Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Review
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Some may even say it is THE best game. How do you follow up on that? Well, you just create a prequel to Breath of the Wild that’s totally different from the previous game, while keeping the world and some other cool things. Enter Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. Let’s find out if this is a worthy sister-title to Breath of the Wild!
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity isn’t Breath of the Wild. Let’s make sure you all understand that. While the game is set in the same world, its actual content and gameplay is very different.
Age of Calamity has more of a story than Breath of the Wild did. It expands on the mythology that we found in the flagship Nintendo Switch title, and reveals a harrowing and intense story. It’s very enjoyable, and very informative to what you experience in this world.
The gameplay does borrow from Breath of the Wild while also enriching the core Dynasty Warriors / Hyrule Warriors combat. If you played the first game in this brand new Zelda series, than you know that combat in this series is fast and epic. There are so many enemies to defeat on each map. The added abilities from Breath of the Wild make the combat even more enjoyable, deviating from what longtime Warriors fans might be use to. And then there’s controlling the (spoiler). Wow. That was amazing. Did we excite you with that comment? We hope so, as it’s just one of many amazing things you’ll do in Age of Calamity.
Controlling Heroes of Hyrule – Gameplay
Normally, you will control Link, Zelda, or other characters that you find and recruit for your epic quest. Each character has their own unique, and very cool, abilities. You can level the characters up, explore the Breath of the Wild map in a different way, and take on additional challenges along with the main storyline. Its not as big a game as Breath of the Wild, but Age of Calamity is a lot of fun. It doesn’t have the exploration that the flagship adventure had, but it has plenty of other cool things to do. Though there is one issue that should be mentioned.
The in-game camera can get uncontrollable at times. When you lock onto an enemy, the camera won’t always keep up and it swings around a bit too much at times. This not only causes a bit of nausea for while I played (likely a peronal issue as oppose to a big problem), but it also impacts certain battles AND can be the difference between life and death. This does impact likely everyone. There were even moments where we couldn’t even see the character we were controlling. All of that being said, it is mostly only a major issue when you lock-on to the enemy.
Despite the camera issue, the combat is incredibly engaging. It would be nice if the game’s camera was updated, but if you love the game, you’ll figure out a way to keep going even with the camera issues.
I also found playing with a pro controller was much more enjoyable than the Joy Con, though both work fine!
Age of Calamity isn’t perfect gameplay wise but its story and its epic battles and surprising moments really make it a real treat. The gameplay isn’t as great as Breath of the Wild, though few things are. What you’ll find with Age of Calamity is still very very good.
A Visual and Audio Masterpiece
And the game absolutely shines in the visual and audio departments!
The graphics in Age of Calamity are excellent in TV mode. The character models, especially, are actually better than Breath of the Wild. Even some of the environments look like they are better then the aforementioned game.
In handheld mode, the game doesn’t look quite as good. Its a bit blurry and the characters and environments just don’t look as sharp. It’s highly recommended that you play this game on your TV. Yes, the game plays fine in portable mode, but it look so much better on the TV!
Overall, Age of Calamity raises the bar and makes us think that Breath of the Wild 2 is going to be a really stunning game.
The voice acting, the music, and the sound effects in this game are fantastic too. The music is pure Zelda goodness. And you need to have the sound way up for everything, including the sound effects. Just like the graphics, the sound is so much better in TV mode. Its a bit muted in portable, and I felt I missed some of the experience when going from the dock to on-the-go.
Where Does It Stand Amongst Zelda Games?
Age of Calamity isn’t Breath of the Wild. In many ways, Breath of the Wild is still a superior game, yet in others, I would give Age of Calamity the edge. What can be said for certain is that both of them set very high expectations for Breath of the Wild 2.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity won’t be everyone. The game ditches Breath of the Wild’s open world exploration and focuses more on combat.
If you can get into this game’s combat though, you’ll find an adventure with a really great story, outstanding visuals, and an incredible audio on your TV. Its okay to play it in portable mode, but if you want the best experience, you have to put your Switch in the dock and hook up a pro controller!
Fans who can embrace this game’s take on the Breath of the Wild’s world will find a treat that should keep them happy until the next chapter in the saga arrives!
Thanks to Nintendo Canada for providing a digital code for this review. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is now available at retail and on the Nintendo Switch eshop!