Breath of the Wild was absolutely huge not only for The Legend of Zelda, but also Nintendo. It was the game that impressed plenty, and Switch sales rocketed thanks to it. Even those who had never played a Zelda game before were enjoying it, with some of those no doubt checking out previous games in the series. It was such a huge hit that it’s somewhat common to forget that the Switch launched with several other games.
So how do you capitalise on that success? Well, a sequel for starters, and that’s what Nintendo eventually did announce. But when there’s a rich history and lore built into the world that was created that the audience only ever get glimpses of, you could always capitalise on the success by using that. And in this collaboration with Koei Tecmo, that’s exactly what Nintendo have done with this Warriors spin-off.
Now, in terms of the story, let me get this out there right away. Upon seeing the first cutscene, I felt it would be a story about bringing forth the danger by trying to combat it. Trying to defy the prophesised future and instead bringing it about. This is very much a story contained within an alternate reality, however, and I will say no more on that. The story doesn’t suffer from being within an alternate reality, as these are still the characters and world we got to know from Breath of the Wild.
If you were invested in those characters and world from Breath of the Wild, you’ll enjoy seeing them get a bit more fleshed out here. Locations are seen before the destruction that brought them to ruin, with a lot of detail going into them. Obviously, they’ve been tweaked a bit to fit the Warriors style of play, but they still offer a lot to see. As for the characters, the Champions are all distinct in personality, with the characters that surround them in the locations they live also feeling like living beings.
There’s certainly been a lot of focus on the story and fitting it within the Breath of the Wild world. The same can be said of the gameplay, too. This is pretty standard Warriors gameplay, with a light attack and heavy attack with can be combined together into strings of attacks, along with a special to clear out swathes of enemies. Each warrior has their own distinct fighting style, which can be changed by giving them a new weapon to use.
It works pretty much as intended, with a block and dodge also available to mix things up. Combat is also mixed up further with a secondary action, such as Link’s bow and arrows or Revali being able to take flight, along with the Sheikah Slate powers of Cryonis, Magnesis, Stasis, and Remote Bombs. Each character uses these in different ways. Combined with their regular style of play, every person will find a character who suits them.
The map provides everything a player needs. That map is the exact same as in Breath of the Wild. While there’s no freedom to explore the world, as said above, the segments of that world offered through the levels offer a great look at that world from 100 years before. Those levels are clearly marked, with a load of other side missions and activities littering the map when you unlock them.
Those activities can unlock shops to buy things, the blacksmith to merge weapons to improve the stats of one, and also a training room where you can test out everything a character can do in a danger-free zone. Once you start completing and unlocking more things around the map, the number of icons that litter it get a bit overwhelming, but there’s a menu system that offers story missions, challenges, and quests in an easy to use menu.
Certain missions also have Divine Beast segments within them, which allow you to pilot one of the four machines. These offer a nice distraction from the regular combat, which each offering a different moveset, but they really are just distractions. Fun, quick, and forgotten as soon as they’re done. I can certainly see why such segments were included, since the opportunity was there to use them, but they could easily have been left out and I don’t think anyone would care.
For anyone looking at getting into this game, then, it is a good one as long as you don’t mind the hack-and-slash mechanics behind it. It has a very different feel compared to the game it has based itself on, but the inspiration from that game can be felt. If you go into this game looking for the same sort of self-discovery that was at the core of Breath of the Wild, you will be disappointed. For those who can recognise and enjoy the different yet familiar mechanics of the combat system, you will get a lot out of this.