Hyrule Warriors: The Legend of Zelda Meets Dynasty Warriors
Take the frenetic, intense, chaotic gameplay style of the Dynasty Warriors franchise and apply them to the world of The Legend of Zelda, and you get a dream come true for both groups of fans. Zelda games are usually about dungeons, exploration, and puzzles; but Hyrule Warriors is not your traditional Zelda game. This new spin-off is a fast-paced, hack-and-slash battle-intensive action game filled with hundreds of enemies to slaughter through. And yes: hundreds, eventually even thousands, of simple enemies to cut your way through with ridiculously satisfying destructive attacks and stunning combos that really get your blood pumping.
While the gameplay is more about removing enemy forces and capturing as many bases as possible, it does require a measure of strategy to winning each stage. Many times you’ll find yourself having to make tactical decisions, such as breaking off from your current objective to answer your comrade’s plea for help, or having to pause from attacking an enemy base to go fight a mini-boss that’s causing trouble. The game isn’t just a mindless button-masher; it’s about prioritizing with war mechanics and taking control of the battlefield.
The amount of Zelda references more than satisfies core Zelda fans. While maintaining its Dynasty Warriors nature, the game implements classic features of the Zelda franchise, such as discovering treasure chests and heart containers, bombing a rock to reveal a secret, cutting grass for hearts or rupees, or a Gold Skulltula appearing after 1,000 KOs.
Not to mention, of course, the entirety of the game is based off of the characters and locations from many different Zelda games. The storyline loosely matches other Zeldas in that Link must save Hyrule and the Triforce from clutches of evil. However, it introduces a brand new adventure by tying characters from different Zelda games together through an inter-dimensional journey to defeat a new villain. Hyrule Warriors not only marks the first Zelda in which characters other than Link are playable, but also marks the first multiplayer Zelda game.
Released for the Wii U, Hyrule Warriors definitely makes the most of its stunning HD graphics. The cutscenes are impressively beautiful, as shown by the smoothness and detail of the characters. Each character has a unique fighting style and set of attacks and, of course, are all extremely visually appealing.
Long-term Zelda fans can’t help but get excited at the idea of Zelda with an extremely different type of gameplay, one where you could wipe out hordes of enemies with powerful attacks and single-handedly control the course of the battlefield. Hyrule Warriors allows for this type of frenetic combat style all while managing to remain true to the elements and atmosphere of Zelda. Even though the surprisingly large character roster allows fans to finally play as their favorite character, Link is still the fan favorite. His combos are impressive and enjoyable to use, and playing as him gives a sense of determination and heroism because… well, because he’s Link.
For those unfamiliar with either The Legend of Zelda or Dynasty Warriors franchise, you’ll find this game easy to get used to and soon enough, it will be hard to stop playing. Nintendo did take a very unexpected direction for a Zelda release, but it turned out to be everything fans wanted and so much more, even though most already expected an exhilarating experience from the start.