just a result of giving players too many options, which are both very good problems to have as far as those go.


Missions are varied and tense, huge playable cast, generous amount of content for DLC, story has its moments.


Story has those other moments, finicky balancing of missions at times.

Bottom Line

Revelation provides the best of both worlds for Fates players looking to put an end to this war between versions.

Overall Score 90
For information on our scoring systems, see our scoring systems overview. Learn more about our general policies on our ethics & policies page.
Trace Wysaske

Trace Wysaske

Trace was part of RPGFan's reviews team from 2015-2016. During his tenure, Trace bolstered our review offerings by lending his unique voice and critique of the world of RPGs. Being a critic can be tough work sometimes, but his steadfast work helped maintain the quality of reviews RPGFan is known for.