Let me preface this by saying that I’m a big hack and slash fan, as well as a longtime fan of the Warriors series. So keep that in mind. If you have no interest in such games, this review probably isn’t for you. If you’re a fan or curious, read on.
If you haven’t heard of it, Hyrule Warriors is a new Wii U title that is a hybrid of the Zelda series and the Warriors/Musou series (Dynasty Warriors, etc.) It’s a departure from the regular adventure one gets from a Legend of Zelda game, and in reality is more of a Warriors game using characters, settings, mechanics and other bits from the Legend of Zelda series. Personally, with the time I’ve spent with the game so far, I have to say I’m really enjoying it.
Hyrule Warriors is fun. It takes no time to show you that it’s fun, if a little repetitive. But most hack and slash games are, I’m just something of a combo fiend so I always enjoy. With each character playing in unique styles and having more than one weapon (which is essentially just another move set), there’s a lot of diversity in the ways in which you can slay thousands (seriously, I’ve killed thousands of people in each level.) Each weapon’s move set comes with different combos and super abilities, along with having elements assigned to them. Elements are nudges for the player to use characters or elements that are strong in certain levels (though you by no means have to.)
To illustrate, I’ll link a video to some combat. The player is uses Sheik, Link and Lana (a character made for Hyrule Warriors specifically) all of whom I’ve found pretty fun. Each are a few missions into the story, so be warned. Minor spoilers ahead are there, but they are quite minor.
This may make it seem as if this really isn’t a Legend of Zelda game at all, and this may in fact be true. However, there are some things, some of them small, about Hyrule Warriors that I think fans of Legend of Zelda games will enjoy.
First, the settings and characters; Hyrule Warriors has the whole “tear-in-space-time” thing going, so you get run around areas from plenty of different Zelda games and, of course, interact with the characters from them (the bigger roles end up joining your party as usable characters.) The last Legend of Zelda game I really played was Twilight Princess, so I love the hell out of destroying people as Midna. She just like…rampages with shadow wolves and her hair fist. It’s a thing. Also, you get to refight a lot of bosses from Zelda games, and they seem to have a lot of their old weaknesses (King Dodongo: Throw Bombs in mouth. Kill.)
A second nod is to the chests and items. Clearing out specific keeps will cause chests to appear, and you get to do the classic (if a bit sped up) item grab from the chest, with the appropriate sound effect of course. The bow, boomerang, hookshot and bombs are all back, though they’re amplified in power.
The third piece, which I’ve already talked about a bit, is the music and sounds. Pretty much all the sound effects you like in Zelda games are used in Hyrule Warriors; hearts, items, (golden) Skulltulas, you name it. The music is pretty much all from Zelda, but with a twist. It’s pretty much standard that all Warriors games have instrumental hard rock as the soundtrack, and Hyrule Warriors is no different, except that it’s Zelda music redone as hard rock and maybe some EDM (Twilight Princess level has an electronic feel to it.) I enjoy it, it’s a nod to classic Zelda but made appropriate for the vast of amounts of demon imp slaughtering you’ll be doing.
There’s a lot more to the game, such as character development, weapon and item crafting, collectibles and four game modes. I’ve been playing through Legend Mode, which is essentially the story mode for Hyrule Warriors. As expected from a Warriors game, there’s a free mode in which you can use any character on any level you’ve played. There’s also Adventure Mode, which seems to be an interesting mix of the original Legend of Zelda and Hyrule Warriors. You progress one map square around at a time, with each square being a battlefield with unique conditions. And of course, there’s a challenge mode for those seeking to test their skills. Oh and of course, you can play local co-op with a friend, though I’ve heard it drops the framerate a bit.
In all, Hyrule Warriors is fun. Like super fun. And I see no problem with that being it. Fans waiting for a new Legend of Zelda game don’t need to fret, as this isn’t the new Zelda title. That’s already in production by a different team. If you’re looking for a fun, different style of game with the characters you love (or even if you don’t), I recommend Hyrule Warriors.
Interested? Played it? I’ll probably do a full review when I feel like I’ve played enough, but for now, let me know what you think.Tweet