The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is still a long way from release. And if you can’t wait to finally get your hands on Link and Zelda’s next adventure, there’s one game you absolutely shouldn’t overlook.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is that game. A Breath of the Wild spinoff, Age of Calamity trades the calm and collected exploration of the Nintendo Switch launch title for something more fast-paced and action packed. And it’s got a pretty nice discount as part of Amazon’s Prime Day deals.
As such, now’s an excellent time to check out something of an underappreciated Zelda gem. Age of Calamity is largely lacking in staple Zelda tropes like dungeons and puzzle solving, but more than makes up for it with developer Omega Force’s excellent ‘1 vs 1,000’ hack and slash gameplay.
If you can’t wait for Breath of the Wild 2, then, here’s why you shouldn’t sleep on Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity comes courtesy of Koei Tecmo studio Omega Force. The developer made a name for itself with the Dynasty Warriors franchise, but has decades of experience making spinoff games with that ‘musou’ gameplay formula.
Many of these spinoffs have been of Nintendo properties. Age of Calamity itself is a pseudo sequel to the original (and incredible) Hyrule Warriors, first released for the Wii U in 2014. Yet whereas that game felt like a ‘greatest hits’ of Zelda games’ past, Age of Calamity is centered specifically around Breath of the Wild.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is set a century prior to the events of Breath of the Wild, during the titular event that completely wiped out Hyrule. It’s an ideal setting for a Warriors-style game, lending an excuse to cut down Moblins, Lizalfos and Wizzrobes in their thousands.
It’s also a great reason to provide the player with tons of playable characters. Link and Zelda are present, of course. As are fan-favorites like Impa, Revali, Urbosa and even the Great Fairies.
On top of that, each character has their own bespoke moveset, and all have radically different playstyles. The level of creativity here is simply astounding, and there isn’t a single character that feels boring to play.
Bomb bags of content
And when I say Age of Calamity will last you until the launch of Breath of the Wild 2, I genuinely mean it. In true Warriors fashion, Age of Calamity has what feels like a bottomless pit’s worth of content to play through.
You have the main story, of course, which is where you’ll find the bulk of the game’s most involving missions. It’s even complete with lengthy cutscenes, and the entire voice cast returning from Breath of the Wild.
But there’s more. A lot more. The entire map of Hyrule acts as both your main menu and base of operations. It’s loaded – and I mean loaded – with bonus missions and side content.
Finishing these smaller objectives does more than just fill out a completion rating, too. They’ll often unlock items like new weapons, outfits, crafting materials and more. Some are character-specific, too, and completing these missions can expand that warriors’ moveset or increase their stats.
You can also work towards unlocking better weapons for all characters, dyes for Link’s various costumes, and occasionally take on special missions that place you as the pilot of one of Breath of the Wild’s monolithic Divine Beasts.
As there’s so much content, then, I think Age of Calamity is best played in shorter bursts. The main campaign is a decent length, but if you want to see and do absolutely everything the game has to offer, expect to clock in at least 100 hours. Even more if you pick up the decently priced Expansion Pass that adds new missions, characters and weapon types.
As a longtime fan of both Zelda and Omega Force’s games, I can’t recommend Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity enough. It’s far and away one of the developer’s best Warriors outings yet, and absolutely shouldn’t be missed if you’re after something a bit different to tide you over until Breath of the Wild 2.