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Review of ‘Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’

Kaitlyn Bowers, Features Editor

The latest addition to the Zelda franchise has fans excited to return to the land of Hyrule, but can it hold a candle to the critically acclaimed “Breath of the Wild”?

“Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” was released on Nov. 20, 2020 for the Nintendo Switch. This hack-and-slash game acts as a prequel to “Breath of the Wild,” an RPG released in 2017 to much praise. 

Gameplay 

The gameplay for this installment is a lot different from what you experience in “Breath of the Wild.” Instead of being an open-world adventure,  “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” focuses more on defeating hordes of enemies, ranging from bokoblins to lynels. You can take the control of several different characters, including Link, Zelda and the four Champions. This is particularly exciting, because in “BOTW,” all the Champions were (spoiler alert) dead by the start of the game. Through “Age of Calamity,” we are able to get to know these incredibly interesting characters even more.

Each character has their own unique attack combos and moves. For example, Revali, the winged Champion, has attacks that focus on archery and flight, while Zelda utilizes her Sheikah slate to pummel opponents. Some characters’ moves leave a lot to be desired, but others, such as Impa, are super fun to play as. 

The fighting can get to be a bit confusing due to all of the enemies surrounding you. Sometimes, your character can’t even be seen through the horde. This leads to a lot of button-smashing to get through the enemies, which is fun, but doesn’t lend much to gaining skill. 

If you’re expecting another “BOTW,” you may be a bit disappointed by the gameplay. It is a lot more fast-paced and action-packed than its predecessor. However, if you’re looking to just fight, “Age of Calamity” is the game for you. 

Storyline 

The storyline is by far the best part of “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.” Through this game, we are able to see what led up to the Great Calamity, the event that started off “BOTW.” It also tells the story of how Link came to be the chosen knight to defend Hyrule. 

It truly is exciting to be able to play as the Champions, too. The four Champions were some of the best parts of the previous game, so to be able to explore their character more is pretty exciting.

There are some opportunities with the story that the creators missed out on. With a prequel like this, we could have seen how Zelda and Link met. This would have really added to the story. It would have been nice to see more interaction between Zelda and her father as well, to highlight the tension that was present in “BOTW.” 

The storyline is carried by several different cutscenes that happen before, after, and throughout battles. If you happen to miss one of these cutscenes or just want to view it again, no worries, as the game makes it incredibly easy to go back and view whatever cutscene you’d like. 

Graphics

Like its predecessor, the cutscenes in “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” are absolutely gorgeous. They feel cinematic and really immerse you in the story.

However, the graphics leave a lot to be desired. When there’s a lot of bright light on-screen, everything starts to lag as the frame rate changes. This is an issue that was present in “BOTW” as well. Evidently, the issue is even worse in handheld mode, as opposed to the docked option. 

As a whole, “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” is a great addition to the Zelda franchise. While not as long as “BOTW,” the story is still relatively long and entertaining. The graphics could use some improvement, but are easy to look past. Overall, Spinnaker rates this game 4 out of 5 sails. 

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

 

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