There are two things that most people will tell you about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. First, that the genre-defining open-world adventure is amazing, if not one of the best games ever. Second, that they wish they could experience it all over again, fresh.
So far, Nintendo has not yet perfected the technology required for this, but Hyrule Warriors: Age of Bad luck could be the next best thing. It’s like discovering the director’s cut of your favorite movie, or finding out that the author of a great book has a lot more of it. For dozens of hours Age of Misfortune allows you to spend more time with beloved characters in a world you may not want to leave in the first place. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is that Age of Misfortune is an homage to everything that has made Breath of the wild great while at the same time creating a sense of size of its own.
I’m not sure you’ll have almost that much of this Age of Misfortune when you haven’t played Breath of the wild, or if you’re a hardcore “Musou” fan who hopes Koei Tecmo has taken his signature hack-and-slash series to new heights. If any, Age of Misfortune appears to be a crossover game designed to introduce new people to the genre known for its large-scale battles and flashy fights. In a way, the game already assumes you’re invested in the characters from its epic story.
Breath of the wild takes place in a devastated world a hundred years in the future, and many of its heroes of the myth are long dead when Link wakes up. You save the day, of course, but it was a deep feeling of melancholy and pathos to know the enormous price that w as paid to ensure your eventual victory. Age of Misfortune
Age of Misfortune begins in this disastrous future, then inexplicably tosses a mysterious robot into a time-traveling vortex. I was instantly intrigued by this premise, wondering how – or if – things could deviate from the timeline in which I was playing BOTH.
Everything that I took for granted Breath of the wild does not necessarily exist in Age of MisfortuneAt least not at first. I can watch the Sheikah Towers being built and how Zelda convinces the champions to control the Divine Beasts. Even though I knew exactly what it was and where the overarching story was leading, I was still excited to be a part of it all.
It helps that Koei Tecmo obviously has a deep love for the source material. The Japanese developer has found ways to incorporate almost every element from BOTH in Age of Misfortune, from collecting koroks for power-ups to collecting ingredients for status-influencing cooking. Even minor things, like bespoke animation for each character, are filled with undeniable awe and joy. Link doesn’t just kill his enemies with a sword. It will also shield the surf on Lynel’s face.
Most of the time, however, the fight is sick as hell. Few games make me this cool at creating simple combos myself, which encouraged me to learn more detailed techniques. I was amazed as I struck down vast numbers of enemies with the ease and grace inherent in the hero of the time.
I was particularly curious to see how Age of Misfortune turned Princess Zelda into a total ass. After spending the entirety of Breath of the wild When I complained to Zelda that she could no longer contribute to the war effort, I was glad to see Age of Misfortune Let them play a more practical role. Sure, for most of the game, Zelda was still guessing her ability to awaken the power necessary to defeat Calamity Ganon, but that doesn’t mean Zelda isn’t extremely capable.
Where Breath of the wild presents a more accurate story about the adventure of a hero, Age of MisfortuneThe scale is much larger. Battles take place on large (and sometimes confusing) maps full of enemies, and it’s your job to consider the entire field of play, not just your immediate field of vision. I would divide my attention in several ways and send out characters to defend points of interest. With the push of a button, I can switch through different characters depending on the changing goals or points of interest. The scope was large enough to reinforce that I was waging a war, not an instantiated battle.
This is what I found while playing on the Nintendo Switch Lite Age of Misfortune sometimes buckles under its own weight. There were times when I killed enemies so quickly that I had to wait for the game to load more. Sometimes when the field of play is littered with a multitude of skills and effects, things get choppy and slow. The texture popup is constant. The game doesn’t seem to quite be able to cope with the breadth of war it wants to show, at least not on Nintendo Switch. Even so, none of these technical issues were ever bad enough to prevent me from enjoying the game.
Most of the time, what I was asked of the game was pretty straightforward. You will spend a quantity the time to try to capture points that have been overrun by Bokoblins and other such creatures, or to clear away bigger bosses like the Stone Talus and Guardians. Again and again, Age of Misfortune Turns things upside down by asking you to interact with your surroundings in a variety of ways, such as: B. by cutting down a tree to block a path. But for the most part, the game gives you a number of playgrounds and leaves you going wild Breath of the wild‘s iconic cast of champions.
And let me tell you, they are called champions for a reason. There are a large number of characters to unlock and almost all of them have a unique play style. Daruk, for example, is a slow and steady beast banished to the ground, while Revali is a fast soldier who can fly through the air. My favorite has to be Urbosa, charging forward with light attacks that need to be charged. Watching Urbosa snap her fingers to drown the battlefield with bolts never gets old. There’s a noticeable swing to all of this – Urbosa turns to the camera and laughs as her enemies are decimated. The raw power and joy are intoxicating. It’s not often that I play a brown woman who kicks the ass so much.
While the core gameplay loop stays the same throughout Age of MisfortuneDue to the extended playing time, I never got tired. I switched through characters a lot and made sure everyone was on the same level and had strong weapons. There’s a good depth here to battle prep, as you can collect a wide variety of weapons of varying strengths in the game. A broad sword could strengthen your defenses while another could give you more rupees after a successful mission. These effects can be mixed and matched as you fuse and upgrade weapons together.
Tons of technically repetitive side quests have to be ground to unlock additional hearts, combos, vendors, and gear, but I enjoyed that. I found myself constantly trying to find new depths in combat, whether it be discovering a more effective combination of Sheikah skills or using different gear and power-ups.
Eventually it became a game to see how quickly I could destroy enemies that used to scare me. The more perfectly timed evasive maneuvers that triggered devastating attacks, the better. The game also brings many new challenges, such as plunging into an optional battle where a single hit can kill you. There’s nothing like beating a level with a second or two on the clock and only half a heart for your name.
The game never fully exploits the potential possibilities of its time-traveling premise, but I was still excited. It may have helped Breath of the wild has already done such a good job establishing the stakes. Age of Misfortune didn’t have to do much to draw on the same hearts. Sometimes a short cutscene with a pained look or a wavering voice was enough to revive the drama of it all.
Age of MisfortuneHis mandate is less about saving the world as you always have, and more about imagining that you are one of those experts Breath of the wild Speed runners who can cut lynels like it’s nothing. On the one hand, I am happy to be able to indulge in this power fantasy.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Bad luck was released on November 20th on Nintendo Switch. The game was verified on a Nintendo Switch Lite with a download code provided by Nintendo prior to release. Vox Media maintains partner partnerships. These do not affect the editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions on products purchased through affiliate links. You can find For more information on Polygon’s ethical policy, see here.