Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DEALS
It’s been three years now since The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out for the Nintendo Switch. Often referred to as the best open world around, in large part thanks to an extraordinary level design and a map that continues to surprise even after hundreds of hours of play. A world so fascinating that it will even be recovered for the sequel, even if it is still not clear in what form. But Nintendo and Omega Force didn’t stop there, surprisingly unveiling another video game that would have further exploited the potential of the world of Breath of the Wild. Here is my Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity review on Nintendo Switch.
NEW PLOT ELEMENTS
The events told in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity take place a century before Breath of the Wild. The monsters are already in turmoil and attack the kingdom by clashing with King Rhoam’s army. Among them is Link, initially a simple soldier who will soon become Princess Zelda’s personal guard. The story, for a good part of the experience, follows faithfully to what we already knew, but proposing different points of view and further dialogues.
However, there are new plot elements. The first is a mini guardian easily mistaken for R2-D2 for ways and appearance, which seems to have mysterious knowledge of the ancient Sheikah technology. The second is an additional threat, namely Astor, a sorcerer in the service of Calamity and in close ties with the outlawed Yiga clan. This will lead to an original evolution of events and therefore to create one’s own path.
It is therefore a story that should certainly be known for fans, and that is not limited to just giving you an excuse to revisit Hyrule. Everything is also told through some decidedly curated real-time scenes, especially with showing the characters in action. Impa or the King of Hyrule will tell the events “off screen” to sew together the various missions of the main story.
From the point of view of playability, you are faced with a pure musou video game divided into closed maps and missions, but with some ideas that combine gameplay elements taken from Breath of the Wild with those of the Dynasty Warriors. With Link and the champions, you will fight against hordes of enemies.
As per tradition for the genre, you will cross a well-defined map conquering the enemy garrisons or simply running towards the next plot objective. On the way you will face enemies of various kinds, the simplest ones will generally be Bokoblin, Lizalfos, Yiga soldiers, or units of the allied people. To take them down, you can use the simplest combos available.
By repeatedly pressing Y, the character will perform a simple combo, but infusing it with X you can hit with more powerful lashes and particular combos. Take note that each differs based on the character in use. Urbosa for example will rely on her lightning as well as her scimitar. Everyone in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity also has a super ability that charges up by taking down enemies and is unleashed by pressing A at any time during battle.
The developers positioned complex and stronger enemies to defend strategic points. For them it is necessary to use different techniques aiming for high damage and consuming their stamina bar. The latter is present in all enemies, even the guardians, and is exhausted by attacking the weak points (head or back), after a perfect dodge or while they are stunned.
When they run out of it, their weak point will be discovered and at that moment just press X to make a special move that will cause a great deal of damage. Each captain or mini-boss will need a unique approach. You must hit a Hinox for example in the eye to cause damage to his stamina.
VARIOUS PLAY STYLES
Take note that all the characters have the opportunity to use their abilities, well known to the players of Breath of the Wild. Cryonis creates pillars of ice that immobilize or stun charging enemies. Magnesis can be used to throw metal objects or to catch enemy weapons on the fly and throw them back. Stasis is perfect for blocking and stunning enemies that make spinning attacks.
Finally, Remote Bombs are often used to stop charged attacks, or in general to do damage to the enemy. The combat system in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, however repetitive, can combine the dynamic and creative combat of Breath of the Wild with a more fun and unique mix. However, the enemies can sometimes die with only a few punches, slightly weighing down the most demanding fights.
Also, the models in the background often get stuck where it shouldn’t and when fighting against enemies of great stature, it will disrupt your overall vision. Fortunately, the great variety of characters available gives you the opportunity to try out many play styles. There are 18 and some of them are truly original. For each champion you will be able to collect weapons in battle, which can be upgraded if fused at the forge.
Link, however, is the only one able to change the fighting style based on the equipment, completely changing basic attacks, special moves, and counterattacks. He can in fact use two-handed swords, sword and shield, spears, axes, and hammers. He is also the only one whose equipment can be changed, although the differences are only aesthetic.
Those who are eager to explore the game maps will surely find satisfaction in knowing that there are secrets to unearth and some remarkable details to identify. By looking closely you can find chests or even Korok hidden in the ground or inside chests.
MISSIONS AND ACTIVITIES
When you have finished a mission, you will return to the Sheikah Tower to observe the world from the map of Hyrule. From here you will see every single mission, both main and secondary. In fact, scattered throughout the regions there are many optional activities, which often will give you the task of defeating a certain number of enemies within a time limit or capturing enemy positions.
Besides missions, there are other tokens on the map that are essential for characters to grow. These include facilities such as the stables, the forge, and the training zone. You will also find signs to get new recipes, in order to give bonuses to the heroes during the battle. To complete them all, it will take you many hours of play, and maybe in the meantime you will also be able to unlock some secret characters.
FRAME RATES AND AUDIO
From a technical point of view, unfortunately, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s resolution on the Nintendo Switch fluctuates enormously. It hardly maintains the desired 1080p, but falling more often to 720p. Nevertheless, it also suffers with poor frame rates, which are decidedly unstable on some occasions. Visually, however, Omega Force’s title remains a very pleasing game, mainly thanks to a style that adapts very well to low resolutions.
Compared to Breath of the Wild, it is also natural to expect visual compromises. From a sound and interface point of view, each asset has been faithfully taken from the previous title, which I do not doubt will make any avid gamer of the series feel at home. Finally, there are new soundtracks without detaching from the sound style adopted by Breath of the Wild.
Do you want to try Koei Tecmo and Omega Force’s Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity? What do you think of my Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity review on Nintendo Switch? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Destiny 2: Beyond Light, Pikmin 3 Deluxe, and Kosmokrats.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Koei Tecmo and Omega Force's title is a winning bet, the musou genre is in fact perfectly suited to the story that the game wants to tell. The title is not without flaws, however, being able to see Hyrule in its original state is a joy, but doing it while having fun taking down huge masses of enemies is even more so!
- Exciting story
- Great mix between Breath of the Wild and musou
- Varied fighters
- A hint of exploration
- Unstable resolution and FPS
- Models in the background often get stuck