Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity – the gang’s all right here (pic: Nintendo)
The makers of Dynasty Warriors return with a prequel to Zelda: Breath Of The Wild that exhibits what occurred 100 years in the past in Hyrule.
Age Of Calamity is the most effective Dynasty Warriors model online game we’ve ever performed. Its largely skill-less gameplay doesn’t have an oz of nuance, its storytelling is fragmented and underdeveloped, and on a technical degree it’s scrappy and poorly made. Par for the course relating to Dynasty Warriors and but all these points are barely much less pronounced than common and for the primary time ever we did one thing we’ve by no means carried out in a Dynasty Warriors sport earlier than: we loved it.
This isn’t actually a Dynasty Warriors sport, though the fundamentals of the gameplay are the identical and, identical to all of the common entries, it’s made by Koei Tecmo’s Omega Group. There have been an enormous vary of licensed spin-offs over time although, starting from anime licences One Piece and Gundam to different online game tie-ins corresponding to Nintendo’s personal Fire Emblem and the upcoming Persona 5 Scramble.
Age Of Calamity is the second time there’s been a Zelda tie-in, with the unique being a bathroom normal reskin of ordinary Dynasty Warriors gameplay combined with Zelda fan service. There wasn’t actually a coherent story for the first Hyrule Warriors however the massive distinction with this follow-up is that it’s a prequel to Breath Of The Wild, set 100 years earlier than the occasions of the sport and with the identical artwork model, enemies, and simplified variations of a lot of the gameplay mechanics.
Anybody that’s performed Breath Of The Wild will already know the fundamentals of what occurred 100 years in the past, throughout Ganon’s preliminary return to the world of Hyrule. Nonetheless, Age Of Calamity instantly begins by introducing a time journey ingredient, with a small BB-8 model Guardian travelling again in time to warn Princess Zelda of the oncoming catastrophe. Since it will possibly’t speak it’s not a really efficient warning and earlier than it the occasions implied by the unique sport start to get underway.
The time journey ingredient does add an air of uncertainty to proceedings although, because it’s left ambiguous as as to whether that is actually what occurred earlier than Breath Of The Wild or whether or not it’s some type of alternate historical past model, which is definitely type of attention-grabbing.
Conventional Zelda video games are at all times mild on story and this was the right alternative to introduce extra advanced characterisation and lore. And but regardless of the big variety of minimize scenes (a lot of which appear to have been encoded in disappointingly low high quality) a lot of the sport occasions simply mirror that of Breath Of The Wild, as you get the Divine Beasts prepared for battle and recruit allies. Which implies Zelda remains to be a wuss, Hyperlink doesn’t communicate, and Revali remains to be an annoying braggart.
It doesn’t matter what property is being licensed Omega Pressure’s video games at all times work in the identical fundamental manner, with their long-standing gimmick being that you simply face off towards a whole bunch of enemies directly on very massive scale maps. Aside from mini-boss characters (moblins and above in Age Of Calamity) most enemies are fully ineffectual on regular problem, and normally stand round doing nothing as you slaughter them by the handfuls.
Fight includes nothing however a string of sunshine assaults concluding with a heavy assault. The one alternative is what number of mild assaults you do first, which impacts the heavy finisher, though for a lot of the sport you may simply mash the sunshine assault alone and it’s simply as efficient. Consider it or not that’s really extra advanced than nearly all of Dynasty Warriors video games, particularly as Hyperlink’s varied weapons, corresponding to spears and golf equipment, do work fairly in a different way. Extra importantly, every of the opposite characters are much more distinctive.
You begin off with simply Hyperlink however quickly add a younger Impa to your celebration, then Zelda, the 4 champions, and a variety of different much less apparent characters. We’re not going to spoil who they’re however a lot of the actually odd ones can solely be unlocked through elective aspect missions.
Some do work in comparable methods, with the flexibility to manifest objects along with your closing heavy assault (rune constructs, chunks of magma, and many others.) after which detonate them being shared throughout a variety of characters. However others are fully distinctive, corresponding to Impa’s capacity to create clones by casting magic symbols or Revali’s capacity to fly and mow down enemies along with his bow and arrow, virtually like a machinegun.
On high of this, every character has a singular particular assault and everybody can use the 4 rune skills from Breath Of The Wild (Stasis, Magnesis, Cryonis, and distant bombs ) in distinctive methods, in addition to Wizzrobe rods. You can too select to start out a mission by consuming a stat-improving recipe or dressing up Hyperlink in specialist clothes he earns from elective missions.
If there’s one factor Age Of Calamity isn’t wanting it’s content material, with a prolonged story marketing campaign and a mountain of elective diversions. However whereas it’s massive it’s definitely not intelligent, with the fight not solely being simplistic however very sloppily applied. There’s not one of the precision of one thing like Satan Might Cry and even encounters with bigger enemies just like the lynel and hinox play out primarily the identical manner as you attempt to dodge assaults till a weak point gauge seems that after whittled down lets you carry out a strong finisher.
Contemplating how tense and unpredictable encounters with these creatures had been in Breath Of The Wild the identical battles in Age Of Calamity are dumbed all the way down to a ridiculous diploma. And but… not like most different Dynasty Warriors video games, together with the primary Hyrule Warriors, we will’t faux we hated it. That’s largely as a result of extra severe tone and cohesive storytelling, which implies the sport now not appears like a half-finished fan mod.
Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity – Hyrule Area has by no means been so full (pic: Nintendo)
You can also’t deny the sheer degree of enthusiasm at work, with Omega Pressure permitting you to manage the Divine Beasts at a number of factors, which once more all deal with in a different way and work like quasi on-rail shoot ‘em-up sections. Once more, the controls are awkward and the visuals typically unclear, however the sense of scale is spectacular and the possibility to chop unfastened with amusingly overpowered weapons is appreciated.
There’re dozens of the way each ingredient of Age Of Calamity could possibly be improved however there’s no denying what’s right here remains to be good, dumb enjoyable. Though it’s a disgrace that the tactical ingredient that characterises the mainline video games, the place it’s important to maintain your eye on the map and notice the place enemies try to invade your territory, has been deemphasised to the purpose of irrelevancy in most missions.
There’s a cut up display co-op mode although, which works surprisingly effectively regardless that the graphics in docked mode typically appear on the verge of catastrophe relating to the body fee. They at all times appear to keep away from it although and at occasions the sight of you pummelling 100 enemies directly can virtually look fairly spectacular (though that relies upon largely on if and while you final performed a subsequent gen sport).
Somewhat than the cloying fan service of the unique Hyrule Warriors, Age Of Calamity appears like an entire and fulfilling journey all of its personal, simply not a really refined one. The irony is that whereas it’s most likely the most effective Dynasty Warriors sport its largest failing is as a Breath Of The Wild prequel.
It’s nice to see all of the previous enemies and landscapes once more however this isn’t a narrative that wanted to be advised on this a lot element. It does make the prospect of a correct Breath Of The Wild 2 all of the extra engaging although and whereas that’s most undoubtedly not what that is, we appreciated all of it the identical.
Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity overview abstract
In Brief: One of the best Dynasty Warriors model sport ever made, which implies it’s barely north of mediocre, with simplistic fight, weak storytelling, and a complete lot of repetition.
Professionals: Good number of characters, most of which have curiously distinctive powers. Enjoyable co-op and mountains of content material, with loads of fulfilling fan service.
Cons: The whole lot, from the controls to the digital camera, is inelegant and overly simplistic. The storytelling is usually boring and the graphics barely maintain collectively more often than not.
Codecs: Nintendo Change
Developer: Omega Pressure
Launch Date: twentieth November 2020
Age Ranking: 12
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