The Tokyo Game Show gave Zelda fans a first look at Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’s gameplay, but how does combat compare to Breath of the Wild?
The recent Tokyo Game Show gave fans an extensive first-look at gameplay for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The 50-minute showcase previewed early gameplay, featuring mostly Link and Impa fighting their way through hordes of Bokoblins. The first thing Zelda fans may notice from the playthrough is how strikingly similar Age of Calamity looks to Breath of the Wild, but as the stream continues more noticeable differences begin to appear. For as much as this game seems to have borrowed from Breath of the Wild, it’s borrowed just as much from the original Hyrule Warriors game.
The TGS stream exclusively showed combat, which should account for the majority of gameplay in Age of Calamity. Unlike the traditional Zelda title, Age of Calamity doesn’t include much dungeon crawling or puzzle solving, just a whole lot of fighting. Enemy camps are much larger in Age of Calamity than anything that was featured in BOTW. As a result, areas as a whole are a lot smaller in Age of Calamity than the open-world landscape of BOTW, so enemies can load in easier. There’s also a KO counter, experience bar and level number in the bottom left corner that appears every time Link defeats an enemy. It looks like this game will include a leveling system, something that’s normally common in an RPG, but not a Zelda game. Players will be able to level up weapons and learn new attacks as they gain experience throughout the game.
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The most notable change shown in the TGS stream has to be in the inclusion of playable characters other than Link. Being able to quickly switch between characters like Link and Impa will add a lot of creativity to Age of Calamity, as they both have distinctly different playing styles. Link uses mostly slash attacks with his sword, but also has a bow with unlimited arrows for rapid fire, long range attacks. Impa, on the other hand, has the ability to create clones of herself as well as a number of special Shekiah techniques. Each character also has their own unique cinematic special attack that can deal heavy damage to groups of enemies. Watching the stark difference in fighting styles between Link and Impa makes the idea of playing as all four champions from BOTW, as well as Zelda, all the more exciting.
Is Age of Calamity’s Combat Like Breath Of The Wild?
It’s honestly impressive to see how seamlessly Hyrule Warriors and Breath of the Wild blend together in Age of Calamity. All of the combat is similar to that of Hyrule Warriors, but conventions have been changed to be more familiar to those who have played BOTW. Things like Link’s shield surf being turned into a full on dash attack are changes to features from BOTW that make them fit more naturally in a Hyrule Warriors game. The paraglider from BOTW also makes a return and will be important for midair combat. Weapon durability seems like it will no longer be an issue as characters come pre-equipped with items. Players may be able to choose which weapon a characters starts with, or pick up dropped enemy weapons, as Daruk has been shown using an ice wand in a trailer.
The Shiekah Slate also makes a return in Age of Calamity, but it’s a bit different from the one used in BOTW. The various runes of the Shiekah Slate are now used almost exclusively as attacks, rather than keys to solving puzzles. Some runes have seen some change for simplicity sake, like the Cryonis rune no longer needs water to create ice. Others have seen a hefty boost in strength, like the Stasis rune can now freeze large groups of enemies at a time, while the bomb rune now allows for rapid fire bomb throwing, similar to Hyrule Warriors. Each playable character will be able to use the Shiekah Slate, but runes seem to change slightly depending on who’s wielding them.
There are several other returning features from BOTW like collecting food ingredients and minerals, but there’s no telling how similar they’ll be to the original game just yet. Fans eager to find out more will just have to wait for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity to release on November 20th.
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