Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Drew Hurley 09.11.2020 1

Review for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on Nintendo Switch

Switch gamers around the world have been enjoying getting a hands-on look at Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity thanks to the new demo, which has the fantastic feature of carrying over any progress to the real game. Every release needs this! Giving players a chance to effectively get started a little early. However, it's a double-edged sword, leaving players desperately wanting to see what comes next following the dreaded "This is the end of the demo" message. Cubed3 was lucky enough to be invited to a special session with Nintendo UK to get a glimpse of just what does come next and is here to share it.

The demo ends just as the second chapter begins, and this chapter is all about the recruitment of the Champions. There's a mission in each corner of Hyrule, each dedicated to Daruk, Revali, Urbosa, and Mipha. They have been glimpsed in action in promotional material before, so recruiting them as playable characters is not a surprise, although there are surprises linked to each.

In classic Musou fashion, each of the Champions has its own unique special ability and fighting style. Daruk can curl up into a ball, then roll, bounce, and smash through legions, while Mipha can summon geysers of water, then flow through them, peppering enemies with a rain of speedy hits that destroy defence bars in no time. The Champions also all use the same Sheikah slate as Link, but they all do so differently. The same four abilities fans have become well accustomed to are still there: Magnesis, Cryonis, Stasis, and Remote Bombs - but with a twist and flair unique to each particular Champion.

Screenshot for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on Nintendo Switch

When the battle escalates and Ganon's forces become too much for the Champions, they summon the Divine Beasts, and this is a big surprise. There are missions where the Divine Beasts are controllable, too. These gargantuan creatures smash through entire armies, laying waste with huge attacks that look fantastic - raining Magma from the sky, hammering the ground with wave after wave of energy attacks.

The second chapter also opens up tonnes of extra side-missions and opportunities to power up each of the characters. Those who have played the demo will understand how this works. The map is scattered with icons that can consist of side-mission challenges, along with shops and character quests. Delivering specific items can open up shops to purchase new goods or, best of all, can unlock power-ups for each character - adding hearts or extra blows to a combo. Not to mention the side-missions where a specific challenge needs to be overcome. Again, those who have played the demo will have seen the takeout of 300 Bokoblins as Link using only remote bombs, but there are so very many more. Some are seemingly simple but offer up a considerable challenge, especially on higher difficulty levels.

To manage these means taking advantage of everything the map has to offer. Visiting the blacksmith to fuse weapons into more powerful forms, as well as finding cooking recipes to knock up a meal before a stage and give stat bonuses to every one of the three-character party (like movement speed increases, defence increases, attack damage boosts). Tracking down gear that will give assistance in specific environments is great fun.

Screenshot for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

The original Hyrule Warriors was a love letter to the franchise and touched on elements from many instalments. It was concerning that this instalment would have a much smaller scope, with just the one game to draw from, and being a prequel just expanding on existing lore. However, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is so much more than it initially seemed. There are a lot of surprises here and the developers are clearly passionate about Breath of the Wild. The team's taken that source material and squeezed it to bring the world to life in an extraordinary way. The fully voiced characters have more personality, the world more realised, and the story expanded upon. If the first was a love letter to the franchise, this is an ode to the marvels of Breath of the Wild. This truly captures and showcases the many wonders of this new Hyrule.

Stay with Cubed3 for the full review, expanding upon all the big surprises in the full game, all the characters, and the shocking twists of the story. It's coming soon!

Developer

Koei Tecmo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Brawler

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

The more I hear the more I want to play this! Looking forward to getting my hands on it!

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