Late last month, Nintendo dropped a demo build of Koei Tecmo’s Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity on the Nintendo Switch eShop. We went hands-on with the demo and were impressed with its more direct links to the Zelda universe and some good gameplay variety over the first Hyrule Warriors. However, the performance of Age of Calamity — particularly frame rate — felt pretty bad, and we now have evidence to back that up.
A tech analysis of Age of Calamity performance in the Switch demo at GameXplain reveals this build hits a low of nine — yes, nine — frames per second (FPS). While that bottom-end figure isn’t its constant performance level, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity often dips well below 20 FPS in combat areas. This is incredibly poor performance, even for a pre-release build.
The video also showcases some of the game’s downgrades over the open world in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Shadow detail, weather simulation, and indirect lighting have all been toned down. There are some improvements with Age of Calamity performance though. Texture detail is solid, and a depth-of-field effect used during enemy lock-on is a new feature.
We understand that the visual downgrades and poor performance are a trade-off for the masses of enemies on screen at once in a Warriors-style game. However, the Age of Calamity performance in this demo build is well below par, and we hope it improves somewhat for the full release.