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Review

For a long time, Musou games were only niche titles in our country, which many gamers knew at best through the reports about them. Comment columns below them were often filled with mocking comments. Headless battles against clone armies of stupid AI soldiers ... that's more or less how some people might have imagined these games. This idea is n...

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

  • Greg Burn
  • May 13, 2021

For a long time, Musou games were only niche titles in our country, which many gamers knew at best through the reports about them. Comment columns below them were often filled with mocking comments. Headless battles against clone armies of stupid AI soldiers ... that's more or less how some people might have imagined these games. This idea is not so wrong. Sophisticated strategic geniuses the armies in these games may not be, and yet it can be plenty of fun to fight against them.

The game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has recently been able to build on its success, and with more than 3.5 million units now sold, it is a real bestseller and the most successful Musou game to date. Many a gamer has discovered how entertaining the gameplay can be thanks to the Hyrule Warriors games.

The game sends you back in time. A shadow is spreading over Hyrule and threatening the kingdom. King Rhoam is worried about the kingdom. Can the devastation of Ganon be stopped? The knight Link sets out to stop the disaster. He receives support from his companions. Princess Zelda and the Shiekah warrior Impa stand by the hero's side. In addition, the four warriors Revali, Daruk, Urbosa, and Mipha will join you. As the game progresses, the number of your allies grows, as well as the number of characters you can play yourself. You'll also be joined by some unusual characters, such as the Krog Maronus and the Great Fairies. The 18 playable characters all have their abilities and thus provide variety.

The core of the game principle has remained the same. You go into battle against whole armies of enemies, have to conquer enemy positions, eliminate commanders, hold your positions, protect allies and advance on the battlefield. You'll use combos in combat and be able to fight the superiority of the enemies with powerful special attacks. Since you'll first have to defeat some other enemies to use them, this creates room for tactical considerations.

The Hyrule map allows you to make choices within certain limits early in the game. For example, you can aim to expand the infrastructure, focus on strengthening your favorite characters, go hunting for resources or advance the story. The game is divided into chapters, within which you'll enjoy some freedom in setting your priorities. Of course, it happens that you first have to collect enough material in one mission to use it elsewhere. But the game is not linear. Even in the story missions, you can partly decide for yourself in which order you want to complete them.

A real gain is the co-op mode. While couch co-op seems to increasingly lose its importance in times of the Internet, the Nintendo Switch comes up trumps in this area. Thanks to the JoyCon, you usually don't even need an additional controller. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity can also be played in couch co-op, which proved to be surprisingly fun. Although a lot is going on on the battlefield, the overview on the TV was no problem. You can fight side by side to stop the devastation of Ganon. Not quite as flawless is the performance, which sometimes suffers in couch co-op.

Musou games don't necessarily have the best reputation. Cheaply made and flat? Not at all. In Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, what's inside is what's on the outside. You get a solid prequel to Breath of the Wild, including dubbed cutscenes, and with an interesting look at familiar characters that gain depth as a result. There is also plenty of room for speculation regarding the announced Breath of the Wild sequel. Numerous fan theories have long been circulating on the web about what might come out of Age of Calamity and Breath of the Wild for the upcoming spin-off. Age of Calamity is a feast for fans of the open-world game and not just a gap filler. The side missions are comparatively weak, but that can be overlooked. Fighting the hordes of enemies has something relaxing about it and is a good way to wind down after long days. Although the combat system relies on combos, they are neither complicated nor do you need to perfect your mastery.

Conclusion:
Hyrule Warriors is a gripping and fun Musou game, and it's an excellent adventure with Link. The prequel to Breath of the Wild is not only great staged, but it also allows plenty of room for theories regarding the sequel. Entertaining mass battles paired with a thrilling storyline drive the anticipation for the next Zelda spin-off to new heights. 

Like Hyrule Warriors, Age of Calamity is an addictive game that can easily leave hundreds of hours of play. Improve weapons, strengthen characters, collect better equipment, unlock new companions or simply have fun together in co-op - there is a lot to do. Small weaknesses like the sometimes not optimal performance in co-op and the shallow side missions can be tolerated. A worthy successor.

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