Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will serve as a prequel to the now-iconic open-world adventure and let gamers take on massive armies as Link, Zelda, and the four other Champions of Hyrule. But because it takes place a century before the first Breath of the Wild game, how much of what happens here will inform the sequel?
The short answer is: probably a lot.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is currently in development by Koei Tecmo the same studio behind the original Hyrule Warriors released on the Wii U in 2014. The hack-and-slash series fused the core gameplay of Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors franchise with the characters and lore of the Legend of Zelda universe. This next installment will launch on the Nintendo Switch on November 20, 2020 and is available for pre-order on the Switch store as of this writing.
Both BotW producer Eiji Aonuma and Age of Calamity producer Yosuke Hayashi were featured in a joint video announcement for the game Tuesday morning. The duo teased that the game will explore many of the details that led up to Link waking up 100 years after the Great Calamity.
The teaser video shows clips of gameplay and cinematic cutscenes from the upcoming title, and Hayashi revealed this wouldn't be just another Hyrule Warriors game.
"Unlike the previous Hyrule Warriors games, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was developed by working closely with the Zelda team in every step of the process, including gameplay direction, graphics, world, and all dialog," he stated. "While we maintained the distinct gameplay style of the Warriors series with exciting one-versus-one-thousand battles and a wide variety of playable characters, this became the only game that will let you experience the world 100 years prior to the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild."
The title sounds like something akin to the Star Wars: Battlefront series where gamers will be able to play through the epic battles that were described in BotW with any of their favorite heroes or villains for the Nintendo universe.
The previous Hyrule Warriors had 29 playable characters that gamers unlocked as they progressed through its campaign. Age of Calamity will most likely bring some of the most iconic ones, like Linkle, back while adding the major characters from BotW. The game footage show in the announcement video confirmed that Daruk, Mipha, Revali, and Urbosa will all be playable, which means the four Divine Beasts could also be pilotable.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity won't deliver on the same open-world adventure that fans have been eagerly waiting for since the E3 2019 BotW 2 announcement. But the spin-off/prequel will at least scratch many gamers' Legend of Zelda itch until BotW 2 is released sometime presumably long after 2020.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will be released on the Nintendo Switch on November 20, 2020.