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Hyrule Warriors Review

If there was ever a problem with the Koei Tecmo Warriors games making the final push to make it big on western shores it was the setting, with both the Samurai and Dynasty series being seeped in Japanese and Chinese history, sporting a huge roster of characters never heard of in battles that have no immediate relevance to this side of the world. With Hyrule Warriors the developers at Omega Force have taken the rich history of Hyrule and placed it into a classic Warriors game; so aside from plenty of familiar characters and locations we can expect the staple slash-em-up frenzy that the Warriors games have entertained us with for years.

The plot of Hyrule Warriors is classic Zelda with a twist; a Princess goes missing and a sorceress misuses the Triforce, watching from afar and doting over the hero’s soul and becoming warped by the villainous Ganondorf who manipulates her to warp time and space, causing all of Links classic foes into one game, which when it comes to a Warriors game, just means thousands more enemies to kill. 

No matter which way you look at this game, it will always boil down to a button mashing frenzy, though when it looks and plays as good as this there is really nothing to worry about. Each mission is set on huge battlefields in which during the main story campaign you will take control of numerous classic Nintendo characters including Link, Sheik and Impa to name a few. Each of the characters have their own unique weaponry, but in reality the majority of them have the same combos, making it relatively easy to figure out the best crowd clearing moves. Just like the Warriors games, each combatant has a couple of special powers that can be used as and when charged up, helping add a little extra firepower to the battle whilst looking very pretty on screen. With a decent selection of characters to pick from as and when you unlock them making the right choice for battle is not as simple as picking your favourite as there also elements in play, with each character having an affinity to a specific one, which generally means certain characters are better in specific lands, making it a little easier to dispose of the more stubborn foes.

With each mission the battlefield is an ever evolving place, early missions in battle tend to be to drive off enemies though all too soon these change with saving captains, capturing forts to protecting giant Bombchu on their path to take out obstacles, trying to save a giant Deku tree from burning and of course, boss fights. I have always been a fan if Gohma and here this multi-limbed foes it is just as ferocious and scary, using similar attack patterns that fans of Zelda by know will know full well how to use to their advantage.

Though for the majority there is a general Warriors feel to the game there is a strong vein of The Legend of Zelda running through that will not disappoint fans. Gold Skullatas are ripe for the picking with you carrying out battlefield requirements to have them appear, though you still have to work out where they are even with a giant spider’s web shown on the map and their faint familiar scuttling sound to point you in the right direction. The equipment is also rife with Zelda items, starting with bombs you slowly gather more items as the game dictates, adding bow and arrows and the classic boomerang. Upgrading is also a strong element of the game, with the defeat of certain enemies awarding spoils of war which can then be used (with a few rupees) to create and purchase items to help in the field. Upgrading items under like the ability to carry a bottle to fill up and use on the battlefield, new clothing to protect from elements like fire and dark magic and plenty of extra combo strings to add even more powerful moves to each character.

With the main story taking most of your attention there are also a few other modes worthy of your time and though they are essentially the same, the slight changes to the formula are enough to keep you entertained with a free play mode allowing you to return to any completed mission with any character; a Challenge Mode gives the player a battle with mission objectives updating at a frequent rate that and also the Adventure Mode. Here the game is set up like the original Legend of Zelda game world with 8 bit sprites spread across the land of Hyrule with the aim is to uncover all of the hidden parts of the world with many treasures waiting to be found. Again, when you select a tile to investigate there are specific battle requirements that unlock more areas for you to venture.

Graphically this is one of the best looking games, be it on WiiU or the Warriors series as a whole. The main cast are full of details that you can gush over in the character gallery and the range of monsters you fight are a real rouges gallery of the series, never looking better in their great new environments. Speaking of environments, the battlefields also really push what has been seen before, yes there are lots of open areas but you come across some beautiful vistas, with lava fields and glistening crystal caves a couple that really stand out.

Considering how good Nintendo’s online function is at the moment it is a shame there is no online component here, however to rectify that there is the addition of local co-op, with one player using the TV screen and controller of choice and the other on the WiiU pad; it’s a fantastic experience that does away with split screen though does stutter a little when the action gets heated.

Even with a Hyrule moniker this is most definitely a Warriors game and with that comes division as in the end these games are just huge sprawling beat-em-ups through and through; so long term Zelda fans may be surprised just how much has been put aside from the classic series, but there is plenty of progression and customisation to enjoy. As with all Warriors games, the repetitiveness usually comes from playing on the easier settings, getting very repetitive quickly as your warrior is almost godlike on the field, at least on harder settings there is at least the possibility of defeat.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: Wii U)


+ Looks great.
+ Zelda as a hack and slash game.
+ A good selection of characters to unlock and upgrade.


- Can get samey on the easier settings.
- Co-op mode struggles at times.

Edited On 23 Sep, 2014

( 3 )
Loli-Nox-Tan's avatar
Loli-Nox-Tan 2 years ago
Just a fun game
MarcoosVGC's avatar
MarcoosVGC 2 years ago
Ive played multiple hours straight with multiplayer, and never had an issue with it? Maybe the version 1.2 update fixes some things..
inspector 74's avatar
inspector 74 2 years ago
I completely forgot about this I got it middle of last week and I still havent played this yet. Really looking forward to this its time to blow all the dust off my wii u and get this bad boy up and running

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