While we have yet to see gameplay from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, we got a deep dive into the gameplay of its prequel, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, at Tokyo Game Show 2020 in late September. This first look at nearly 14 minutes of action-packed Age of Calamity gameplay is a reminder that the first Breath of the Wild's combat, while varied, felt a bit lacking in some areas.
Breath of the Wild 2 should bring its combat closer to the likes of the Hyrule Warriors, particularly for gamers who may prefer a smoother action-oriented experience but still want to experience the epic tale.
More than 13 minutes of Age of Calamity gameplay was shown off during Koei Tecmo's Tokyo Game Show 2020 livestream on September 26. While the video features Japanese gameplay and voiceover — and the US only got a more condensed gameplay trailer — the video still shows the game's engaging combat.
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Players have both light and heavy attacks that can be strung into complex combos, like one where Link rides on his shield into a group of enemies Legolas-style.
Players can also target certain enemy weak points to deal massive damage at certain times, and there are also new counter abilities that can be used in certain situations. It still looks a bit like Breath of the Wild with dodges that slow time down and the Sheikah Slate abilities, but Age of Calamity's gameplay looks much more involved and entertaining thanks to the mechanics it pulls from Koei Tecmo's other Warriors games.
While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was an amazing game, combat was one of its least impressive gameplay elements. Disregarding the divisive weapon degradation, there was only one attack button. Once you learn how to block, dodge, and use charged attacks, the combat doesn't get much deeper than that unless you decide to mess around with the Sheikah Slate's powers or do some sort of wacky combat challenge.
Looking to the gameplay reveal for Age of Calamity, there are a few things that Breath of the Wild 2 could learn from it. At a basic level, adding a heavy attack to Link's arsenal for every weapon or increasing the speed of combat to make it closer to Age of Calamity would go a long way in making Breath of the Wild 2 more exhilarating.
If the developers want to keep the slower pace of combat, they could learn from another aspect of the Hyrule Warriors spinoff.
While the weak point system is a common thread through the Hyrule Warriors games made by Koei Tecmo, it could serve as inspiration for a limb-targeting mechanics. While Age of Calamity moves at a pace faster than Breath of the Wild, one of its mechanics would still work if Nintendo wanted to slow the pace way down.
If Breath of the Wild 2 could give each enemy weak points on certain limbs and let players target whichever one they wanted, every fight would feel more involved and you'd actually have to pay attention more to positioning. Deciding whether to use a weak, heavy, or special attack in these situations could also add a layer of depth, and would be a vast improvement over the fights in the first Breath of the Wild.
Of course, there are some differences as you probably won't be fighting giant hordes of enemies in Breath of the Wild 2. Still, the combat of Breath of the Wild could use more depth, and Age of Calamity gameplay gives us a vivid look at what more intense combat could look like for the franchise.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will be released for Nintendo Switch on November 20, 202.