Hyrule Warriors: Age of Disaster – The Guardian of Memories, review



We reviewed Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – The Keeper of Memories, the second DLC that completes the Expansion Pass with new missions and characters.

Now that we’ve finally been able to play the second part of the Expansion Pass, titled The Guardian of Memories, we’re able to make a more concrete assessment of this add-on pack for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the sequel/spin-off to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released a year ago. A title certainly divisive, given its hybrid nature: developed by Koei Tecmo, is basically a musou, albeit much more articulate and refined than many other exponents of the genre.

Overseen by Eiji Aonuma himself, Hyrule Warriors: The Age of Calamity, not to be confused with the previous Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, we liked it a lot, and the Expansion Pass announced at the same time promised very interesting additional content.

On balance, a DLC is something that can interest, by its very nature, only to those who have enjoyed the title that would go to enrich. It is very difficult that a DLC can overturn the quality of a game, and therefore represents an expense, if there is actually a cost, to be considered only if you have enjoyed in the beginning. In this sense, the Expansion Pass of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity belongs to that category of paid content that you basically buy on trust. We liked the first part of the Expansion Pass, which came out last June: if you’ve read our review of The Ancestral Beat, then you’ll know that we deferred our overall verdict to the second part of the Expansion Pass.

Well, the time has come to draw the conclusions in our review of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – The Guardian of Memories.

EX Missions

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Rovely and Pruna in a scene from the game

The Ancestral Beat, the first DLC of this Expansion Pass, added little on the narrative front to a game that still, challenging the divisive environmental narrative of Breath of the Wild, told us a story quite full of cinematics, retrospectives and dialogues excellently dubbed in Italian. A year later it should be known that The Age of Calamity, while telling the background of Breath of the Wild, at some point diverged from the established mythology, establishing a real alternative timeline. The ancestral beat that, perhaps, at this point, we would have preferred as the second part of the Expansion Pass, was all about the gameplay with a scheme to be completed in the Ancient Court Laboratory (EX) to unlock new weapons and upgrades by repeating ad nauseam the unpublished missions in order to accumulate the numerous materials required.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Expansion Pass adds new monsters

If The Ancestral Beat was an optional content for completists, The Keeper of Memories chooses a different approach: the new EX missions, in fact, enrich the story of The Age of Calamity, going to tell some backstory that better characterize the characters but, ultimately, little add to the narrative fresco. Practically the cinematic introductions and conclusions of these missions show us what happened at certain times of the campaign, when we were engaged elsewhere, focusing mainly on secondary characters such as Champions and their descendants. It is an excuse to stage the missions in new maps that show us the Hyrule of Breath of the Wild before Ganon put it to the sword: a delicious tribute for fans of the award-winning open world weblog Nintendo.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Memory Missions unlock additional rewards

Most of the EX missions added with the DLC also offer some secondary objectives, called Memory Missions. By fulfilling the requirements mentioned, you get old and new materials that are then used to unlock new gameplay content: a new appearance for the weapons of the Champions and their descendants, as well as a brand new EX personal action for each character that enriches their moves pool. These are interesting abilities, both in function and appearance. Impa, for example, can project his explosive illusionary images after charging three symbols, while King Rhoam can abuse his ability to transform on repeat without breaking combos. Each character thus gains a new combat technique, but we might have preferred to play this DLC first, in the Expansion Pass, so we could take advantage of these new gameplay elements much more.

The new characters

Hyrule Warriors: The Age of Calamity, complete the new campaign to unlock Rovely and Pruna

Completing all the main EX missions – there are some optional and very high level, which will require a lot of effort and concentration – you bring to finish this additional mini campaign of the DLC and you unlock a new character … which are actually two: Rovely and Pruna. The two wacky scientists from the court lab fight together, or rather, Rovely fights wielding two Sheikah Arms while Pruna follows. If Rovely’s weapon is already bizarre – he practically uses two mechanical prostheses to hit enemies in a wide range of action – his personal action is even more so: as soon as you press the ZR key, Pruna activates a random invention that will hit a certain area… inflicting damage even to Rovely, if he is inside it at the moment of impact. It will then be our care to chain attacks, always being ready to move to avoid getting caught in the attacks of our battle partner.

Spoiler alert below. Rovely and Pruna aren’t the only additions to the cast. The ancestral beat had implemented a new character that, however, didn’t blow us away: the veteran Guardian was really anonymous, despite being an important fanservice for Breath of the Wild fans. We were counting on Koei Tecmo to add Astor to the roster, the villain who we found to have summoned the Ganon Calamity, and therefore the culprit of every catastrophe, and we almost believed it when one of the new EX missions showed us just this crucial moment in the story. Instead, Astor isn’t playable at all, and to unlock the second character you have to complete a secret Memory Mission in The Yiga Retreat (EX). If you manage to complete the task without losing any allies, then you’ll finally unlock Supa as well.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Disaster, Supa is the

The brand new Yiga warrior introduced into the Breath of the Wild mythology in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a powerful fighter, but not the easiest to use. Supa wields his iconic double blades and can string together quick and powerful combos, but it’s his personal action that steals the show: it’s called Eyes of the Mind and can be used during a combo without interrupting it. By pressing ZR, Supa assumes a defensive position and instantly counterattacks an enemy hit, accumulating a charge up to a maximum of three: each new counterattack will inflict much more damage depending on the number of these charges, but if you mistimed it you lose any accumulated charge. Supa is a character that could be defined as “high risk, high reward” and is a lot of fun, but in the chaos of musou combat it’s not exactly easy to intercept enemy attack animations, especially since the response time window is very short.

Conclusion

Beautiful artwork from Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - The Guardian of Memories

In conclusion, we might have expected a little more from this The Guardian of Memories, maybe another character like Astor, who was highly anticipated anyway, but on balance the Expansion Pass of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity can’t be called disappointing. Between the first and second part, we’re talking about a generous amount of content and hours of gameplay, which can exceed twenty or thirty if you want to complete every objective and unlock every power-up. Perhaps it would have been better to release this DLC first and then complete the Expansion Pass with the grind of The Ancestral Beat, but at the end of the fair is the reasoning made at the beginning: if you liked the musou of Breath of the Wild and entertained you, then the Expansion Pass could be a valid purchase.

PRO

  • The new EX actions and additional characters are a lot of fun
  • A little more history that better characterizes some characters
  • We definitely would have liked to play as Astor.
  • It would have been better to reverse the order of the two DLCs
  • Have you noticed any errors?

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