While it is mostly a musou affair, with Link and the gang still beating up hundreds of foes at once, it still retains the mechanics of Breath of the Wild in a number of ways.
Link returns with all his weapons from Breath of the Wild, namely one-handed weapons, two-handed weapons, and spears. Most of these are ones we’ve seen before but this time around, they won’t break after use. The video also showcased his two-handed moveset, which allows Link to sacrifice some of his health for stronger attacks.
Zelda also had her fair share of gameplay shown off while she was in a party consisting of herself, Urbosa, and Link. Most of her moveset with the Sheikah Slate was shown off, including a remote bomb that she can control, and her ultimate attack that calls back to the camera from Breath of the Wild. She’s definitely different from her initial Hyrule Warriors incarnation, but it’s a welcome change.
The Gerudo Champion was also shown off for the first time, with Urbosa’s lightning-based attacks needing some charging in between slashes for maximum effect. The video shows off the Yiga clan and Ganon’s forces attacking Gerudo Town, and Urbosa making quick work of them with her unique charging mechanic. This lightning charging definitely makes her stand out from Link’s usual sword and shield maneuvers.
Copy Ninja Impa
While Impa was shown off during Tokyo Game Show 2020, this Treehouse video showcased her almost Naruto-like movepool. This includes her copying herself, firing a shower of kunai, and even summoning a giant frog. We also got a glimpse of the character selection screen, which only showed off Link, Impa, Zelda, and the four Champions of Hyrule.
A Refreshed Hyrule
Since this takes place 100 years before the events of Breath of the Wild, we saw the ruins of the previous game still in their prime and intact. One challenge level had Link squaring off in the Ranch Ruins before it was destroyed, and it looked a lot like Lon Lon Ranch from Ocarina of Time. The game has you traveling across Hyrule, accomplishing tasks all over the map that we are all familiar with. Sadly, the open-world does not return. Instead, there are only areas like fighting arenas or areas where you can upgrade items for your party.
True Power of the Sheikah Slate
While Zelda may be the main wielder of this powerful weapon, each character will have access to the Sheikah Slate and the Magnesis, Stasis, and Cryonis runes. They have similar effects to what you can find in Breath of the Wild, though they have all been modified for combat. The good news is that you can still freeze Hinoxes whenever you want.
Another tool in your arsenal are the elemental wands, typically found once you beat a Wizrobe all over Hyrule. One cool thing that is being brought back is how the elemental powers react to the world around them. Just like how lightning attacks are drawn to metal objects in Breath of the Wild, with the right parameters, you can reenact this phenomenon for a powerful area-of-effect attack.
The Molduga and More
The terrifying, sand-dwelling whale found in the Gerudo Desert makes a deadly return in Age of Calamity as neither friend nor foe to either side of battle. The Treehouse showcase does cut off before we can actually see the Molduga wreaking havoc, but we can now assume that certain monsters are neutral and players must be wary of them. Koroks also make a return, hiding in plain sight in stages.
The cooking mechanic makes a triumphant return, albeit in a more subdued way. Food can be cooked outside of battle, granting a myriad of effects to the party before battle. Certain foods can also be eaten in battle to regain health. Rewards for sidequests and beating up enemies are typically food, so it’s good to know that Link and company won’t go hungry anytime soon.
Lastly, you can dress Link up again in this game. Granted, there are no bonus effects for wearing matching sets of armour, but it does give you the same freedom to mix and match. From the Hyrulean knight armour to the Zora armour, they are all coming back for Link to dress to the nines. Maybe this means we can also play dress-up with the rest of the gang, like using the Guardian armour on Zelda or putting Majora’s Mask on Daruk.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity arrives on Nintendo Switch this November 10.