When I was starting my ‘writing’ career in gaming, I would accept just about any game to review. It didn’t matter the genre, I wanted to build my experience and become a better writer. One series in particular that came my way was Dynasty Warriors. They have their audience but a lot of people, myself included, just found the repetitive combat too mundane to really enjoy for any sizeable period of time. Because of my sour feelings towards that series and Koei Tecmo’s blueprint for the genre I never bothered trying any of their more recent titles, including Hyrule Warriors or Fire Emblem Warriors, even with their Nintendo connection.

Enemies attacking

But, I decided to download the demo for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity because it’s connected to the incredible Breath of the Wild. I also wanted to see if their (Koei Tecmo) take on the genre has changed from what I remember. While the combat early on still feels the same, I’m quite surprised at how much enjoyment I’m having and I definitely want to play more.

I just wrapped up everything that I could do in the demo and while it’s over in about an hour there is still quite a bit available to sample. The first two missions I’ve completed each took around 20 minutes to complete and the mission structure isn’t too complicated. Yes, this is still just you as Link running around the environment killing foes and activating objects, but the combat options have been a lot of fun. 

You’re using the same weapons and magic from BOTW, so those familiar with that game will feel right at home. It does take some time getting used to the controls when using spells but the combat slows down just enough to give you a bit of room to aim. The difficulty (I’m playing on normal) feels right. I haven’t died in a mission yet but I can sense that you can’t just blindly swing your weapon and expect success. By the time I finished the demo, Link was already at level 10. I suspect the leveling system is pretty robust and will scale as the game goes on. If it doesn’t, then it might get way too easy by the end.

One aspect I haven’t really grasped is the character switching. You do have the ability to change characters on the battlefield but I just haven’t felt the need to do so. I suspect that as the game opens up, you’ll have to play certain missions as the other characters. Additionally, because of the leveling system, I’m also curious if replaying certain missions as other characters will open up more content?

Hyrule Castle from Hyrule Warriors

Because of the busy November schedule and with new consoles launching days before this hits store, I am worried it goes completely under the radar. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was not a game I was expecting to play but the demo has done a good enough job to pique my interest and I’m seriously considering picking up the full game when it launches in about three week’s time.