Don’t start Tears of the Kingdom without playing this Zelda game | Digital Trends

With The Legend of Zelda: Kingdom Tears less than a month away, it’s as good a time as any to revisit Breath of the wild. Maybe you still have a few shrines to clear, or maybe you’ve never defeated Calamity Ganon (okay, you can admit it). Now may be your last chance to finish that story before diving headlong into the next chapter of Hyrule. Breath of the wild That’s not the only Zelda game you’ll want to finish before May 12, though; Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity it’s a must-play that needs to be on your pre-launch checklist.

Age of calamity is a Dynasty Warriors-style action RPG that serves as a prequel Breath of the wild. Set before the Calamity, it tells the story of Link, Zelda and the four champions who try to thwart Ganon’s plans to conquer Hyrule. Its Zeldas version of A rogue onewith its heroes trying to fight a fate players know is inevitable.

Well, sort of.

Despite gaining positive buzz upon launch, Age of calamity it was a bit of a mixed bag for the fans. Musou’s gameplay always tends to be a bit hit and miss with mainstream audiences, so it wasn’t a surprise that not everyone agreed with her hack-and-slash combat. Even more polarizing, however, was the story of him. Let’s just say this Age of calamity takes some liberties with the Zelda timeline, making for more of an alternate history than a true prequel. While that decision has led some to label him a cop, that doesn’t mean you should skip it altogether. Age of calamity includes some crucial lore and character development that you’ll want to delve into before you begin Kingdom tears.

More than a musou

While Age of calamityThe narrative may not be canon, but it still expands the world of Breath of the wild in some crucial ways. History plays a big part in the latter game, with Link trying to piece together what happened before the Calamity. We go back to some of those moments in unlockable memories, but in the end we only get a few glimpses of the past. Age of calamity allows players to experience that era firsthand and spend more time with characters they previously only flashed.

The most valuable thing here is the way Age of calamity it enriches the champions of Hyrules, the four heroes who perished when Link awakens from his long slumber. When Breath of the wild finished, I was dying to know more about characters like Revali and Daruk. Age of calamity it doesn’t just treat them as faceless hack-and-slash characters, it actually provides insight into who they were before the Calamity. Featuring full voice acting and high-quality cutscenes, the action RPG explores real heroes who have been turned into folk legends a century later in the series timeline.

Breath of the wildToday’s divine beasts get similar treatment here. When that game starts, the huge machines are a bit mysterious. Players are told they were once important weapons that could hold the key to taking down Ganon, but we never really see their power. Even in the finale, they look more like glowing MacGuffins than winning machines.

Age of calamity it is an important missing link in this regard. A handful of missions allow players to actually pilot the beasts, using them to wipe out thousands upon thousands of enemies in the blink of an eye. They’re incredibly fun musou action set pieces, offering the ultimate Zelda power fantasy, but also retroactively adding some stakes. Breath of the wild. Age of calamity clarifies that these are not just mobile dungeons to be conquered, but real weapons of mass destruction that should not be taken lightly.

Zelda has her moment

In his best moments, Age of calamity excels at providing sequences like those that deepen my understanding Breath of the wild although it doesn’t quite fit his story. The best example of this comes from the way she handles the series’ titular character: Zelda herself. For decades, the princess played second fiddle to Link as she heroically saved the day. Breath of the wild features a much richer take on the character, but is still largely out of the picture for the duration of the adventure.

In Age of calamityHowever, she is the main character. The game tells an almost self-reflective story about Zelda struggling with always being treated like a sidekick. Here she learns to awaken her true potential, finally establishing why she is so important to a series that has been named after her for decades. That effective character journey completely recolored my view of the series and got me in Kingdom tears excited to see how it grows from here.

While its hack-and-slash combat might not be for everyone, you’d be missing out if you decided to jump in outright Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and go straight inside Kingdom tears. It might be an optional side story, but it’s a fulfilling spin-off that pays off a lot Breath of the wilds lip service. Besides, what else are you going to do for the next grueling three weeks?

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