|Developer||Omega Force, Team Ninja|
The land of Hyrule is once again besieged by familiar forces of darkness. It’ll be up to Link, this time fighting alongside Princess Zelda, her handmaiden Impa, and even Midna from Twilight Princess to once again step up and save the day.
This was probably my most surprisingly enjoyable experience of the show. I went from having very low expectations to having my curiosity piqued to see how the rest of the game plays out.
My demo consisted of the first level, and I chose to play as Link. After the character selection came my first surprise: I was then asked if I wanted to wield a sword, the obvious weapon, or the Fire Rod. Since I really had no idea what to expect from this odd franchise mashup, I played it safe and stuck with my sword. I was then thrust into a chaotic battlefield full of Bokoblins, with some groups led by the larger, shield-carrying Moblins, and began hacking and slashing my way through the unending horde.
Soon, objectives began to appear on my map, with the obvious intent revolving around helping Princess Zelda, who was surrounded in the center. My first objective, however, saw me head to the northwest corner of the map and come to the aid of a Hyrule Guard Captain. After using some powerful whirlwind slashes to clear away many of the Bokoblins, I was then surprised to enter a small shrine where, in traditional Zelda fashion, I got my first new item of the campaign—in this case, bombs.
I then headed toward Zelda’s position, mowing down enemies and collecting rupees along the way. Once I liberated Zelda’s central fort from a strong Moblin presence, I came face to face with the first boss, King Dodongo. Now, any Legend of Zelda fan will know Dodongos are weak against bombs, and here I saw a nice parallel between what the classic franchise has always tried to do with finding a new item and using it against a boss. After I tossed a few explosives into Dodongo’s gaping maw, the battle was quickly over, and my first experience with Hyrule Warriors ended with a resounding victory.
My only real complaint? The camera could use some work—it went haywire a few times when too many enemies surrounded me. Overall, though, the game seems to have incorporated just enough of the Legend of Zelda mechanics to make this hack-n-slash twist on the series feel fresh. While I’ll need to play much more before saying the marriage of these two franchises is a complete success, this initial taste gave me far more hope than I had going in.