Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a warriors game that takes place before the events of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Unlike the previous Hyrule Warriors this game focuses specifically on the lore established in Breath of the Wild rather than taking characters from several different Legend of Zelda titles. The story is about a new type of guardian which goes back in time after seeing what happens during the calamity to prevent the destruction of Hyrule.
At first I thought I would be frustrated about the fact that this is essentially an alternate reality of what could have happened before Breath of the Wild instead of an actual recreation of the events. However, I actually wound up enjoying it because it made the story less predictable since I couldn’t use Breath of the Wild to predict how the story of Age of Calamity would end. As far as how the story was executed I loved it. You really get a feeling of dread as the Calamity gets closer and closer and Zelda and the other characters do everything they can to prevent them. As you make these attempts you really get a much more in depth look into characters like the four champions Revali, Daruk, Milpha and Urbosa. It was really great to see much more development made into these characters and you really got to see what made them champions in the first place. One of the characters that got more attention that I really enjoyed was Robbie, you got to hear him for the first time and it was a lot of fun seeing his character in action. I really hope he is playable in any DLC this game has, because you know it will happen at some point. Once the story gets to the Calamity itself then the story hits its most intense moments and it’s really exciting the entire time. Overall the story was really good and did a great job expanding upon characters that really needed it.
As for the gameplay it’s exactly what you would expect in a Warriors game. You run around a map and hack and slash hundreds to thousands of enemies in a short amount of time. So if you enjoy the warriors playstyle then you will enjoy this game no problem. What I really liked is how well the powers Link had in Breath of the Wild were incorporated into the gameplay. For example you had the Magnesis power which would allow your character to grab your enemy’s weapons and attack with them. In some instances you can catch these weapons in mid air and send them flying at your opponent which was honestly a very enjoyable use of this power. Bigger enemies such as bosses would give clear signals on which power would make them vulnerable and when hit by them it triggers a gauge that will empty after so many hits. Once that happens you can unleash a more powerful attack for greater damage. Overall it was a nice mechanic to include.
During the game you also got to play as the Divine Beasts from Breath of the Wild. These maps were very chaotic with far more enemies than what is on a normal map in any Warriors game I’ve played so far. It was really addicting to play all the maps that required using the Divine Beasts because you literally just fire lasers at everything in sight to take down thousands upon thousands of enemies usually in the span of four to five minutes.
Outside of the story the game has a lot to do such as collecting items to trade for power ups, unlocking additional characters and additional maps that grant power ups and can be used to collect items needed for other side quests. These were fun things to do on the side, but it does go into my one and only issue with the game. In most Warriors games I’ve played the game separates the main story and side quests into two distinct modes so it was easy to focus on the story mode and go to these activities when I felt like it. However, in Age of Calamity everything was lumped together in a giant map. So when you beat one level in the story 13 new activities would show up. They were interesting at first but then I found myself spending a couple hours between story missions doing side stuff to try to complete as much as possible and steadily was doing less and less between story missions because I really just wanted to see what happens next. It’s admittingly a minor and nit picky issue to have but I usually like to complete everything I see as much as possible so I wound up finding them distracting. After beating the game I enjoyed resuming my quest to complete all of these missions which can take awhile because completing them can be tough when they require the harder to find materials which can require replaying maps that are likely to have them.
Overall Age of Calamity was a really fun game that took the idea of a Breath of a Wild sequel and added time travel to create a story that was unpredictable. The game features a very entertaining story from start to finish but it was so entertaining that I found the stuff to do on the side a bit distracting when I just wanted to see more of the story. The stuff on the side were still fun to do but the core entertainment value of this game comes in completing the story. If you like Warriors games and Breath of the Wild this is a harmony that is well worth looking into. If you’re not a fan of the Warriors titles then this game is not going to change that.