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Friday, November 20, 2020

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Launched!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...Why would you buy this, I don't know.

Today, Nintendo and KOEI TECMO GAMES have released Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on the Nintendo Switch for $60, after it was first revealed just two and a half months ago. Based on the announcement trailer plus developer commentary, KoopaTV said it would be a “real prequel” that was “canon.” We expected it to focus on storyline as it focused on the vast lore of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, pretty much at the expense of that game having a compelling story. This was based on The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma stating that the game takes place in the crucial 100-year period prior to the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and players will be able to experience the events of The Great Calamity for themselves, “first-hand.”

Without spoiling the game, I can say that Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity does not do what one's first impression of it would indicate it would do. Or, put another way, the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild don't spoil the events of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

Anyway, note how Nintendo is marketing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity in its launch trailer. If you don't note how, I will note that for you:

There was not one bit of actual gameplay in the trailer besides 17 to 19 seconds in, and I think 1:28. It's all cutscenes. This is unusual for launch trailers, and even the announcement trailer had some very short combat-gameplay clips in it. At the risk of making you feel all mushy for the Breath of the Wild world, compare the above trailer with the closest thing that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild itself has to a launch trailer:

The trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was full of cinematic cuts of the environment AND dramatic gameplay (without a visible user interface and with a developer's camera, but still gameplay) cuts, with a few cutscenes. I don't know why the launch trailer for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity wouldn't have gameplay moments. Like, I know the gameplay is the worst part of the game, but this game is supposed to specialise in the rare cool moments in-between seas of meh that are made for trailers. They're THAT unconfident of the gameplay.

As for the lack of environmental stuff, well, that's obvious. One of the reasons that people liked The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was its “if you see it, you can go there” gameplay design. That's... not at all the case with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which is packed with visible and invisible walls that you can't just climb over.

Hyrule Warriors Age of Calamity invisible walls no exploration arch architecture Hyrule Field
Usually, arches are supposed to welcome people inside to the village.
But, no, there's an invisible wall. Link can't pass through.

Stripping Breath of the Wild of the reasons that people like it and replacing that with repetitive combat versus hundreds of quantity-based enemies that exist to feed you experience points seems like a bad experience. I played the demo, and it was boring and miserable and I just wanted it to end, and I still don't know why Nintendo would ever authorise a demo. If all was right with the world, that demo did nothing but reduce potential sales, not increase them. This holiday season, especially with all of the looming discounts, I suggest you... buy something else.

Ludwig doesn't actually like Breath of the Wild and he also doesn't like the Warriors games, if that wasn't clear by now. Let him know in the comments section if you disagree.

Following this was the release of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes. Ludwig still dislikes Warriors games, but he does like Fire Emblem, so what did he think?


  1. So, I just feel I should remind you that we're still getting a new Breath of the Wild game later. This is just a Hyrule Warriors game to like, tide people over because it's taking quite a while to develop. Even so, I'm not going to buy it myself, I plan to ask for it as an x-mas gift.

    1. That feels like a slight demotion in the enthusiasm gauge from,
      "A canon Warriors game is going to add onto my Slightly Ultimate Zelda No Deaths Run, so ofc I'm going to get it. But I reckon I'll wait till Christmas--my financials aren't looking great, it's all I can do to get 3D All Stars."

    2. I toned it down to not contrast too greatly with what now with this article is your negative amounts of enthusiasm. It's an empathy technique.

    3. You don't need to empathise with me. I was never gonna buy the game.


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