[REVIEW] Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Nintendo Switch, November 2020)

DISCLAIMER: There may be potential spoilers in this review about gameplay and other experiences. Do not read on if you do not wish to read any spoilers prior to playing yourself.

I just received this game in the mail two days ago, and after taking it for a spin for about two hours, I have a few thoughts about it.

Quick Key Points:

  • The style of gameplay is a hack-and-slash. (This is not personally my cup of tea, but my love for Zelda has me overlooking this, as well as another feature that I will explain later in this entry.)
  • This is a prequel storyline to BoTW. While we’re still waiting on BoTW 2, which is in part delayed due to COVID-19, it’s nice to have something filler as a storyline and see the “origin story” before the events of BoTW took place.
  • This is a 1-2 player game. You can do this using one joy-con per player, but I prefer playing with two joy-cons, which thankfully is also possible. (Using two joy-cons makes it easier to look at your surroundings with a full 180 view, and it’s easier to tap in to your “powers” when battling.)

I typically dislike hack-and-slash games, but this one became more enjoyable once I discovered you can play with one other person and fight enemies together as a co-op. It makes the game go much faster too, in my opinion.

The cutscenes so far seem a bit few and far in between, and the hack-and-slash style of gameplay takes away BoTW’s open-world concept, which is disappointing, to say the least. I wish they had thought to make this prequel just like BoTW. I wouldn’t have minded using the same maps.

The cutscenes, when they do happen, are relaxing to watch. It does shed some light onto events that took place before BoTW, but like other hack-and-slash games I’ve played, the depth of the storyline in these cutscenes seems a bit lacking.

Another random thing I noticed—when you take screenshots now, there’s a Nintendo watermark. While it doesn’t surprise me that Nintendo is being highly protective of its intellectual property, it still kind of a downside for people like me who prefer to look at clean screenshots.

Other things worth noting:

You get to play as different characters in game if you’d like, and can fuse weapons. The soundtrack in this game is less peaceful than that of BoTW.

Would I recommend this game to others? If you enjoy hack-and-slashers, then sure. If you’re looking for the same open-world concept as BoTW or depth in storyline as BoTW, I would say maybe consider saving your pennies, as I’m not sure it is worth it overall. The hack-and-slash concept, especially as a solo player, does feel very repetitive and boring after a while; at least, in my opinion, anyway.

This review may be updated (and will be noted, if so), if I feel anything different after investing more hours, but so far, these are my first impressions of the game.

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