Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Review

Hyrule+Warriors%3A+Age+of+Calamity+Review

Ellen Heitmann, Staff Writer

Overview

As the prequel to one of the most popular games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Age of Calamity faced high expectations to say the least. Breath of the Wild told a story largely dependent on the events of one hundred years prior. There was a great battle that the main villain, Gannondorf, ended up winning. After one hundred years had passed, the protagonist, Link, finally awoke having completely lost his memory, and then the events of the original game transpired. Ever since the announcement of Age of Calamity’s release, fans hyped up the game to be absolutely incredible, as it would be a prequel that takes place in the great battle one hundred years ago. We would be able to see the world of Breath of the Wild at its peak, including all of the events that the base game only showed us distant memories of. Considering the fact that we additionally knew that the villains would win, fans were excited to see the tragedy unfold and a story where you ultimately can’t win. So, with so much potential for an emotional and interesting story and cast, did the game actually live up to its expectations?

Gameplay

As a game in the Warriors series, Age of Calamity has a hack-and-slash style of gameplay. There are a set number of characters one can deploy on a massive map at once with the ability to switch between them all at will. Each character has a unique moveset and string of combos. Enemies in the game are largely very weak and fall in one hit, making the difficulty more about specific boss or stronger enemies distributed throughout the map, and how many weaker foes you can take out in one string. You can also equip different weapons and armor along with unlocking new moves to keep combat fresh.

The Story

You will have a pretty good idea of the story already from the overview. The game is set one hundred years before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s events, during a great war where we knew from the sequel that the kingdom would eventually fall. The story is the most controversial thing about the game. I will warn that this section does include a spoiler, though I feel it is something people may want to know before going into the game considering it makes the story not what it was marketed to be. 

As mentioned in the overview, the game was supposed to be an emotional tragedy about the fall of the kingdom one hundred years before the events of Breath of the Wild. Fans were looking forward to seeing a twist on the age old formula of good beats evil. On top of that, the game was marketed towards that storyline and trailers spoke of how it would let you find out what really happened all those years ago. However, they decided to ultimately make the game an alternate timeline where the good guys win and give a happy ending. Some people enjoy this twist on the story, but it was a massive disappointment to others who wanted to see the real events of the game’s timeline or a variance on the ‘good beats evil’ formula.

Graphics and Soundtrack

Age of Calamity uses the same art style of Breath of the Wild, with cell shading and mostly dried out colors. The game does have some issues considering the limitations of the Nintendo Switch, and the frame rate drops a lot during gameplay. The game’s soundtrack was one of my favorite parts of the game, as it has a lot of very pretty and lively pieces to add to the atmosphere.

Conclusion

Age of Calamity is overall just a decent game in my opinion. It was disappointing to see that they changed the story from what was established beforehand, but it was always nice to see more of the characters and a great soundtrack. I would recommend this game mainly to those who enjoyed Breath of the Wild and would just like to see more of its world.

Cover photo credit: Nintendo