HYRULE WARRIORS: AGE OF CALAMITY - PULSE OF THE ANCIENTS
By Mark "Demius" Bronneberg on June 23, 2021
Back in November 2020 I wrote that I loved this new game. It has it all; an amazing story, cool ideas and over the top gameplay. The DLC adds quite a lot of stuff to an already big game, so let us go trough it and see if it is worth the price. The pass consists of two waves, one that released this month and one that will release in November 2021. The one that releases in November (wave 2 called Guardian of Remembrance) will add new character vignettes (is that something you can eat?), new stages, expanded roster (Yes! Who will it be?!) and new battle skills for existing characters. There is also some extra armour for Link with a corresponding sword (the ancient set). With that out of the way let us now focus on wave 1: 'Pulse of the Ancients'.
The first new thing that is unlocked is called the Royal Ancient Lab, where Purah and Robbie have a few surprises in store for you. This is quite a cool new future; it features a grid like map, where you can unlock new skills for all your characters. Like strengthening your powers of frost, stasis, bombs and magnetism or unlocking amazing new weapons for Link and Zelda! Or even improving chances for rare drops or expanding your inventory. Link unlocks a cool Flail weapon, which most resembles the God of War playstyle of double hatchets. You swing them around you, and they have good range, it also has a special ability where you can 'temporary borrow/ steal the enemy weapon' and use it for your own purposes. This was a neat gimmick, but in the end, I preferred using my Master Sword (who doesn't like the master sword, right?!).
Zelda is one of my favourite characters in this game, I love her different playstyles. Like I mentioned in my aforementioned review for the full game, switching between her maniacal Japanese speed runner style or goddess of destruction style never stops to amaze me. Well, we can add full on Carmageddon to this mix. I guess she needed to let out all that anger after being trapped with calamity Ganon for 100 years, or wait that didn't happen yet, so maybe it is just that time of the month where every man deserves to die a most gruesome death for saying the wrong things to you. In the mainline Breath of the Wild game the Master Cycle is a motorcycle you can unlock for Link (also DLC). in Age of Calamity, Zelda claims it as her mechanical steed and uses it to literally run over and trough her enemies, adding some explosive magic to the mix. Just don't use this playstyle in 'indoor' battlefields, because you need quite a bit of space to turn!
As much as I love the insanity and mayhem these two new weapons and playstyles bring to an already massive game, the best part of this expansion has to be the excellent new missions and things to do and unlock. Because the gameplay is so much fun, you simply don't want it to end. In the end, the added challenges and missions are amazing, but that is not all this wave has to offer. A fun new character called the Battle-Tested Guardian can be used, there is a new 'Apocalyptic' difficulty (who in his right mind would like to play this chaotic game on Apocalyptic difficulty?) and a few new enemies like higher ranked Wizzrobes and bigger Chuchus. These new enemies are presented to you in 'ex-challenges' on the map. This is a new addition, which you can recognise thanks the little ex on the overworld.
Since I haven't reached the 'good ending' yet, the DLC gave me a nice excuse to revisit the game and try to 100% it. There is a lot of content and truly more than enough value for your buck here. The new skill grid is the real star here, and maybe the new weapons for Zelda and Link are really for you. My advice for newcomers would be to buy the DLC from the get-go, since the added skills you unlock on the grid are welcome through the entire main story too. You will need to play around 10 hours to complete everything. This promises good things for the next DLC that will be available in November. If you loved the original game and need an excuse to revisit, replay or finish the game, just do yourself a favour and buy the DLC!