Game Review - Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn
How could a god of order and justice turn out to be the enemy of humanity?
The Fire Emblem series is now known the world over as one of the best turn-based role-playing strategy series ever created. Radiant Dawn, without a doubt, lives up to the Fire Emblem name and delivers a very solid strategy experience.
Dawn keeps to the Fire Emblem formula quite strictly. Grid-based swords-and-magic battles are the name of the game, where the victor is decided based on the units’ statistics and chance. It’s a tried-and-tested formula that still holds up more than a decade on.
However, the game’s graphics are probably its biggest weakness. On top of that, Dawn‘s difficulty curve is poor, with huge jumps in difficulty, along with a general trend towards easier missions late in the game.
As far as the story goes, Dawn continues where Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (GameCube) left off. Yet, while its predecessor had a comparably agreeable storyline from a Christian perspective, the same can not be said for Dawn.
In Path of Radiance, we were introduced to the ‘Fire Emblem’, a medallion that houses the soul of an evil god who destroyed the world by flood some time in the past. In Radiant Dawn, we find out that this god isn’t actually all that evil, as “evil is just a matter of perspective”.
In Dawn, a new god arises - the god of order and justice. Sounds good right? Not quite. This new god is actually shown to be the real enemy of our group and humanity as a whole.
Why? This “god of order” made a covenant with humanity - she would carry out divine justice unless people repented from futile warring against each other. The people failed to keep their promise, so she returns to exact the covenant curses. In the end, the god of justice is defeated by war, and humanity is portrayed as the most powerful force in the universe, with humanist ideals the only law worth following.
Here’s two recommendations for anyone who plays this game. Firstly, why not use this game as a discussion starter - ask people if they think the “god of order” portrayed in Dawn reflects their view of what God is really like. Secondly, use this game as a prompt to remember how great it is that the real God of the Bible is not only perfectly just, but also perfectly loving - someone we can be confident to follow & trust with all our lives.