A New Legend Begins
Generally, the Legend of Zelda games have depended on a strict formula. You travel a vast overworld between dungeons, collecting whichever plot token is necessary for that specific game. In each dungeon you earn a new weapon or tool which is used heavily within that dungeon, culminating in a boss battle where you use that new tool to its full potential.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the first mainline entry to substantially break from that formula. While the key elements are still there the game substantially dials down the amount of available dungeons in exchange for Shrines of Trials and the largest open-world seen in the series yet, your only “tools” are the paraglider and the Sheikah slate, and all of the abilities for the latter are relatively early, but they’re used far more consistently throughout the game. The game also added a crafting mechanic to the series and degradable weapons.
Where Breath of the Wild succeeded was an expansive story, earning it one of the few direct sequels in the franchise, and now we’re getting a prequel, of sorts, in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – itself a spiritual sequel to the Dynasty Warriors inspired Hyrule Warriors. The game combines hack and slash action with classic Zelda characters, and Age of Calamity is set to show us the events of the war which led to Breath of the Wild’s post-apocalyptic world.
The new trailer shows off some of the characters we’ll be able to play in the upcoming game, each with their own unique skills to add to the table. One thing that’s shown across multiple characters is the Sheikah slate, and each character uses it differently – whether it’s Zelda summoning a giant, walking bomb or Impa summoning a variety of blades and connecting them into a larger one for a devastating swipe. We also get a glimpse of Hestu – a giant, maraca wielding Korok. Given that Hyrule Warriors featured some unusual playable characters – including the insect princess Agitha and the balloon wielding Tingle – it wouldn’t be out of the question that he’s a playable character himself, utilizing his maracas in his attacks.