A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hyrule Warriors is a cross between two beloved franchises -- The Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors -- in which Link and his friends vow to destroy an evil force by banding together and traveling across the land. The fast-paced fantasy action is somewhat violent, with weapons like swords, bombs, and magical attacks used to kill thousands of enemies. Although you eliminate thousands of creatures, there's no blood or gore shown; enemies vanish when defeated. There are also some suggestive visuals, including characters with lots of cleavage. The Nintendo Switch version, called Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, includes the downloadable content that was made available for the older version of the game. It also features amiibo support, which gives players bonus items depending on the figure or card that's used.
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What's it about?
HYRULE WARRIORS merges game features from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda and Koei Tecmo's Dynasty Warriors franchises into a large-scale action game. Players fight alongside almost 30 familiar characters from Nintendo's beloved fantasy series, including Link and Princess Zelda, to save the land of Hyrule from an evil force. The fast-paced combat takes place on massive battlefields in recognizable settings from The Legend of Zelda lore. Each of the characters -- some of whom are playable for the first time in the Legend of Zelda series -- has his or her own unique weapon and fighting style. Features include a lengthy single-player campaign and additional play modes. These include two-player co-op, a My Fairy mode that lets you create and customize a fairy's magical abilities and appearance to assist you in battle, an Adventure mode that generates maps and challenges based on the original The Legend of Zelda, and more. The Nintendo Switch version, called Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, includes all the released downloadable content from the Wii U and 3DS versions, boosts the effects given to players by using amiibo figures and cards, and allows characters to dress in costumes taken from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Is it any good?
Fans of action or role-playing games are in for a treat with this fun game, which you'll return to over and over again. Hyrule Warriors successfully combines the quick action of Koei Tecmo's hack-and-slash Dynasty Warriors series with the familiar characters, locations, and enemies of The Legend of Zelda games. Over time, you'll acquire new weapons and items to help in the fight against thousands of enemies -- and recruit new players, too. The huge battlefields need to be unlocked in pieces as you amass your armies, tactically take on the hordes of creatures and giant bosses, and clear out new areas to travel to. Hyrule Warriors is highly replayable, as you can travel to different areas on the sandbox-style map each time. Plus, there's an interesting amount of depth added with the game modes: The Bazaar mode lets players customize characters with a badge system that unlocks new abilities, while the Free mode lets you replay any mission you've completed with any character you've unlocked from the story mode.
While the game is highly entertaining, be aware that the action might grow repetitive after a short while: You'll approach enemies, engage in battle, and move on to repeat the process (similar to the action in Dynasty Warriors). It's still fun, and the combat depth and various modes keep things fresh, but just be aware it might feel a little "rinse and repeat." As for Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition, it's great if you haven't picked it up before, because it adds all of the previously released DLC while also tossing in some Breath of the Wild outfits, but if you've played the previous versions, you've already cut your way through this content. That's a minor issue but something to think about if you expect something new. Small complaints aside, action fans should definitely pick up this exciting and engaging hybrid experiment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the Dynasty Warriors-like combat in Hyrule Warriors too violent for younger Legend of Zelda gamers? Should parents be worried about players hacking and slashing their way through thousands of creatures, or is it OK because the monsters vanish without any blood or gore?
Discuss crossovers in popular franchises. What makes the combination of characters or franchises work well? Why do some of these fail horribly?
Talk about consumerism. Do you feel like you need to buy additional amiibo to fully experience Hyrule Warriors? Are features like this designed to push and promote purchasing these figures, or do they enhance the experience?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: May 18, 2018
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: T for Fantasy Violence, Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: December 1, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.