The first wave of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC, “Pulse of the Ancients” has arrived on Nintendo Switch and with it, several new difficulty options and challenges. New EX high-level challenges and an Apocalyptic difficulty accompany the Royal Ancient Tech Lab as new expansions to the game that many different players may find worth their return to this game.
When I say that the first wave of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC brings exceedingly new difficult challenges, I’m not the least bit exaggerating. The new Apocalyptic difficulty you can crank the game up to will truly test your slashing and dodging button-mashing dexterity while forcing you to take the whole battlefield into account more intently than ever before to keep from failing your comrades and thus your objectives.
The EX challenges also provide monumental battles against massive hordes and supremely powerful foes. They’re packed with more health and more strength than ever before and will test your patience and your battlefield management equally as you build up your various meters to deal more damage quicker. These difficulty spikes are for true fans of the game and are best approached by players who have sunk hours into leveling up and acquiring strong gear already.
For those less interested in extreme difficulties but keen on the sense of accomplishment that accompanies unlocking things, “Pulse of the Ancients” will scratch that itch. The Royal Ancient Tech Lab is one big unlock tree with branching paths that all link back together in the end. They’ll require you to slay enemies, do it in certain ways, clear challenges, and collect all sorts of droppables. But as you go, you’ll acquire all sorts of upgrades, new weapons in the Flail for Link and the Master Cycle for Zelda. And ultimately, at the end, you’ll unlock the Battle-Tested Guardian as a playable character. While this set of unlockables requires completing a number of challenges, you don’t need to play on a high difficulty to accomplish them if you don’t prefer to.
The best part about the first wave of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC is that you don’t have to have completed the whole game already to begin it. The Lab becomes available quickly and you may not be able to accomplish all of its tasks right away, but it will always be there to keep checking back on and offer some solid end-game content. It also provides an item tracker that will help you focus on collecting specific droppables throughout the whole game. It’s a small but valuable addition and makes the whole game, even from a fresh start, have a heightened sense of worthwhile to completing it totally. With big challenges visible early on, there’s always something to be working towards.
There’s really something for everybody in the first wave of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity DLC. The full expansion pass is available now, with more content arriving later this year.