Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity wasn’t the best game of 2020, but it managed to have some of the most memorable moments of the year, without ever really trying.
The Legend of Zelda series has produced some of the greatest video games of all time, even with the limits of Nintendo’s hardware. The nature of the Zelda games meant that Link only ever fought a handful of foes at a time, along with the occasional giant boss monster. It wasn’t until the release of Hyrule Warriors that we saw Link and the other Zelda characters carving their way through armies of enemy soldiers.
Related: Why Age Of Calamity’s Zelda Is My Favorite Character Of 2020
I never finished the original Hyrule Warriors, but I did complete Age of Calamity. The reason why I never took to the original Hyrule Warriors was due to its visuals and the fact that it wasn’t set in any specific Zelda game. It was harder to care about the world of Hyrule Warriors, as it was made to accommodate fanservice, and wasn’t designed to tell stories or develop characters. Age of Calamity was different, as it was set in the established version of Hyrule from Breath of the Wild. I had already grown attached to the characters in the game and was excited to see more of the ones who were already deceased at the start of Breath of the Wild, like the Champions.
Like most Musou games, Age of Calamity has a lot of repetition. There is a ton of running around and plowing through groups of boring weaker enemies before you get to the good stuff. The human brain is great at wiping away memories of the boring moments in life, and focusing on the highlights and low points. This is very much in effect with Age of Calamity, as whenever I think of this game, there are a few moments that stand out from the crowd.
There are times in Age of Calamity where Link is defending locations from enemies. The ones that stick out to me the most were the ones where Link was fighting on a bridge at night. Link was battling hordes of enemies at once, cutting them down with the Master Sword or blowing them up with bombs. Those moments of Link fighting an entire army of foes in the rain is what keeps coming back to me, whenever I think of the games released last year. Those moments in Age of Calamity were the ones I saw in my imagination when I first played Ocarina of Time, but I had to wait until this year to see them come to life.
You can dress Link in whatever outfit you’d like in Age of Calamity, so I gave him the Hylian Hood throughout most of the game. This meant that Link also got to wear a cool outfit while fighting foes, which made the scene even more memorable in my mind. I just wish it was easier to take screenshots of Age of Calamity without the UI/copyright logos getting in the way, as it would be easier to demonstrate the moments I loved so much.
When thinking back on my favorite games of 2020, Age of Calamity doesn’t even break the top five. It was a great game, but it was upstaged by better titles. Despite this, when I think back to my favorite gaming moments, it’s Age of Calamity that keeps popping back up in my mind. A hooded version of Link cutting through enemies in the rain, while defending the bridge of Hyrule Castle is the kind of thing I would have made a Linkin Park AMV to back in the ’00s, but that doesn’t make it any less memorable. The original Hyrule Warriors tried to be Zelda fanservice, and it failed, as it tried to use too much of the franchise at once. Age of Calamity succeeds in being Zelda fanservice by sticking to one game and giving fans the moments that Nintendo would never have included on their own.
Next: Age Of Calamity: 10 References To Past Zelda Games You Missed
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is available now for Nintendo Switch.
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Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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