Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Preview
While we wait for the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo and Koei Tecmo surprised us not that long ago with a Hyrule Warriors set before the events of Breath of the Wild. The game takes place before the Calamity that is destined to overtake Hyrule and leaves the land in the state you find it in during Breath of the Wild.
There is a demo available if you want a taste of the games opening hour or so. I can’t discuss too far into the game, and I wouldn’t want to spoil what’s to come either. A little egg-shaped Guardian is seen escaping from Hyrule during the Calamity, opening a time portal. It arrives in the past to warn Zelda of the events to come. This puts into motion gathering pilots for the four Divine Beasts and working out how to seal Calamity Ganon. It’s only just past the demo stages where you’ll recruit the four champions; Mipha, Daruk, Revali and Urbosa. While you only had brief moments with them previously, Age Of Calamity lets you spend more time seeing this team come together to fight the Calamity. Even if we know how things end up in Breath of the Wild. it’s great to have more time in this world.
Each point on the map will take you back to familiar locations from Breath of the Wild, only before they were devastated by the Calamity. Even though you’re playing through these areas as a more limited Musuo map, they easily reignite the pleasant memories that came from playing Breath of the Wild three years ago. It’s not just the locations, but also the visual style, the items you collect from enemies, weapons and cooking – all very familiar and welcome in Age Of Calamity.
If you’ve played Hyrule Warriors you’d already be very familiar with the type of game Age Of Calamity is. Same goes for Dynasty Warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors or One Piece Pirate Warr…you get the idea! Large armies of enemies to fight, with light and heavy attacks chained into over-the-top combos.
The game will send you to familiar locations in Hyrule as you cut through hundreds of monsters to win over each Champion. What I didn’t expect was that you’d get to control some of the Divine Beasts, unleashing the sheer power of these giant mechanical creatures. You’ll need it all to get through the enemies, whether it’s stomping your giant robot feet, firing off a variety of lasers, or even blocking incoming attacks. They’re intentionally overpowered sequences and a surprising addition to the Warriors franchise, so far they’re a fun distraction from the usual Musuo.
With the initial group of playable characters, you will notice immediately that each of them play quite differently. You have Link’s bog-standard Swords and Spears, Zelda utilising the Sheikah Slates abilities, and Impa absorbing symbols to power up her Sheikah attacks. The four Champions have their own weapons and abilities that I’ll go into a little more in the review. Be assured that even with only the currently announced characters, Age Of Calamity covers a wide range of playing styles that will ensure you have a few favourites. On top of that, everyone gets to use the Sheikah Slate’s powers of Cryonis, Stasis, Remote Bombs and Magnesis to stun bigger enemies, or just for fun.
Now don’t go expecting the performance to be silky smooth, throwing all those enemies on the field takes a toll. If you’ve played a Warriors Musou game on the Switch then you’ll be familiar with how it runs. So far, no real issues. When there’s big special attacks juggling around a heap of Bobokins the framerate will drop, but it is never a problem.
There’s still a lot to say, and next time I can go further into the game and share my experience with Age of Calamity.
We’ve got a bargain roundup for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity going over here.