Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – Review
Follow Genre: Hack and Slash, Musou
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo, Nintendo
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: Visuals, Cast of characters, Story
Bad: Technical issues, Lack of variety, Could use some extra content
User Score
7.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It came as a surprise to many to have a second Hyrule Warriors game, even though the first one was quite successful for its initial release on the Wii U. The Fire Emblem series also got the Musou treatment when Fire Emblem Warriors was released, and while many were very happy to see many of the old Fire Emblem characters being brought to life in 3D, it didn’t gain the same popularity as Hyrule Warriors. With the first game in the series somewhat having its own creative freedom when it came to its story, this time, Age of Calamity is actually linked to Breath of the Wild. We get to experience the events a 100 years before what takes place in Breath of the Wild, albeit in an alternative universe. We were quite stoked to see many familiar faces again, and finally, be able to actually play as them as well.

Story

The story takes us back to 100 years before the actual events of Breath of the Wild. A small guardian travels back in time in order to try and stop the Calamity from happening, which is somewhat the synonym for trying to stop the revival of Calamity Ganon. You will see all the familiar faces from Breath of the Wild, as they try to harness the powers of the Divine Beasts, hoping to keep Hyrule from certain doom.

Surprisingly, the story actually unfolds and develops nicely, compared to Fire Emblem Warriors, which was somewhat of a ‘clusterfuck’. The game will show you properly voiced and animated cinematics when doing story missions. You will have enough information to understand what is going on, and the game will interrupt missions to show you more story content if needed. Even if you have not played Breath of the Wild, you still get a full story.

Graphics

Age of Calamity looks quite spiffy for a Musou game. We noticed many of the character models were nicely made and they also respect the source material, in this scenario that is the content from Breath of the Wild. The game does offer a proper amount of variety of enemy models, but like with every Musou game, things do get a bit stale after a while. Nonetheless, there are nice sights to behold and the overall quality is nice. Sadly, especially when playing in handheld mode, the game does struggle to keep up during battles. More than once we experienced frame drops or even small screen freezes, which hamper the overall smoothness of actually playing the game. More than often these were just small stutters, but it does pull you out of the game when it happens.

The above basically covers the single-player portion of the game, as the game does actually freeze and nearly crash when playing with a friend locally. This mostly happens when triggering your special ability together, or when using attacks that wipe out a lot of enemies at once.

Sound

The game has a very cinematic soundtrack, which perfectly suits the Zelda universe. You’ll have a proper backdrop when playing, and the many voiced dialogues during the cinematics also add a lot of charm. The sound effects used also sound authentic, and they are in tune with the very familiar sounds used in basically every Zelda title.

Gameplay

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a Zelda-inspired Musou game that follows the typical format of the Dynasty Warriors titles. You’ll have to fight for control over different key points on different maps to win battles. This often includes capturing outposts, reaching locations before your troops fall and of course, defeating special monsters that put all the normal grunts to shame. The game currently consists out of its story mode and will thus offer a lot less content than the initial Hyrule Warriors game that had a lot more modes to go through. The latter was somewhat free of the Zelda timeline, allowing it more creative freedom than Age of Calamity though.

The gameplay is typical Musou fare where you grind your way through hordes of enemies and gain experience for the active character(s). This will in turn unlock new levels, and in Age of Calamity, it will also give you the option to clear missions where you just have to turn in materials. When doing the latter, it can unlock new shops, new abilities for certain characters or new passive bonuses. This adds a bit of extra meat on the bones of the game and makes it somewhat fun to give all unlockable characters some love.

All of the characters feel somewhat the same, but they do have a bit of variety in terms of speed and the way their abilities work. You may notice that some attack patterns are near copy-pastes from some of the Dynasty Warriors games. Nonetheless, you will have your pick of the litter and it’s quite nice to play with some of the well-known characters from Breath of the Wild, especially in combination of not having to worry if your weapon will break down. If you unlock a new character, you can also pay to level it up, if you do not wish to grind for all of them. You can only level up to the level of your highest level character and this of course costs you money (Rupees). The latter you will have to grind for.

The game also features levels in which you can go on a rampage with the actual Divine Beasts. While fun, in theory, these feel a bit undeveloped and sometimes are actually tedious and annoying to control. The game seemingly relies on motion controls for aiming your attacks, and it doesn’t really work well, and becomes frustrating after a few levels. It’s a nice addition, but it feels like a last-minute implementation to thicken the actual gameplay.

Conclusion

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is certainly a great entry in the Zelda universe and it even adds canon content, which can only be celebrated. The game offers many characters to choose from, a fun storyline to play through, nice visuals but is also a bit lacking in variety and does have a few technical issues that can be somewhat off-putting at times. Nonetheless, if you enjoyed the original Hyrule Warriors or simply adore the Breath of the Wild universe, then this one will certainly present you with a fair number of hours of fun.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.