Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity released on November 20, 2020. I finally got a chance to play through the game and before I get too far I just want to say, I really liked it! Obviously it wasn’t as AMAZING as Breath of the Wild, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was never meant to be as good as Breath of the Wild. If anything, Nintendo gave us Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity to keep us busy while they keep working on the sequel to Breath of the Wild. Before I begin, I want to state that I am not sponsored by anyone or any business. This article is solely my opinion. Without further ado, here are five spoiler-free things you should know before you play Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity!
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity isn’t Canon
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is NOT canon (in my opinion). It seems that many other players are also unclear on whether this game is canon or not, but I know Nintendo basically told us in their trailers that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity would be a prequel to Breath of the Wild. However, this game has too many changes to the plot to be a true prequel to Breath of the Wild (more to come on a later post). Let’s just say there’s a lot of stuff put in this game that is basically fan-candy. I can’t say too much without totally spoiling the entire game, but if you’re hoping to play Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity so you can enjoy a prequel that adds to the story of Breath of the Wild, sadly you’re going to be disappointed. Honestly, because the game is non-canon, not playing it is inconsequential if you are only playing for the true history of the Legend of Zelda series. Honestly though, if you can just remember the game isn’t canon and that all of the plot holes don’t really matter because of that, you will enjoy the game thoroughly!
There’s a co-op mode!
Something I really liked about this game is you have the option to play the story by yourself or with a friend! My husband and I will often play video games together and sometimes when we’re playing a story-mode it can get boring for the person who is watching. But in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, you can play co-op with a friend starting after the first battle! The way it works in this game, is you pick two of the playable characters before you start a battle (for example one person could be Link and another person could be Zelda). Then the game goes into split-screen mode and you can both do whatever you want! You can stick together or divide-and-conquer if that’s what you prefer to do!
I think it was really smart for Nintendo to put in a co-op mode in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity! I will say in certain games I don’t mind just watching and enjoying someone else play their turn (like in Breath of the Wild or Horizon Zero Dawn). However, since Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a enemy horde game, it can get boring just watching Link smash a bunch of bokoblins after a while. Being able to play this game with my husband was honestly a ton of fun and we got a really good rhythm down for taking out enemies!
You could probably get 40 hours of gameplay in!
Now the reason I say “probably” is because when my husband and I played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, we only got about 20 hours of gameplay in. However, I’m thinking that since we played co-op the entire time, we probably sped through the game twice as fast since we were working together and completing battles quickly. Also, there are a TON of side-battles in the game (mostly used for the purpose of leveling up) that we bypassed. There’s also an after-quest you can do once you complete the game (which my husband and I also skipped because we have other games we want to play). Generally if a game doesn’t give you enough gameplay, then you shouldn’t pay full-price for it because you’ll be ripped off. That threshold for having enough gameplay is 40 hours, in my opinion.
So yes, my husband and I did only spend 20 hours playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. But we also: worked together and completed the game twice as fast, sped through the game quickly without doing much side-stuff, and decided not to do the after-quest. If you are playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity by yourself and if you decided to actually complete more of the side-quests the game offers, you could easily spend 40 hours playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
The cutscenes were REALLY enjoyable!
I really enjoyed the cutscenes in the game, and I like how many cutscenes there were! Honestly the story of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity felt like a movie! There are a total of 81 cutscenes (not including aftergame-quest stuff) which appear as you play battles that progress the story. Honestly seeing the cutscenes and the progression of the story motivated me and my husband to play each night as we were trying to beat the game. You can tell Nintendo put a lot of work into their cutscenes, and they were honestly my favorite part of the game! It was a ton of fun seeing more footage of characters from Breath of the Wild (like Link, Zelda, and the Champions), and footage of new characters or characters that are older when you meet them in Breath of the Wild (like Impa, Robbie, and Purah).
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is only interesting if you’ve played Breath of the Wild
One last thing I want to point out in this spoiler-free review of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is that this game is really only fun and interesting if you’ve already played Breath of the Wild. Since a lot of the story is based off of things from Breath of the Wild, it wouldn’t really make sense to play Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity without playing Breath of the Wild first. I guess the cutscenes would still be interesting to watch, but you wouldn’t understand a lot of what’s going on. If you are someone that hasn’t played Breath of the Wild yet and you want to play Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I would HIGHLY suggest playing Breath of the Wild first and then playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I’m going to come right out and say that you’re going to like Breath of the Wild WAY more, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is pretty fun once you play Breath of the Wild and have context.
So is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Worth it?
To sum things up, yes I am definitely glad I played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. I don’t regret playing it and I think it was a really fun game! It’s definitely not the most mind-blowing game ever, but it’s really enjoyable and I would recommend it to any Breath of the Wild or Zelda fan. Just remember to not get frustrated when the game doesn’t totally line up with the story of Breath of the Wild. Just enjoy the cutscenes and fan-candy as you go.
If you haven’t played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity yet, are you planning on playing it? If you’re someone who has played Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, would you recommend it to a friend? Let me know in the comments below?
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