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Surprise -- just when you thought Nintendo was done teasing its latest game, it goes and springs a demo version. The unexpected Nintendo Direct mini showcase on Oct. 28 included the announcement that the “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” demo had released on the Switch for downloading. It had fans rushing to their Switches to access the release and get their first look at the latest game of the historic Zelda franchise.

(Pre-order “Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity" on Best Buy for $59.99 and get it by release day with free shipping!)

The demo announcement was accompanied by yet another trailer, with more sneak peeks into the game lore. The much-younger Robbie and Purah, Sheikah scientists who also feature in “Breath of the Wild,” make appearances. King Rhoam is seen making a declaration to Zelda about her duty as Princess of Hyrule.

But the biggest reveal in the new trailer starts with Revali, the Rito champion, previewing the Divine Beast abilities. Vah Medoh appears in the sky, shooting down monsters. Vah Naboris crashes through enemies like a tank. Vah Ruta fires a volley of ice projectiles and water to crash a structure. And Vah Rudania stomps flaming feet on its opponents. All four are then shown releasing a laser blast similar to the ones they use to target Calamity Ganon at the end of “Breath of the Wild.”

There is also again a brief glimpse of that hooded figure, whom fans now believe may be the fortune teller mentioned in the “Breath of the Wild” companion book. The fortune-teller is responsible for leading King Rhoam to the Divine Beasts from the legend 10,000 years ago.

Without going into spoilers: the demo includes the first chapter of the game, and introduces key aspects of the gameplay, playable characters, and the start of the storyline. Players complete four main missions, which include plenty of the promised hacking and slashing. Link goes up against seemingly endless, constantly-respawning hordes of familiar monsters -- Bokoblins and Lizalfos, with Moblins and Wizz Robes acting as area bosses.

The first mission includes in-game prompts for various button combinations used in attack and defense, both for your weapon and the Sheikah slate. Be warned: it’s a lot to take in, but the more you play, the better you’ll grasp the combat style. And there’s really something cathartic about mowing down a horde of Bokoblins who topple right over with a powerful slash of your sword.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (screenshot)
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (screenshot) Nintendo

Besides the missions, the player can also complete several mini-"quests" that unlock assets that you can use further in the game.

It’s a surprisingly generous amount of gameplay, giving the player a very thorough look at the fundamentals of the game, including missions, quests, levels, rewards, and special moves. And if this is just the first chapter, then the game promises to be extremely satisfying to play -- and just what fans need to tide themselves over while waiting for news of the sequel.

“Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity” releases on November 20. Pre-order your physical copy on Best Buy for $59.99 and get it by release date! Get it alongside a Nintendo Switch with Red/Blue Joy Cons for $299.99.