The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was a triumph for the series, setting a new standard for both Zelda games and the open-world genre. While we're still waiting for Breath of the Wild 2, Nintendo satiated players by taking us back to Hyrule in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, the prequel to Breath of the Wild that explored the events that led up to the destruction of Hyrule. While Age of Calamity wasn't the sequel we've been waiting for, there's still a lot that Breath of the Wild 2 can learn from Age of Calamity.
Revamp the combat
Breath of the Wild may have broken many Zelda conventions, but one that seemed to stay firmly in place was the combat system introduced in 1998's Ocarina of Time. Link was fine when he was fighting enemies one on one, but when it came to skirmishes involving multiple enemies, Link was never the smoothest fighter. Age of Calamity, on the other hand, was all about fighting multiple enemies with massive, screen-clearing special moves.
While the moves on display in Age of Calamity may seem out of place for Breath of the Wild, Link could definitely borrow some of those moves for his next adventure. A special move that instantly cuts down many enemies, for example, is something that I think could exist in Breath of the Wild without verging over the edge. More combat options are never a bad thing.
A story that matters
Breath of the Wild was the first Zelda game to introduce voice acting to the franchise, and while Link remained a silent knight, Zelda and the others gained full voices and personalities. The story of Breath of the Wild, albeit simple, worked well enough and the brief flashes of backstory found throughout the game gave us a taste of a greater narrative that we never got to experience directly. In Age of Calamity, that backstory is fully explained, and we learn about the suicide mission Link and the Champions take part in, with a few twists and turns along the way.
The story in Age of Calamity isn't groundbreaking and may fall short of fan expectations, but that doesn't mean it's impossible to have a fully realized story in a Zelda game. I think that people are ready for a mature story in their Zelda game; I mean, Link has been saving the princess for 35 years, I think we can give their relationship a little depth, can't we?
A roster to choose from
Link might be the hero of Hyrule, but he's never working alone. In fact, Link is often assisted by many characters throughout his journey, especially by Zelda herself. In Age of Calamity, players got a taste of what it's like to play as different characters — 17 other characters, in fact, each with their own set of moves and weapons.
We already know that Zelda is not satisfied with standing idly by while Link does all the work, and while we don't know much about Breath of the Wild 2, but we know that Zelda seems to be exploring by Link's side. Does that mean Zelda could potentially be playable? It's an addition I would love to see.
Handle your weapons with care
One of the most divisive features of Breath of the Wild was its weapon durability system. Some didn't mind it, but others didn't like the idea of their weapon breaking over time. In Age of Calamity, weapons were handled differently. In that game, players did not break their swords but instead got a chance to upgrade them and add on additional skills.
Breath of the Wild 2 could benefit greatly from a similar mechanic. It could allow players to recycle gear, repair, and even upgrade weapons. The same can be done for Link's armor and shield. This should help many who felt that the durability system was more than a tad unfair.
A learning experiences
Despite being a vastly different game, Age of Calamity is almost just as important as Breath of the Wild. It expands Breath of the Wild's backstory while introducing a few new features that will fit nicely into Breath of the Wild 2. Nintendo's been tight-lipped about the highly anticipated sequel, but we have a feeling that it will be one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch.
Save Hyrule again
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is gorgeous and fun to play and has a lot to offer the series.
Zackery Cuevas is a writer for Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore. He likes playing video games, talking about video games, writing about video games, and most importantly, complaining about video games. If you're cool, you can follow me on Twitter @Zackzackzackery.
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