Normally, when players experience a game in The Legend of Zelda series, they expect a triumphant adventure, one that will take them to new places as they solve puzzles and defeat enemies. Between games such as A Link To the Past, A Link Between Worlds and Ocarina of Time, the franchise follows this beloved formula. However, that doesn’t mean Link and company can’t kick back with a good old-fashioned action game.
In just a couple of months’ time, we’ll get to experience Hyrule Warriors, an enjoyable little spin-off in the Zelda series from Team Ninja (the crew behind the Ninja Gaiden titles) and Omega Force. The latter developer should sound familiar, as it dabbled in such releases as Samurai Warriors, Dynasty Warriors and the Gundam spin-offs.
That same hack and slash experience comes into play with Hyrule Warriors, but with a twist that Nintendo fans will certainly appreciate. The story spins off from the usual legacy, with Link chasing after the Queen of Hyrule, Zelda, as she’s whisked away by the evil witch Shia. With the help of Link’s corrupted friend Cia, as well as subordinates Wizzro and Valga, Shia vows to take over Hyrule with her band of thugs, forcing Link and his friends to spring into action.
Hyrule Warriors borrows a few elements from the previous Warriors series, as players will beat up tons of enemies using a number of techniques, which can be combined together to slaughter hundreds of foes.
Throughout the game, characters will be able to use special weapons, in addition to their swords and other instruments of destruction, to defeat enemies. For example, in our demo, Link was able to whip out a bomb and drop a massive explosion on his foes. Once charged, he can also perform his signature spinning sword attack, which can lay waste to anyone in the vicinity.
In addition to Link, other playable characters in the game include Agitha, Lana, Fi, Ruto, Darunia, Ghirahim and Midna, each with their own special abilities and techniques. In addition, fans will definitely want to play as Sheik, Zelda’s warrior persona, who also provides an interesting twist on the action; Princess Zelda becomes unlockable over the course of the game, although Nintendo hasn’t explained how. We’ll have a breakdown of each of the characters and their abilities closer to release.
As with other Warriors games, Hyrule Warriors allows you to use new items found in scattered chests and pots throughout each stage. These will help you power up your special meter, enabling you to execute more powerful attacks while retaining as much health as possible. Considering the odds are stacked against you quite often – especially with some of the boss characters that appear in the game – it never hurts to be at full health at all times.
In addition, Hyrule Warriors will have role-playing style elements where you can power up both your character and weapon to increase speed and strength. New abilities can also become unlocked over time, which you’ll need, since the later levels in the game practically throw all of Shia’s evil forces your way.
It also never hurts to have a friend along for the ride. Hyrule Warriors will support two-player local co-op, with one player utilizing the Wii U GamePad and touch-screen, and the other using the TV display and a secondary controller, such as the Wii U Pro Controller. You’ll be able to team up and clean house pretty quickly, even though, as mentioned before, bosses will put up more of a fight.
Even with the switch to quick arcade-style action, Hyrule Warriors sticks closely to the series’ roots, with many techniques to grasp, rewards to find and monsters to pummel. It may not be as deep an experience as the other titles in the series, but it sure looks like fun. We’ll cover the game more extensively and provide you some much-needed tips when it debuts on September 26th.