Hyrule warriors featured

Preview: Hyrule Warriors

Hyrule Warriors isn’t your traditional Zelda game. Instead of a classic Zelda game, it’s a crossover between the Dynasty Warriors franchise and the Legend of Zelda franchise. At first this might sound weird and farfetched, but in reality, the game is shaping up to deliver a special kind of fun.

The reason that this game became reality isn’t that strange. The Dynasty Warriors franchise is huge in Japan but the rest of the world doesn’t care that much about the franchise. The Legend of Zelda franchise on the other hand, is huge in the West but lacks the blockbuster attention in Japan. Combining the Dynasty Warriors franchise with Zelda could result in a very successful project worldwide.

Lucky for the fans, Nintendo and Tecmo Koei didn’t just create a game to generate money, Hyrule Warriors is far from that, it’s fanservice in its purest form. In the game you’ll be able to play as a lot of different characters and travel to a lot of memorable Zelda environments. In the demo, we saw environments from Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess and Skyward Sword. Thanks to this, every level feels different and plays different as well.

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The gameplay itself consists out of typical Dynasty Warriors gameplay. This means you’ll have to face hordes of enemies in order to advance. You can attack your enemies with regular or strong attacks. Depending on your playable character, you can also bring a bit of magic to the battle scene. All of those attacks can be used to destroy the ground troops. In fact you can defeat those ground troops without advancing in the level. In order to advance, you’ll need to complete some tasks.

Most of the time you’ll need to defeat enemies to gain control over an outpost or other key locations. You can take over those by defeating the ground troops and the boss of the location. Once you win the battle, you’ll gain control over the location, resulting in more friendly troops on the battlefield. The demo showed that not all of tasks ask the same thing.

Besides taking over key locations, we also had to escort characters or items trough the danger of the battlefield. Or search for a Great Fairy to help us fight of the danger. All in all, Hyrule Warriors features enough different tasks to keep you going.

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The tasks offer enough variation but it isn’t always that clear where you’ll need to go. Since there’s a lot of fighting going on, the battlefield can become rather chaotic, making it hard for you orientation. The mini-map in the top corner of the screen indicates where your help is needed but getting there isn’t always that easy. This can become rather frustrating when you need to be at a new location as soon as possible.

The speed of your character and the amount of enemies on screen is without a doubt something you’ll need to get used to in order to advance on your map. After one or two levels, you’ll get used to the chaos and be able to advance on your map much quicker than you did before. It’s a small point of frustration but we know Zelda fans aren’t used to this kind of speed.

Aside of the maps and enemies, the game is all about the playable characters. During the demo we were able to control Link, Zelda, Sheik, Impa and Lana, all with their own unique weapons and powers. Thanks to the different characters, you’ll be able to defeat your enemies in new ways. Link was pretty fast for example while Impa was slower but caused more damage thanks to her giant weapon. Sheik en Lana on the other hand weren’t that fond of close combat but used some magic tricks instead. The variation in characters and the way they play really is the power of the game.

Controlling characters doesn’t happen at random. You’ll follow the main story and new characters are often introduced at the start of the level. Picking your character and weapon of choice is very important to survive the level. Throughout the levels you’ll find new weapons such as your bombs or bow and arrow. Thanks to this system, you never know what to expect and this is what makes it so much fun.

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If you want to play a level with another character you can play the ‘free mode’. In here you’ll be able to select the level and character you would like to play with. Therefor you’ll be able to play the first levels with characters that weren’t introduced at that point. It’s a great way to get to know the characters and their powers.

Aside of the main story mode and free mode, the game also features a mode called Adventure Mode where you’ll need to play fragments of different levels to gain some nice bonuses. In this mode you’ll need to defeat 300 enemies in 10 minutes for example. It’s a nice game mode for those who seek some true challenges.

The main mode on the other hand also offers enough challenges. Aside of the regular troops, some of the levels will let you face epic boss-battles such as Gohma and more infamous bosses from the Zelda franchise. Battling those really asks  a lot of skill and concentration. Aside of the bosses, the levels are also filled with collectible weapons and items or even side-quests like collection gold Skulltulas.

After playing some of the levels, we could only conclude that Hyrule Warriors really offers a complete experience. It has tons of collectibles and a huge character roster to choose from. Hyrule Warriors combines the famous elements from several legendary Zelda games, all in one package. Fans of the Legend of Zelda will be pleased with the iconic weaponry and characters, while fans of the Dynasty Warriors franchise will be pleased with the typical, fast-paced gameplay. Hyrule Warriors is shaping up to be a very interesting cross-over project. We can’t wait to check out the full retail version soon.

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.