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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

I recently got into “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” after beating “Breath of the Wild” in master mode. Going in, I really didn’t know what to expect. I have previously played “Skyward Sword,” “Link’s Awakening,” and a bit of “Ocarina of Time,” so I am familiar with the characters and a bit of the story of “The Legend of Zelda” series. I was really excited to get into this game because it takes place 100 years before the story of “Breath of the Wild” and I wanted to learn more about what happened in that time because you only get mere glimpses into the past.

If you are looking for a traditional Zelda game with dungeons, puzzle solving, and quests, this is not it. Instead, it is a game solely about tearing through hordes of enemies and defeating bosses. There is a LOT of story told through almost two hours of cutscenes, however, the story being told is unfortunately not a direct prequel of “Breath of the Wild,” but instead an alternate past. This is because time travel is introduced and before everything goes wrong leading to the events in “Breath of the Wild,” the characters time travel to before key events take place.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to relax and not have to worry about solving difficult puzzles or obtaining special items to unlock new areas. It made the gameplay simpler and allowed me to focus more on the story. I also liked the unique fighting techniques used by the characters and how some characters have multiple fighting styles based on the type of weapon equipped. This gave me varied gameplay even when replaying levels. I personally liked using Zelda’s bows instead of the Sheikah Slate and using the Master sword when playing as Link. Each of the characters have a unique ability as well. For example, Urbosa can charge up powerful lightning strikes and Hestu summons his Korok children. My favorite character to play as is Impa because she can spawn clones and do incredible damage. The combat system in this game is similar to “Breath of the Wild’s” and it made it easier to pick up techniques like flurry rushes and dodging attacks.

One thing I wish they didn’t bring back is Korok seeds. I know it is a Zelda staple to have collectibles, but this game does not need it. Trust me, I got all 900 Korok seeds in “Breath of the Wild” (only took me over 200 hours in my master mode save file). When I thought I 100 percent completed the game, it turned out that I had to collect over 30 more Korok seeds out of the 134 included. The game also doesn’t give you an easy way to find them like the Korok mask in “Breath of the Wild.” This led to me replaying every story level as well as a bunch of side ones. At least they aren’t puzzles you have to solve, but it is still annoying to find a yellow flower in a massive map. Nonetheless, I am obsessed with 100 percent-ing every game I play, so I had to find all the leaf fairy children.

Another thing I dislike is the weapon fusing system. The game throws it at you without explaining much about what anything does and how the fusing works. You have to merge weapons together to upgrade them and add special perks called seals. You gain weapons to merge after battle and you need to pay rupees to fuse them together. The game makes you figure out which fusions make the most sense for your character, so I ended up having to look up the best seals for each character and weapon (because some characters have multiple weapon types). Some seals are basically useless, such as increasing the drop rate of ancient parts from guardians (you don’t need many), or decreasing the damage taken by electricity (there aren’t many electric enemies). They could have made the upgrade system more one dimensional by adding preset seals after certain levels so the player doesn’t have to choose between a dozen options. All in all, this is way too in depth of a system for a game that is focused more on fast paced battles.

After clocking 80 hours in the game and 100 percent completing it, I would do it again. It was fun to play through and see the story play out, but I would like to try it again and play around with the weapon fusing system to craft more powerful or fun-to-play-with weapons. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes the story of “Breath of the Wild” and wants to see what it would be like to play as the champions in that game. I give the game a 6.5/10 overall. I like the story and the gameplay, but I dislike the weapon system and the resource gathering. I also wish it was a direct prequel instead of an alternate past to “Breath of the Wild.”

Bennett is a junior at Michigan State University studying mechanical engineering and German. He is the Vice President of German club and a member of CRU. In his free time he plays games on his Nintendo Switch.