The free demo for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is out now on the Nintendo Switch, and is a definite must-play for The Legend of Zelda fans. Set just before the events of Breath of the Wild, this sequel to 2014’s Hyrule Warriors inserts you straight into a battle for Hyrule Castle, prior to the calamity of Ganon taking its hold and Link’s 100-year sleep.
Like other Dynasty Warriors style games, you’ll be hacking and slashing through hordes of monsters, but as characters that should be familiar to you if you played Breath of the Wild. In the demo, you can battle as Link, Zelda, and a young Hipa, who I found to be the most fun to play; I just love those clones she summons to seamlessly tear through a whole screen full of Bokoblins and Lizalfos.
The demo runs for roughly the first 2 hours of the game, which is almost exactly how long it takes you to get hooked and want to continue. Don’t fret, though, as you won’t have to replay the tutorial. If you purchase the game in the future, your save file from the demo will carry over to the main game.
As always, It’s super fun to smash through hundreds of enemies, and for players dying to get back to the action, this demo is essential to try it out while you wait. Getting your timing and combos just right to rip through half of a mini-boss’s health bar is extremely satisfying. And if you liked the item collection in Breath of the Wild, it’s all present here. You can cook with what you find, create and level up weapons and armor, and even get korok seeds if you’re keen to slow down and look for them (although it is unclear what they do, so far).
Technically speaking, the Age of Calamity demo runs fairly well. It is aesthetically almost identical to Breath of the Wild, but tuned for the different gameplay. I ran into some frame-dropping issues, but less than I would’ve expected for the amount of action onscreen. It was only terribly apparent when I blew up several bombs at once while surrounded by mobs. The camera control is not exactly perfect either, but it is yet to be seen whether any of these issues will be resolved when the final game is released.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will be out for the Nintendo Switch on November 20th, 2020.
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