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A (tri)force to be reckoned with or an age old Calamity? Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity Demo Review

Written by Culture, Gaming, Gaming Reviews

The Legend of Zelda is back with another entry on Nintendo Switch, this time in the form of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity; a Dynasty Warriors spin-off title. This new game acts as a prequel, set a century before the events of the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in which the Kingdom of Hyrule was devastated by the resurrection of the ancient evil known as Calamity Ganon. It was to the surprise of many when Nintendo released a demo of the game at the end of last month, allowing players to experience the first chapter of the game ahead of its release.

Upon the opening of the demo’s first cutscene, it is immediately apparent just how closely Koei-Tecmo have worked with the Zelda team on this title. The image of a fiery Hyrule Castle town swarming with corrupted Guardians as Ganon enshrouds the castle had me in awe within the first few moments. It all feels very reminiscent of mainline Zelda and has me eager to delve further into the full game. After said cutscene, the player is dropped straight into the first mission: the battle of Hyrule Field. 

The demo features three playable warriors; Link, Impa and Zelda, all of which have a distinctly unique but equally as engaging playstyle.

In comparison to traditional Zelda games, Warriors is more focused on highly energetic one versus one thousand battles. Age of Calamity more than delivers on merging the hack and slash genre with the puzzling features of Zelda, transforming Sheikah tools such as magnesis and cryonis into devastating weapons that can make light work of enemy hordes. Combining light and heavy attacks with the X and Y buttons allows players to unleash inordinate combos upon enemies which are great for clearing out outposts and securing objectives.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Warriors title without a diverse array of characters. The demo features three playable warriors; Link, Impa and Zelda, all of which have a distinctly unique but equally as engaging playstyle. For example, Zelda is more of a magic-focused character, opting to creatively use the Sheikah slate to freeze enemies in place or even send out a giant controllable remote bomb. While it can be argued that the button-mashing playstyle of the Warriors series can quickly become stale, the same cannot be said for Age of Calamity. The combination of Breath of the Wild’s gameplay with Warriors’ allows for more innovative ways to follow up attacks, which can lead to some diverse and intense gameplay.

Also featured in the demo is the famous world map; a hub that is used to traverse from one mission to the next. In addition, there are quests for each character to complete which will allow them to learn more combos, upgrade equipment and increase their HP. It is great to see these staples from Breath of the Wild represented, giving the player an incentive to collect materials, food items and weapons.

While only an hour or so in length, there is a lot to see in the demo. Age of Calamity looks to be a faithful telling of Ganon’s assault on Hyrule and I cannot wait to experience the full game when it launches on 20 November.

[Featured image: IGDB]

Last modified: 20th November 2020

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