Nintendo (alongside Koei Tecmo) just dropped a stunning trailer for what is to be the next installment in the Zelda Universe, and many players, hands trembling and heart reaching, are wondering if this might be the sequel to Breath of the Wild we’ve all been waiting for. What, exactly, is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and might it really be, at long last, Breath of the Wild 2?
What is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity?
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is the latest installment in the Hyrule Warriors series developed by two internal divisions of Koei Tecmo, Omega Force, and Team Ninja, in collaboration with Nintendo. The concept for the series originated as a mashup of Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors and the Zelda Universe; by combining the fast-paced combat system and unique game mechanics of Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors franchise with the characters and settings of the richly developed Zelda universe the developers created a full-blown Zelda Hack and Slash game. And it turned out to be awesome.
It’s an unexpected but thoroughly loved series that manages to do right by the lore and tone of Nintendo’s Zelda in an entirely new format and feels almost like what Koei Tecmo would send Nintendo if developers could send extensively developed games as Valentine’s Day cards.
Is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity BOTW2?
Well, nope. No. Yes! Well… sort of…
Unfortunately, it seems you’ll have to wait a little while longer to get your hands on the actual BOTW2 as ‘Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity’ is not a sequel to the Breath of the Wild game. We were given snippets of the BOTW2 game during the Nintendo Showcase late last year but Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity is not about that.
That’s not to say it bears no relation to Breath of the Wild though — far from it. Unlike previous installments in the Hyrule Warrior series which took place in separate timelines of their own, Age of Calamity, despite being produced by a different developer and sporting very different gameplay, is considered canon by Nintendo and serves as an official narrative prequel to Breath of the Wild.
Set a century before Breath of the Wild, Age of Calamity is centered around the hitherto mysterious cataclysmic event that sent Link into the hundred-year slumber that came to an end at the beginning of BOTW. Age of Calamity will finally shed more light on what exactly happened, and give players the opportunity to explore the backstory of Breath of the WIld firsthand — albeit from a different angle.
The game will have players facing off against legions of Calamity Gannon forces during an invasion of Hyrule, slaying them en masse with numerous characters from the Zelda franchise with a host of varied weaponry. The current roster of confirmed playable characters includes Link, Revali, Mipha, Daruk, Urbosa, and Princess Zelda with the possibility of more to come.
The main difference between previous Hyrule Warriors games will be that this time, instead of functioning essentially as a reskin of a Dynasty Warriors game with a Zelda look and some extra mechanics added in, Age of Calamity will be making direct references to Breath of the Wild as if it truly were the next installment in the Nintendo series — which, in a way, it very much is.
Will Hyrule Warriors: Age Of Calamity Be Similar to BOTW?
The game seems designed to appeal to fans of both series, offering the unique aesthetic and exquisitely detailed world millions of players feel in love within Breath of the Wild with the core gameplay (see above) that made the Hyrule Warriors series the beloved Hack and Slash it is.
While it will take on the Zelda Motif and borrow the BOTW aesthetic, gameplay-wise, the only similarity to Breath of the Wild that players can expect will be a real-time combat system. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will not be using the open-world format of Breath of the Wild. Instead, much like the traditional Koei Tecmo “Musou” games that Hyrule Warriors derives its structure from, it will focus on instance-based gameplay in the form of large-scale battles. Players should expect to be mowing down droves of enemies with some serious button mashing rather than the more thoughtful timing and ARPG style combat that underpinned Breath of the Wild’s more fluid combat system.
When is Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Coming Out?
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is set for release on November 20th, and is available for pre-order now. Early birds who buy the digital version ahead of time will also get a special Lucky Ladle weapon with the game!
What About BOTW2?
Unlike Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, we still don’t have a release date for Breath of the Wild 2. With no further news from Nintendo about anything remotely close to a tentative timeline beyond Aonuma’s vague suggestion in Age of Calamity’s trailer that players “wait a bit longer for updates” indicates that we are, unfortunately, still quite a ways off from the sequel.
But Nintendo could surprise us, of course. They have a history of surprising players with fully developed games with little-to-no announcements like they did with Super Mario World 3D — or, in this case with Age of Calamity. With nothing in the way of build-up or announcements before the sudden drop of the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, we got the game’s announcement, release date, and some gameplay footage all at once — so it’s impossible to predict what Nintendo will do with the Breath of the Wild 2 whenever it is finally ready. But, until then, anybody planning on getting Breath of the Wild 2 has good reason to pick up Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity even if just to stay up to date with the evolving storyline, if not to enjoy what will likely be some incredible hack and slash gameplay.
Excited for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity or running low on hair to pull out of your head as the anxiety of waiting for Breath of the Wild 2 finally drives you to insanity? Let us know! We’ll get back to you as soon as we’re done pre-ordering for that awesome ladle.