Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity is a brand new entry in the Hyrule Warriors series. Developed by KOEI Tecmo Games exclusively for the Switch, this hack-and-slash game features fast paced over the top action. Travel back in time 100 years and learn the story leading up to the Great Calamity as well as the backstories of some of your favourite Breath of the Wild characters.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: KOEI Tecmo Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fighting
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The untold story of the Great Calamity
Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity is a prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and takes place 100 years before telling the story leading up to the Calamity. During Ganon’s attack on Hyrule, Zelda’s magic unknowingly sends a tiny Guardian back 100 years to warn Princess Zelda of the event in hopes of preventing that devastation.
The game allows you to play as recognizable Breath of the Wild characters such as Link, Zelda and Impa to name a few. And, for the first time in the series you can play as any of the four Champions— Revali, Urbosa, Miphia and Daruk.
Furthermore, Age of Calamity’s story does a good job of fleshing out the characters from Breath of the Wild. With the story being the best part about Age of Calamity, I don’t want to ruin it for you. What I can say is that at times when I felt gameplay was repetitive, the story kept me playing for hours on end.
Action-heavy hack-and-slash gameplay
First and foremost, Hyrule Warriors The Age of Calamity is a “Musou” game. This is a Japanese term, which essentially means it’s a hack-and-slash game. If you’ve played Dynasty Warriors or previous Hyrule Warriors games you’ll know exactly what to expect. You, at times, control multiple characters at once and fight your way through hordes of enemies while charging up your special attacks.
The action-heavy gameplay is fast-paced and requires strategic moves as you take control of multiple locations on the map. As you level up your character your attacks and magic become more powerful and more spectacular. Without a doubt, Age of Calamity’s gameplay is perfect for players looking for a game with non-stop action that has direct ties to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
With that being said, gameplay does get repetitive rather quickly in the game. The ability to play as different characters does give a bit of variety to gameplay as each of the characters have their own unique abilities and fighting styles. Some of my favourite moments spent with the game are during the missions controlling one of the four Champions’ Divine Beasts. However, when it comes down to it, the majority of the time is spent fighting hordes of monsters over and over again.
Beautiful stylized cut scenes
Visually, Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity looks like it uses the same or very similar engine of Breath of the Wild. This makes for beautiful stylized cut scenes that help tell the game’s story and connect with the game’s characters. Interestingly enough, cut scenes are voiced but any of the conversation that takes place on the battlefield is not. As a result, this means you’ve got to manage reading the conversation between characters and the action on the screen.
I played the entirety of the game in docked mode. And, one of the very first things I noticed when playing Age of Calamity is the game’s frame rate. Depending on the amount of enemies on the screen or the special moves you are performing, it can be jerky to down right atrocious. It seems that KOEI Tecmo was overly ambitious with Age of Calamity and at times it brings the Nintendo Switch to its knees.
Furthermore, the camera also has issues at times that make fighting enemies and bosses frustrating. I found that camera issues occurred when in close proximity to enemies. The camera would zoom in so far I couldn’t see what was going on. Or, I’d be inside the enemy and couldn’t move. As long as I kept mashing the buttons, I could eventually get far enough away for the camera to correct itself.
Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity tells a great story that hack-and-slash fans will enjoy
Looking back at my time with Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity, I can say that I really enjoyed the story. The cut scene visuals and dialogue do an excellent job of keeping you on the edge of your seat and wanting more of the story. Furthermore, each of the characters you play feels different and unique from one another.
Sadly, gameplay can get repetitive rather quickly. There were times where I had to push through the repetitiveness because I wanted to find out what would happen next. Aside from the story missions there is a ton of extra content in the form of side-missions, quests and challenges. You can expect to spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of 35-40 hours to complete everything in the game.
If you are a fan of previous Hyrule Warriors or Dynasty Warriors games, I have no doubt that you will enjoy Age of Calamity. With that being said, if you are on the fence, there is a demo of Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity on the Nintendo eShop that you can play for free.
+ Fantastic story that will keep you playing to find out what is next
+ Backstories of your favourite Breath of the Wild Characters
+ Each character feels and plays different from each other
+ Lots of additional content outside of the story
– Gameplay can get repetitive quickly
– Performance (slow down) and camera issues
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF HYRULE WARRIORS AGE OF CALAMITY
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5