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What is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and should core Zelda fans play?

What is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and should core Zelda fans play?
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Should Zelda fans pick up Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, or is it a forgettable hack-and-slash game that can be skipped?

What is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and should core Zelda fans play?

Zelda fans may have heard by now of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, a new entry in The Legend of Zelda series. However, this game, developed by Omega Force and published by Nintendo, is a much different adventure than most Zelda enthusiasts look for. Where The Legend of Zelda core titles largely focus on adventuring, solving puzzles, and exploring the main narrative, these games offer a mixture of story scenes and large-scale battles that require combos, hack-and-slash combat, and fast-paced gameplay.

With that said, it might be a bit of a jarring departure for some players just picking up the game. That's why we're here, to answer a few questions you may have about what's going on with the Hyrule Warriors series and whether or not it's worth playing for fans of traditional Zelda games. In a nutshell, the answer is yes! If you're still curious, however, keep reading.

Credit: Nintendo - Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Credit: Nintendo

What is the Hyrule Warriors series?

Hyrule Warriors is a crossover that brings together characters from The Legend of Zelda with Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors games. It can best be described as a "musou" game.

Musou games are Japanese hack-and-slash action games, such as the Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors series from Koei Tecmo. They often share similar mechanics, and there are tons of them out there in the gaming world, such as Dragon Quest Heroes, another similar crossover title.

The game lets players choose their favorite characters from the Zelda universe and participate in massive battles against enemies while completing objectives and additional strategic actions.

Instead of having players rely on their brains to solve problems, it's all about brawn, leveling up characters, and using the abilities you need to get ahead. In short, it's a lot of brawling, so if combat is your least favorite thing about Zelda, Hyrule Warriors likely won't appeal to you.

Credit: Nintendo - Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Credit: Nintendo

How does Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity fit into the Zelda timeline?

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity isn't a random spinoff. It's actually required playing for anyone who wants to see what happens before The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes place.

The first game, Hyrule Warriors (without a subtitle), debuted in 2014 and existed in an alternate universe in the Zelda timeline. The newest Hyrule Warriors, Age of Calamity, is actually considered an official part of the Zelda canon, and its story should be taken by gospel among Zelda fans.

So despite the fact that it's a completely different type of game, if you're a core Zelda enthusiast who enjoys piecing together information about its multiple timelines, this is something you're going to want to play.

Credit: Nintendo - Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
Credit: Nintendo

Is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity worth playing?

The answer to this question depends on how important experiencing all the Zelda lore is to you. On its own merits, it's a fun way to spend time, especially if you have a Switch and want to add to your collection. For anyone looking to expand their knowledge of the Breath of the Wild timeline, it's especially worth jumping into.

It might be a bit difficult to get used to since it's such a departure from what the Zelda series has usually produced, again, but it's always good to branch out every once in a while.

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