I'm a pretty firm fan of the Warriors series by now, so I knew that getting Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was just a matter of time. I've poured tons of hours into the first Hyrule Warriors game on both Wii U and 3DS, but I wasn't really rushing to play HW2 since somewhere in the back of my mind I was kind of assuming it would have less variety since it's focused on the world of Breath of the Wild. Unlike the majority of Zelda series fans, BOTW wasn't my favorite Zelda game, so that also contributed to my slowness to get around to playing HW2.
It turns out that HW2 was wholly enjoyable, and I ended up playing it straight through with barely any breaks. The game has slightly more complicated controls than the other Warriors games in that on top of all the regular character-specific attacks, every character has access to the four runes from BOTW (stasis, magnesis, remote bombs, and ice), each with their own variations of them. In addition, each character also has access to four items, lightning, ice, and fire rods, and apples for restoring health. And on top of that, the mechanics for each character are generally a little more complex in that a lot of them use the ZR button to trigger various effects. At first it's all confusing and somewhat overwhelming to keep track of everything that's going on, but I got into the groove of it pretty quickly and it was pretty much all smooth sailing from there.
As with the first Hyrule Warriors game, Link gets more costumes than the other characters and he gets three distinct types of weapons whereas almost everyone else only gets one. Link with his sword and Mipha and Daruk play very similarly to the sword Link, Zora, and Goron characters respectively from the first game, but otherwise most of the rest of the characters feel new. Although the four champions are a given, there are some fun surprises amongst the roster, and it's also impressive how many cutscenes there are. The story isn't that deep, but it was fun to revisit the world of Breath of the Wild and get to see more of its characters.
HW2 was a good length and I didn't really rush through it, although I did make use of the training camp feature where you can spend currency to level up your characters so that I kept all my characters roughly the same level. I know that there were complaints about the sections where you have to pilot the divine beasts. Although these sections are slow, it is in keeping with the Warriors MO of mowing down hordes of enemies. You're not required to do that many of them, so they didn't really bother me that much. Overall I enjoyed the game and will definitely be picking up the DLC at some point. Unfortunately, it did push me over the edge and I picked up the Switch version of the first Hyrule Warriors game, even though I've already played through the previous two versions. I've already dipped into it, and it's funny how basic it feels compared to Age of Calamity, but it's still fun. I'll probably hold off on playing through the story mode again, though, until if I can find someone to play it co-op with me.