Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a prequel to the popular Zelda: Breath of the wild, which explores the events which devastated Hyrule 100 years before Breath of the wild.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Gameplay
When you think of a Zelda game, you imagine big open world maps, covered in lush green fields, monsters, and fairies as well as puzzle-filled dungeons, Hyrule Warriors shakes that format up a bit, in favor of a fast-paced, action-packed hack and slash adventure.
If you have ever played Dynasty Warriors, you will recognize the format of a few heroes vs hordes of enemies, while it doesn’t have the same longevity that you get from the main Zelda games, Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity holds its own as a standalone game.
Many of the same weapons and armor from Breath of the wild have made their way onto Hyrule Warriors, but thankfully do not break in Hyrule Warriors, they can also be upgraded by consuming other weapons to increase their level and make them stronger.
As the game progresses, you quickly start to add more characters to your hero lineup, each with its own set of weapons and unique fighting styles. Some more unique than others, such as Hestu, pictured above, who fights with maracas and questionable dance moves, much like me at a disco.
As well as thousands of monsters to send flying into oblivion, there are also huge boss fights, which provide a needed change of pace every once in a while and provide a challenge, in a game that often can feel a little too easy.
Once you’ve cleared the first couple of chapters the game does start to become more of a challenge, but this can be overcome by visiting the barracks and paying to increase the levels of your characters as well as forging more powerful weapons at the blacksmith.
How Long Does It Take to Beat Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity?
I was cautious about this at first, considering the change of pace from the normal Zelda games. I expected a much shorter runtime, and while in comparison to other Zelda games it is shorter, Hyrule Warriors is not a short game by any means.
Hyrule Warriors has a total of 7 chapters, which will take between 20 to 22 hours depending on how quickly you rush through it and also depending on if you take on many side quests and training exercises.
While the main format of the game remains the same throughout, I personally didn’t find myself getting bored at any point, Hyrule Warriors gives you a great balance between battles, training, and divine beasts battles, which keeps it interesting.
Taking Control of Hyrule Warriors's Divine Beasts
In the later stages of the game, it becomes common to rack up thousands of KO’s by the end of a battle, but with divine beasts, you can wipe out hundred in a single blow with their devastating assortment of weapons and attacks.
If you’ve already played Zelda: Breath of the Wild you will most likely already know of the four divine beasts and the animals they are based from.
- Vah Ruta (Elephant)
- Vah Rudania (Salamander)
- Vah Medoh (Eagle)
- Vah Naboris (Camel)
My favorite of the divine beasts has to be Vah Medoh. The flying divine beast adds aerial combat to the game.
As with normal battles, the divine beasts have special attacks which can devastate even bosses once unleashed.
To use the special attacks, players must first build up the bar in the top left corner of the screen, once used, the special attack will produce a giant beam with obliterates everything in its path.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Clamity's Story
The story focuses on the origins of Ganon’s defeat of the divine beasts, focusing on the preparation made by Zelda, link, and the champions defending Hyrule.
From my experience, most hack and slash-style games feature very weak stories, but being a Zelda game, Hyrule Warriors sets itself aside from the rest, with a great story that offers the players some insight into how the kingdom was thrown into chaos.
Each character has their own issues, and watching them develop throughout the game is much more interesting than I had originally anticipated.
Without going into too much detail, some characters have much more of a struggle to find their purpose than others, Zelda in particular battles with not only keeping up with her father, the king’s expectations but also finding her inner powers to help protect all of Hyrule.
Is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Clamaity Two Player?
Yes, from very near the start of the game, an option appears to change the game to coop mode, allowing a second player to jump in and control one of the other heroes in the battle.
This will allow for local split-screen two-player, with two controllers on the same machine, players looking for an online coop will be disappointed to know that at the moment Hyrule Warriors is a local coop only and does not have online multiplayer yet.
I say it doesn’t yet because you never know what the future might bring, personally, I can’t see why they wouldn’t add online multiplayer, but I’m also not aware of any plans to add it.
Do I need to have played Breath of the Wild?
No, the story takes place 100 years before Breath of the Wild, making it a prequel, the information you find out in Hyrule Warriors is information you find out within the first couple of minutes of Breath of the Wild, so playing Hyrule Warriors first, isn’t going to ruin the game for you.
It honestly doesn’t matter which way round you play both games, they are both incredibly enjoyable and neither will ruin the story for the other.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a surprisingly detailed game, with hours of fun and lots of individual challenges to keep you going.
Each weapon you wield changes your champion’s combat style, and each battle you go into has a different assortment of enemies, keeping it fresh & unique every time.
As you would expect with any good game, bosses progressively become harder as the game goes on, so while things might seem a little too easy to start with, make sure you keep up with the training missions and progress your characters, things will get tougher.
It honestly doesn’t matter if you are a hardcore Zelda fan, or new to the series, Hyrule warriors is a blast either way.