Hyrule Warriors – Hands-on Preview
Hyrule Warriors Preview – Introduction
The new Legend of Zelda adventure game is not due out until 2015 (potentially 2016!?) and it appears as if Nintendo did not want such a lengthy departure from the series on its console. Cue Hyrule Warriors. If you have played any of the Dynasty Warriors games, you are essentially looking at Dynasty Warriors: Hyrule Edition. If you haven’t played any of the Dynasty Warriors titles, imagine yourself, along with a few armed friends, attacking hundreds of enemies in an open area. One could imagine that a series as popular as Dynasty Warriors, coupled with the much loved world of Zelda, should be a major hit.
To be fair in my critique, I have never played a Dynasty Warriors game. So when I played Hyrule Warriors, I had a blast. I heard a few people mention that they were done with games like this, talking about how repetitive the gameplay was and how this seemed like a lazy release to tide fans over until the next epic Zelda adventure shipped. Perhaps their criticism was valid, and perhaps not. But if you are done with Dynasty Warriors style games, perhaps its best to move on; this title is probably not for you.
It was, and is, for me. I enjoyed fighting my way through hordes of enemies, pulling off combos around Hyrule Castle, and eventually coming face to face with @&W*(R (no spoilers!). It was rewarding, and it was down right fun. The learning curve was relatively low, and I had developed a strategy and learned a few combos before I knew it. At first I thought my character was limited to what I had on myself – I played as Link since that was what was set up for me – but I soon realized I could interact with chests in the environment which, in this case, were producing bombs.
The game controlled well. Nintendo and Koei definitely know how to make things simple enough to pick up and play. Yet, this does cause a few minor problems. For example, the number of combos available seemed to be minimal, and after a while, I could see this getting repetitive. I played for a good amount of time, but I wonder if my opinion would be drastically different if I was to play the game for hours, rather than minutes.
One other issue I noticed was how the game looked graphically. I’m guess that to maintain a strong frame rate, and to limit pop-in issues (of which I noticed a few), the games graphics have taken a major hit. While the new Hyrule boasts a wide range of colors, detail seems to be always lacking. Whoever you are playing looks pretty good, but the enemies look like bland, carbon copies of each other. If I was being polled, however, I would choose a strong frame rate over graphics every day of the year. It is just unfortunate that look of the game is so incredibly underwhelming.
Hyrule Warriors – Conclusion
If you have never played a Dynasty Warriors game and love the Zelda franchise, this is a game you might enjoy. It’s a fresh take for Zelda, and a spinoff of Dynasty Warriors. If you hate Dynasty Warriors, move on and forget this game exists. There is nothing worse than listening to people speak poorly of the title – which I did at the event – only because they don’t enjoy the franchise. It’s not going to be anything that you wouldn’t expect. Basically, if you are intrigued, put your money down for a pre-order now. Even if it isn’t the best game Nintendo releases this year, it will still be a strong title that will make you play your Wii U as you inevitably wait for Super Smash Bros.