Nintendo Switch Review: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Legendary or Calamity?

See Hyrule 100 years before the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game and experience the events of the Great Calamity. Join the struggle that brought Hyrule to its knees. Learn more about Zelda, the four Champions, the King of Hyrule and more through dramatic cutscenes as they try to save the kingdom from Calamity. The Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity game is the only way to firsthand see what happened 100 years ago. – Battle hordes of Hyrule’s most formidable foes – From barbaric Bokoblins to towering Lynels, Ganon’s troops have emerged in droves. Playable heroes like Link, Zelda and more must use their distinct abilities to carve through hundreds of enemies to save Hyrule from the impending Calamity.

The original Hyrule Warriors was a great departure from the original Zelda games with it’s blend of Dynasty Warriors combat infused into the world of Hyrule. Breath of the Wild was also a big departure for the Zelda series with it’s vast open world, voice-acting and shrines, so combining both of these seems like a no-brainer. But can Age of Calamity please both sets of fans without tarnishing what BOTW accomplished?

Being set in the BOTW universe as a prequel, Age of Calamity has a lot to live upto, but it does so incredibly well. You’ll be able to play as many BOTW characters including the four Champions, Impa, the King of Hyrule and a few others that you wouldn’t expect, including piloting the Divine Beasts themselves. It’s a great combination and it works really well and you can also play the game in two-player which is a blast. The combat is a mix of Hyrule Warriors with the weapons and abilities from BOTW like using the Sheikah Slate to throw bombs or use magnesis on metal blocks and swing them into foes and so on.

Besides doing the traditional elements of a Warriors game like taking bases and fighting foes, you’ll also find resources to complete side quests on the map selection screen to give you bonuses like extra moves, recipes or health. Recipes can be cooked for perks during each stage and there are also Korok Seeds to be found during levels as well. The great thing about Age of Calamity is that each character has their own unique style and finding the right one for you is essential for you to get the most out of it.

In terms of performance, Age of Calamity does struggle a bit with the framerate, especially in split-screen mode. But it’s still playable and enjoyable, plus it shares the art style from Breath of the Wild and looks great overall. The voice-cast from BOTW also reprise their roles here and I think they’ve done a much better job this time around, while the soundtrack is also highly impressive.

The Verdict

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity had a lot to live upto, being part of the Breath of the Wild timeline but it does so incredibly well and will keep us all entertained until the sequel to BOTW drops. It improves upon the original Hyrule Warriors in every way and I really hope we get a third game somewhere down the line…

Score: 9.0