Feature Article

Don't Expect Hyrule Warriors to Fill That Zelda Void

Too much Warriors, not enough Hyrule.

Dynasty Warriors is the antithesis of so much of what I love about The Legend of Zelda. Exploration and puzzle solving are nowhere to be found in that historical hack-and-slasher, nor is there that unbridled sense of discovery that propels me ever onward. Those elements that draw me to so many of Link's adventures are replaced by destructive combat in which hundreds fall to your spinning blades, empowering you in the ways of slaughter like few other games can replicate. Nuance has been replaced with bludgeoning, and though I don't shun those who are drawn to such exploits, I've stayed clear of the franchise since its inception. Hyrule Warriors exists as an uneasy union between these two franchises. The brief demonstration I played was blandly enjoyable, though doesn't offer much for those who want to wield the master sword again.

Hyrule Warriors is the first entry I've played in the Warriors franchise, but even though I was a novice at the chaotic exploits, I was massacring the scared inhabitants without any hesitation. It was incredibly easy to lay waste to all who stood before me. Hundreds of moblins crowded the screen, though they were less vicious than even one such enemy from The Legend of Zelda. I never noticed if they were even trying to mount an attack or were all too happy to fall to my blade, and as I plowed through entire families in one deadly swoop, I could understand why others are so drawn to this franchise. Embodying someone so strong fulfills a power fantasy. You see an entire field overflowing with enemies, and you just slice right through them without any resistance. I felt like an action hero to whom normal rules don't apply. I'm going to force my will on everyone, and if you don't like it, you can have a sword in your face for your troubles.

Killing hundreds or even thousands of poor moblins might be fun to some, but I struggled to care. I wasn't bored as I carved through the masses, but I wasn't particularly engaged, either. I enjoy more nuance in my combat, something thoughtful and skill-based that poses enough challenge to make sure my focus never wanes. The only thing I needed to consider in Hyrule Warriors was which combo I wanted to unleash. There are two attack buttons, and depending on the order in which you hit them, you do different moves. But even though visual flourishes accompanied each action, the results were the same; I was lulled by the predictability as the tapping rhythm overtook me.

Hyrule Warriors exists as an uneasy union between these two franchises.

Objectives occasionally rush onscreen detailing specific tasks you must accomplish. Here was a chance to turn the mundane combat into something special, but these also lacked imagination. Parts of the map would flash, and I would sprint toward the area to help a recognizable friend survive enemy attacks or take over a stronghold from opposing forces. Once I arrived at the scene, I still tapped out combos without much thought, and the bad guys quickly perished to let me proceed unscathed. My attention never completely dissipated because of the various shout-outs to the beloved Zelda series. I saved a goron from danger and plucked bombs from a treasure chest. The musical cues were pulled straight from The Legend of Zelda, and even the art style would fit right in with one of Link's adventures. There are enough nods to what I love that I would occasionally smile, because any excuse to be a part of that world is good enough for me.

It was during a boss fight that things became slightly more interesting. If you're a fan of Zelda, and you saw that I picked up bombs in this stage, you can probably guess what boss burst on the scene. That's right: it was Dodongo. It's gigantic in Hyrule Warriors, much bigger than it appears in other games, though its weakness remains the same. After shooting out streams of fire, it would inhale deeply, and then I would just have to toss a bomb in its mouth. This momentarily stunned it, opening the door for more senseless slashing as I stripped away its health. The fight was the first time I had to move defensively, and it was a nice change of pace being presented with a foe who required more than frantic mashing to defeat.

As someone who adores The Legend of Zelda, there just isn't much here for me to latch on to. Yes, I'm as weak as anyone to the aesthetic charms of the franchise, but that's the only part of Zelda that has made the transition. The rest is pure Dynasty Warriors. I thought the game was fun enough, and was impressed by how I could kill so many enemies with so little effort. But I need more than window dressing to make me care about a game. For those who are in my position, eager for a new Zelda and hopeful Hyrule Warriors will fill that role, keep your expectations very low. None of the inherent appeal of Zelda is present here, so you need to care an awful lot about the characters and music to remain interested. If you already enjoy the Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors won't spoil what draws you to it. At least from what I've seen, It sadly doesn't reach an interesting balance that could have expanded the audience to include those who love The Legend of Zelda, too.

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223 comments
dalndox
dalndox

In which Gamespot reviews a minutes-long early demo as if it were the full game.


Games journalism is truly well and dead.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

I still don't get why does this game even exist

Tamasuke
Tamasuke

i got depressions by reading that style of writing... its so... depressing...

tdawgg30
tdawgg30

Tom McShea is the Michael Pachter of Gamespot and should be BANNED from reviewing Nintendo games.

megakick
megakick

There is no variety enemy models. BORING, too similar to Dynasty Warriors.

wiiuisgod
wiiuisgod

Saying that this is not the next Zelda game is about as insightful as saying Death By Dgrees was not the next Tekken Game. First of all, Nintendo has said this is not the next Zelda game. Secondly Nintendo showed footage of the next Zelda game. Third, the game does not have Zelda in the title. Fourth it is in a different genre than Zelda. I hardly ever read stuff on Gamespot and this is why. 

lord_of_flood
lord_of_flood

Of course it wouldn't, is it titled "The Legend of Zelda"? No, it's titled "Hyrule Warriors", of course it's not a Zelda game. Very astute observation, Mr. McShea. /s


Also, seems like someone doesn't know that he needs to turn up the difficulty. Warriors games are always shown at the lowest difficulty, which is usually Novice. Go up to Hard or even Normal, you'll find much more of a challenge.

Conjuration
Conjuration

I wasn't expecting that full blown Zelda charisma that fills the room from this one.

It's like Link's Crossbow Training. Just a quick casual experience with a Zelda coat of paint. Will be a buy when the price drops a bit.

cbxero
cbxero

I don't think any of you actually read the article. He's making a fair point. If you're a fan of Zelda games, don't expect very much at all from this game, because it's not what you would be looking for.

If you ARE a fan of this series, I'm sure you'll enjoy it, and that much should be obvious. The reviewer obviously doesn't need to point that out, and gave a different view.

If I was a Zelda fan and only saw this game in the store, bought it and popped it in, I would be confused and disappointed. The reviewer gives it a shot, and explains why he didn't like it.

I don't know why the reviewers here take so much grief. People are just asshats I guess.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

This isn't a Zelda game nor was it ever marketed as such. It's a Dynasty Warriors game with a Zelda skin so it's only fair not to judge it as a LoZ game.

cbxero
cbxero

He didn't. You didn't read the article.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

@cbxero That's true I didn't. I just read the title:

"Don't Expect Hyrule Warriors to Fill That Zelda Void"

And it bugged the hell out of me enough not to read the rest, especially considering that I almost always disagree with Tom's views.

Breyant
Breyant

Tom McShea article: this game isn't what I wanted or expected, so no one should like it.

zyxahn
zyxahn

Dynasty Warrior type game, does that mean it will be on the PS4.  >_< I don't get much out of these games.  Ninety Nine Nights.  The first game was something I liked.  We'll see though.  I cannot imagine them giving the Zelda name to something  really terrible.  I mean they already did that.

sdinh225
sdinh225

@zyxahn Hyrule Warriors no, the Zelda universe image belongs to Nintendo so that'll probably never happen. DW8XLCE was released for the PS4 so the other multiplatform Warriors games like Samurai Warriors and Warriors Orochi (WO3 Ultimate coming to PS4) series are likely to be release for the PS4 too that might not be on Wii U.

lostn
lostn

Even though Zelda herself can lay waste to hordes of enemies in one swoop, something tells me she's still going to get kidnapped.

chieflion
chieflion

When i need to feel that zelda tingle in my pants (lol reference master) I paint a white circle on my wall with wings coming out of it and i tell it all my secrets. Then i craft a sword out of things i find around the house and stick it in some rock. After i play my irish pipe (ocarinas are retardedly expensive) I pretend i went to the future to bang shiek and kick gannondorfs Sandy ass.


bananacop
bananacop

Well, this was a bit of a harsh toned article, but I see where he's coming from. I still disagree though. I don't think anyone is expecting this to feel like a true Zelda game in a classic sense, but more of an appetizer before next year's full release. At least for me, I am really looking forward to Hyrule Warriors, but I know it isn't gonna feel quite the same. Less exploration, battles for the sake of battling, too many characters having powers they might not normally have in canon, there's a lot here that is just DIFFERENT. But I still am anxious to see it nonetheless. I think it will be a cool hack and slash sort of experience for the time being. It may not tide us over for a year, but maybe it will be an entertaining distraction at least. 

pikachudude860
pikachudude860

People need to realize something. This game is a SPIN-OFF. 

It's technically in the Zelda series, but it's not a REALLY REAL Zelda game. 

Remember Pokemon Conquest? This game is pretty much the same. (Not Gameplayn wise)


For those of you that didn't hear in Nintendo's E3 Digital Event, the developers said that, like Smash Bros, this is more of a celebration of BOTH series. Both Zelda and Dynasty Warriors. In other words,there just making this game for the heck ofit. It's not ment to "fill that Zelda void". 

mallakazoola
mallakazoola

My legend of zelda void hasn't been filled since majora's mask. 14 bloody long years!!! 

torojoker
torojoker

Agreed, I LOVED Majoras's Mask,I was appalled when I read something stating that Majoras Mask was technically not apart of the overall Zelda Story Universe. Something along those lines. That was a great GREAT game. I am unsure why but that game clearly resides in my mind very clearly but the recent entries (twilight Princess and Skyward Sword) which I played both and beat were not as memorable as Majora's Mask. Let's hope that the new entry will be so.

Smash641
Smash641

Looks fun. I'll buy it. My Zelda void will be filled by that open world game in 2015. And yes, I can wait.

joke_man
joke_man

@shinjuki


That it is dark and perilous...


“Time passes, people move. Like a river’s flow, it never ends. A childish mind will turn to noble ambition. Young love will become deep affection. The clear water’s surface reflects growth. Now listen to the Serenade of water to reflect upon yourself”

btroof
btroof

Ima buy it just cuz im a Zelda fan but to really have fun with Warrior games, just turn the difficulty to the max.

joke_man
joke_man

@daikkenaurora12 @btroof


Except a full Zelda just came out on the 3DS in 2013, with Skyward Sword in 2011, and one is coming to the WiiU in 2015.  


In other words, 2 years between each of those full iterations.  


Better than the 5 years of waiting after Twilight Princess, and the 4 years between Wind Waker and TP.


lostn
lostn

@joke_man @lostn @daikkenaurora12 @btroof ALBW is a 10 hour handheld adventure. If you count that as a 'full' zelda then you also have to include PH and ST. If you don't, then it will have been 4 years between console Zeldas.

joke_man
joke_man

@lostn @joke_man @daikkenaurora12 @btroof


"ALBW is a 10 hour handheld adventure."


Which is identical to it's counterpart A Link to the Past...Is it a handheld adventure too?  The only substantive difference is the platform, while PH and ST strayed much further from the classic Zelda roots than console (and even handheld) iterations.  That was the sole basis for my not including them.  Not that it matters...The OP was nagging at someone as to why he thinks a "full Zelda" won't be released any time soon. 


BTW, the whole point was his saying a "full zelda" hasn't come out.  So, include the other handheld games or don't.  THE ENTIRE POINT BEING IS THAT HIS COMMENT IS BASELESS AND INCORRECT!  Whether you include the others or not is irrelevant, because he's wrong either way.  


Lastly, 2015 - 2012 is 3 years.  

lostn
lostn

@joke_man @lostn @daikkenaurora12 @btroof "Which is identical to it's counterpart A Link to the Past..." 

I remember ALTTP being longer than that. The dungeons were much longer and more complex than ALBW's. 

"The only substantive difference is the platform, while PH and ST strayed much further from the classic Zelda roots"

I also felt ALBW strayed very far from other Zelda roots with the rental system and allowing you to tackle all of Lorule's dungeons in any order.


"Not that it matters...The OP was nagging at someone as to why he thinks a "full Zelda" won't be released any time soon."


If we don't include the handhelds, the console Zeldas released in 2002, 2006, 2011, 2015, which is quite a lot of years between games, but to be expected. 


"Lastly, 2015 - 2012 is 3 years."

Lastly, you're wrong. While your math is correct, Skyward Sword released in 2011, not 2012. I don't understand why you brought this up. Nothing significant released in 2012, except OOT3D which is a remake. 2012 is irrelevant to the discussion. I said it would be 4 years between console Zeldas, which it is, assuming the next game doesn't delay.

joke_man
joke_man

@lostn


Dude, I could give two sh*ts less.  This original point is going well over your head, which I've restated ad nauseum.  It's like you're arguing for the sake of arguing...


You win; feel free to have the last word...Clearly you need it :)

lostn
lostn

@joke_man @lostn Just think before you post next time. If you're going to count ALBW as a full Zelda game, then you have to count Spirit Tracks and Phantom Hourglass as full games too, because they are no less full than ALBW. If you're not going to count ST and PH as full games, then neither is ALBW, which means it was a 5 year wait between TP and SS, and it will be a full 4 year wait between SS and the new Zelda as the (original poster said), assuming it makes 2015 without being delayed, which I'm skeptical about. Zelda has never been on a 2 year development cycle. The handhelds are done by different teams to the console zeldas. The console guys take 4+ years to make a game.

sdinh225
sdinh225

Never expected this game to be a "Zelda" game anyway. It being called Hyrule Warriors and all. 


And maybe I'll pick this up used off of GS or Craigs for dirt cheap because knowing the trend, there will probably be two or three more editions of the same game released eventually...

seriousdave
seriousdave

So the Dyasty Warriors clone with a Zelda skin plays like a Dyasty Warriors clone with a Zelda skin? OMG what a revelation! Who would have expected that! It's not like it was made completely obvious by the trailers... oh wait...

But they could have a least told us that it's not a traditional Zelda game and not the next main series installment but a spin-off... oh wait.. they did tat too...

So why are people still complainig about too less traditional Zelda stuff in this game again?

jakefolk
jakefolk

@seriousdave Seriously is this guy slow? No true Zelda fan believes this is a main entry in the series. It is what it is, a warriors/zelda mashup. 

LordKaizer
LordKaizer

@jakefolk @seriousdave it took him 7 months to realize that while all zelda fans knew this game would be a dynasty warriors gameplay with zelda characters since its debut.

daikkenaurora12
daikkenaurora12

No interest in this game and still not interested in getting the Wii U.  Come on Nintendo.

crushbrain
crushbrain

Did anyone expect it to fill the Zelda void?

yemsols
yemsols

@crushbrain It might not fill Tom's Zelda void but I do expect it to fill mine. But maybe its because mines filled easily or maybe because Im already a fan of certain Warriors games.

DinoBuster
DinoBuster

As a fan of both game series, I'm excited to play it. I agree that it would have been neat to somehow incorporate some traditional Zelda adventure nuances into the mix, but mowing down the Zelda bestiary Warriors style still has me more than sold.

Smash641
Smash641

@hermitkiller Seriously? There are no decent emulators for newer systems and even if there were, I don't download roms for emulators unless I already own the game.

Poodger
Poodger

It kind of looks like garbage. I won't be trying it out. Zelda isn't good because of its characters (who, without the charm of the adventurous gameplay, are rather one dimensional), and all this game offers is the boring DW gameplay with one dimensional Zelda characters pasted on top. Zelda is so damn good because of the adventure, exploration and puzzles. I expect this to be about as good as Link's Crossbow Training, meaning not very.

Smash641
Smash641

@Poodger If you want characters who aren't one dimensional, go back to Majora's Mask