It’s not often that you see the merging of two separate series so different as The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. With just that in hand, however, the people at Tecmo Koei have risen to a challenge with Hyrule Warriors. Fortunately, it is a lot better in person that it may sound on paper. At E3, we got some time with the demo of Hyrule Warriors and found it to be an exceptional entry in the Warriors series that will hopefully be plenty worthy of holding the name of the Legend of Zelda series once it’s completed. Fortunately, for now, there is a lot to like.
While it has a large fanbase of its own, the Dynasty Warriors series also maintains some complaints for being too repetitive with its combat. Fans of the series don’t seem to mind, and each installment seems to add more to help alleviate those issues. It’s a great thing to see that the utilization of the Zelda universe opens up some opportunities for the series to expand and offer more than the usual gameplay.
Hyrule Warriors plays out with fast and furious hack and slash combat starring a cast of playable characters from the Zelda universe, complete with their own arsenal of weapons and each with their own gameplay styles. In that case, there is no shortage of variety in Hyrule Warriors.
Borrowing elements from the Legend of Zelda series, the new game features some exploration in some off the beaten paths where treasure can be uncovered and opened slowly à la Zelda. Just as well, bombs have entered the equation to blow up paths to separate areas and be used in battle with large monsters like King Dodongo. Here is where Nintendo’s series makes a greater influence on the game.
We were able to lock onto various enemies. Similar to the boss battle with King Dodongo in the classic Ocarina of Time, the character was required to toss a few bombs into the beast’s mouth and then run in and deal some serious damage once it was vulnerable. As well, Musou attacks return for especially badass and flashy special moves, and they’re just as pretty and dangerous as you would expect. Zelda is my favorite as she pulls out a bow with light arrows and brings the pain to anyone in front of her path.
Aside from that, we weren’t shown much else, but the game certainly looks promising. Seeing as how they have taken several liberties with the properties to bring new elements to the Warriors formula, I’m hoping to see some expanded exploration and puzzle options to bring in more elements of the Zelda series for an all-around class act of a game. Regardless, if it’s anything like what I played on the E3 showfloor, it is sure to be fun as hell. For now, you’ll have to sit tight to play Hyrule Warriors until it’s released in North America for the Nintendo Wii U on September 26th.