Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Review – Finally a Worthy Zelda Spin-off

Nintendo Switch Reviews

Hungering for more The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild? Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is set 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild and aims to keep you satisfied until the Breath of the Wild sequel is released. Can Link and his companions save Hyrule and satiate your hunger? Let’s find out.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity lets you experience the events of the great Calamity that is often referenced in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the wild in a more action orientated setting. The great Calamity takes place a 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild and focusses on Zelda, Link, Impa, and the four champions of Hyrule:  Mipha, Daruk, Revali, and Urbosa. As they battle against the mighty Calamity Ganon and his dark armies.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is the second love child between Koei Tecmo’s developer Omega Force and the legendary Nintendo property, The Legend of Zelda. Omega Force is well known for its Musou-games, semi-open world beat em up, hack n’ slash games. And while the first game, Hyrule Warriors (Zelda Musou in Japan) wasn’t the biggest success on WII U, 3DS and Nintendo Switch, I was glad to hear a “sequel” was in the works. Luckily that sequel turned out to be a The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild prequel.

An alternate reality has been revealed

As mentioned Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a more action orientated Zelda game. A combination of the beat-’em-up combat of the Musou games mixed with the staple action-adventure elements from Breath of the Wild. I have played the majority of Musou games available on consoles and while these are highly enjoyable, it’s when the studio is working on a third party property when they are really at their best. Previous favourites include Dragon Quest heroes, Attack on Titan, Berserk, One Piece, Hyrule Warriors, and Fire Emblem.

Age of Calamity is a huge improvement upon the original Hyrule Warriors with its compelling fully-voiced cutscenes and improved combat mechanics. In the game’s narrative you will soon find out that you are residing in a different timeline than Breath of the Wild and small changes will be noticeable. The fully voice and gorgeous cutscenes tell an intriguing story not seen before in a Musou game. The many cinematic cutscenes give us players a better understanding of the many heroes and what transpired in the events leading up to the great Calamity.

Cracking Skulls and breaking jars

You start the game (and demo for those who want a small taste) playing as Link during the battle of Hyrule Field. The standard setting for Musou games is the 1 vs 100 concept. Age of Calamity is no exception, and you will disperse of countless of enemies without breaking a sweat during this first battle. You will soon find out that this first chapter is just a tutorial and more and more features will become available as you progress trough the game. Perfectly combining the action-packed gameplay of the Musou series and the mechanics of Breath of the Wild.

Age of Calamity adds the Sheikah Slate Rune attacks; Stasis, Remote Bombs, Magnesis, and Cryonis to your arsenal and soon the hack’n Slash gameplay becomes more tactical and enjoyable. You will be able to pull-off character specific combos using these Rune attacks and mastering and unlocking all of these makes the game feel less repetitive than other Musou games.

Age of Calamity does offer local multiplayer via horizontal split screen. While playing the game with 2 people can be enjoyable I would hardly recommend it. The game suffers from frame drops in single player and playing the game in local multiplayer will drastically increase the frame drops. As well as reducing your field of view and overall awareness of the countless enemies. In addition to being more of a technical nuisance there really is no need to have somebody to jump in and “help”you defeat enemies as the game never gets too difficult.

Age of Calamity takes place on the Breath of the Wild map and features living and beautiful landscapes, which is a huge improvement upon Hyrule Warriors. The central sheikah tower will function as your home base and from here you can travel all across the map to meet new foes and friends. The later of which can reward you with new playable characters and challenges.

Final Judgement

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity manages to fixes almost everything hat was wrong with its predecessor, Hyrule Warriors. Age of Calamity most triumphant feature is a compelling story driven narrative that will make you laugh, shed a tear, and cry laughing. It does have some minor technical difficulties like frame drops, clunky camera control and an infuriating local multiplayer, an online multiplayer would have solved the latter.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

£49.99, €59.99
8.6

Art&Design

9.0/10

Audio&Soundtrack

8.0/10

Story

9.0/10

Gameplay

8.5/10

The Good

  • Satisfying combat
  • Lore
  • Fully-voiced cutscenes
  • Compelling story

The Bad

  • Frame drops
  • Weird Camera angles

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