Review: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Michael Duckworth investigates the much anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild

Michael Duckworth
7th December 2020
100 years before the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the greatest battle in Hyrule's long history took place, and now with the unexpected prequel Age of Calamity, we experience this great battle first hand. It is reported by Nintendo Life to have already surpassed 3 million sales in less than a week, making it the fastest selling Warriors game of all time. MINOR SPOILER WARNING!

The story of Age of Calamity follows the heroes of Hyrule, Link, Zelda and Impa as they traverse the four corners of the continent to recruit the four champions to prepare for and eventually take on the resurrected Calamity Gannon. However, this isn't the same tale that was told to us during the events of Breath of the Wild, as a small egg-like guardian has travelled through time, allowing the heroes to utilise the power of the Sheikah slate 100 years before Link awakened its power in the shrine of resurrection, changing the course of history.

If the typical Warriors gameplay isn't your style (like it wasn't mine), I would still recommend picking up this game for the story alone.

The real draw to this game is the plot, with Breath of the Wild's only criticism in my eyes being the lacklustre story that was a result of the open world form of the game. Age of Calamity makes up for this tenfold, the character relationships between all the main characters is fantastic to watch, adding depth to the heroes and champions we got to know in Breath of the Wild. Even tertiary characters such as Master Kohga, Hestu and King Rhoam get their own moments in the spotlight. There is even the introduction of some new characters including the Yiga Clans second in command Sooga and the seer devoted to the calamity, Astor. If the typical Warriors game play isn't your style (like it wasn't mine) I would still recommend picking up this game for the story alone.

The gameplay is satisfying and empowering as you blaze through crowds of enemies and with the added bonus of the amazing aesthetics borrowed from Breath of the Wild, this game is truly something spectacular. With only rare drops in frame rate during the more hectic battles, the game runs at a comfortable 30 FPS, which looks as clean as most Nintendo Switch first party games. However the cut-scenes are beautifully rendered and are captivating to watch, delivering emotional beats in gorgeous animation. Each character has their own play-style to try, some I find more clunky and awkward than others but ultimately it is up to the player to find out what works for them. The feedback loop of fighting battles, collecting items and upgrading your warriors to try out in new scenarios is insanely addicting, making this a game that you will certainly struggle to put down.

[Featured Image: IGDB]
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