It's a question which fans have been asking ever since Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity was officially announced last month: what role would the Divine Beasts play?

These ancient "mecha-like" constructions served as a key plot element in the original The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as they had begun to rampage out of controlm and hero Link was forced to free each of them from the influence of the villainous Calamity Ganon. However, with Age of Calamity using a different style gameplay, in which a single player character takes on hordes of enemies, it was considered unlikely that the Divine Beasts would make a major appearance.

However, on October 28, Nintendo surprised fans yet again. Not only did Age of Calamity make an unexpected appearance during Nintendo's Mini Direct Partner Showcase - as it is technically a "partner title" due to being developed by Koei Tecmo - the new footage revealed that the four Divine Beasts will be playable in the upcoming game.

Each of the Divine Beasts possesses unique powers which make Age of Calamity's gameplay so much more than merely "slash through groups of enemies with a weapon". Revali's Vah Medoh can fly and shoot cannon blasts, allowing to down airborne enemies, while Urbosa's Vah Naboris can take out enemy barriers with a single stomp of its massive feet. Vah Ruta, piloted by Mipha, uses its elephant-like trunk to rain water upon foes. Finally, Daruk's Vah Rudania lets players take the fight to the flaming slopes of Death Mountain as it absorbs the power of fire and turns it back on enemies instead.

A free demo of Age of Calamity is available now and can be downloaded via the Nintendo Switch eShop. The Direct also confirmed that progress from the demo will be carried over to the full version of Age of Calamity once it is purchased and downloaded.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity releases exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on November 20, 2020.