Hyrule Warriors isn’t just Dynasty Warriors with a The Legend of Zelda skin. We break down the differences we spotted in today’s Nintendo Direct.
During today’s Hyrule Warriors Nintendo Direct – which you can watch above – we got a good look at the Nintendo and Tecmo Koei collaboration, confirming the presence of Zant, Girahim and Ganondorf as playable characters.
In part due to the presence of The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma it’s clear this isn’t just a lazy reskin of Dynasty Warriors, but a game The Legend of Zelda fans will find worthwhile to explore.
That said, it often feels like fans are a bit cagey about this one, given Dynasty Warriors’ lass than glamorous reputation in the west. As the resident expert on Dynasty warriors, I thought I’d help by pointing out ways in which Hyrule Warriors differs markedly from the Omega Force formula.
Items and equipment can be used to defeat bosses
This is pretty cool; characters have an item select wheel they can bring up in combat, selecting from a collection of items and equipment to tackle the challenges ahead. In a tribute to the core franchise, you’ll often find reasons to use these items shortly after you find or unlock them.
In the footage shown we saw Link use a bomb to blow away a boulder, revealing a treasure check, as well as a couple of combat examples. In one, Link lobbed a couple of bombs into the gaping mouth of an enemy, and in another, he used the bow to hit a weak spot.
In both instances, the bosses were mostly immune to standard attacks. That’s not something you see in Dynasty Warriors; bosses are the same size as everyone else with most of the same abailities – they’re just tougher and meaner.
You can use the hookshot to climb to higher ledges
Open the item wheel I mentioned above, select your hookshot, and rapidly climb ledges.
This might sound a bit boring but after 30 or so games in the same family Omega Force has yet to make climbing ladders anything other than a chore, so I’m excited.
Cuccos are a threat
In The Legend of Zelda, it’s not chickens you’re harassing – they’re Cuccos. Don’t make that mistake in front of a hardcore fan.
Anyway, in Hyrule Warriors Cuccos can be harassed, just as in The Legend of Zelda – with the same results, actually. Rile the little birds too much and they’ll attack in force. That said, in some situations the Cuccos will fight as your allies.
You can cut grass to collect rupees
Dynasty Warriors has never offered the opportunity to mow lawns for fun and profit. Hyrule Warriors does. Of course.
Gold Skulltulas await you
Remember Gold Skulltulas, those spider-like things that make a weird clattering, skittering sound? They make a return in Hyrule Warriors as a collectible which rewards you with treasure, just as in The Legend of Zelda.
That’s pretty different from Dynasty Warriors, where smashing jars and crates is the best way to find items, and rare treasure is only available after you meet long strings of esoteric conditions.
There’s an Adventure mode
Hyrule Warriors includes an Adventure Mode, in which players explore a grid-based map inspired by the earliest Legend of Zelda games. Each square of this map represents a battle with a unique victory condition – like defeating 300 enemies in one minute.
By searching this map players collect items which increase their exploration options, which in turn grants opportunities to uncover content not found in other parts of the game. Adventure Mode will allow players to unlock new characters, weapons and heart pieces they can’t find in other modes.
While spin-off series Dynasty Warriors: Empires has something vaguely similar, there’s nothing quite like Adventure Mode in the core Omega Force games.
So what’s the same?
Now that we’ve talked about the many differences between Hyrule Warriors and Dynasty Warriors, lets talk about the things that are the same.
Every other thing.
I was really surprised watching the Hyrule Warriors Nintendo Direct because of how familiar it looked to me as an Omega Force fan. I can’t imagine it’s built on a different engine, and even some of the textures and assets looked familiar.
The core gameplay of one-against-one-thousand looks largely unchanged. You take control of one of a variety of characters, each with their own unique moveset, and use primarily melee attacks to take down enemies. Attacks can be chained together in combos, and a special attack is available after charging.
During battle, players are encouraged to meet objectives and the goal may change as combat progresses. Taking bases will help turn the battle in the player’s favour, making their own faction’s troops stronger than the enemies.
Characters can equip weapons in addition to their primary weapon, granting them access to different movesets. Weapons can be fused together to make new, stronger versions with some or all of the traits of the sacrificed weapons. Two player co-op is supported (notably, because this is a Wii U exclusive, couch co-op is via Game Pad and TV rather than spiltscreen).
All of that is pure Dynasty Warriors. I’m pretty excited to see if Hyrule Warriors helps teach a bunch of detractors that the Omega Force franchise is worth checking out.
Hyrule Warriors arrives on Wii U in the west in September.