The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s most ambitious game yet
The long wait is finally over! Nintendo’s highly anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has arrived on the Switch and Wii U. Inspired by the best elements of modern adventure games, this is more than just a continuation of the series. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a revolution that marks an important transformation for the series.
Explore, discover, and unravel the mysteries of Hyrule in a land that has no limits. Step into a vast open world, full of treacherous mountain peaks and lush forests. Get ready to grab your sword and embark on a journey that is quite possibly the largest and most expansive Nintendo game in history.
Gear up for an adventure
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild begins as Link wakes up from a hundred-year deep sleep. A mysterious voice guides him to discover what has become of the ruined Kingdom of Hyrule. After making your way through the sanctuary, Link encounters an old man who explains what has happened for the past hundred years. A great evil known as Calamity Ganon has laid waste and destruction to Hyrule. Unable to be defeated, Calamity Ganon has been sealed away in Hyrule Castle growing in power over time.
Despite loosing all memory of your past, you gear up and prepare for battle. You must destroy Calamity Ganon before he breaks free and destroys the world. As you make your way around Hyrule, you’ll encounter many different characters. Some will be familiar faces and some new, who will aid you in your journey. One of the aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s story that I liked best, was the way it unfolds. It’s a different experience for each player.
Undoubtedly, there are certain aspects of the game’s magnificent story that all gamers will experience at pretty much the same time. However, there are many aspects of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s story that are revealed at different times depending on where you go. Though it may sound a bit confusing, it all plays out perfectly. Just like you and I, Link pieces together one by one to understand what happened in Hyrule.
A departure from the classic Zelda formula of gameplay
Complete with role-playing elements, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a non-linear game. It has an open-world environment that is twelve times larger than Twilight Princess.
It’s the first Zelda game where you can approach it in virtually any way you want. You can approach any dungeon, any time, with any combination of weapons and items you want. Heck, you can even bypass entire challenges if you are resourceful enough. See a mountain far off in the distance? You can go there, though it might take 10 minutes to get there depending on the method of travel you choose. From the vestigial Guardians that patrol the land to the camps of Bokoblins that blemish the landscape, Link will has his hands full.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild allows you to run, jump and climb on almost any surface you see. Think of Link as Spider-Man, just add pointy ears and a blue tunic—and voilà you have Link. Complete with a day-night cycle, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a dynamic weather system. You’ll encounter frigid snow temperatures and snow storms where, if you don’t dress appropriately, you’ll start loosing health. On the other hand, you’ll also encounter heavy rain downpours that make climbing up rocks a slippery ordeal.
It’s time to get cooking
A departure from the classic Zelda formula is the rate at which you discover clothing, weapons, shields, and food that you can eat to restore your health. Cooking is vital to your survival, so you will want to make sure to forage for items. You can collect mushrooms, meat, crabs, herbs, spices, flowers and more. You’ll discover a wide variety of choices when cooking. Some of these will be through trial and error, and some from recipes you learn.
While some dishes will just give you hearts, others will improve your resistance to cold or improve your speed, which will allow you to visit some places that will allow you to progress in the game. For example, it’s best not to visit the village of Gorons without first preparing some elixirs that resist the heat of the region. Be careful though, not every combination is a recipe for success!
The Sheikah Slate
From the get-go, Link is equipped with the Sheikah Slate, a piece of technology that gives you special abilities as you earn them. With 120 shrines, which act like mini dungeons and challenge you with puzzles to solve, or enemy battles to prove your worthiness—you can easily expand Link’s abilities. Within the first few hours of gameplay, I had the ability to stop time on certain objects, manipulate magnetic objects just like Magneto from the X-Men, create blocks of ice from water, and I was armed with bombs.
You are probably wondering how you are going to keep track of what to do. Luckily, the game includes an Adventure Log that lets you keep track of both main and side quests. Helping Hyrule’s inhabitants is a rewarding endeavour, so don’t be surprised if you take on hours-long side quests in between all the main story.
A living, breathing world
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild uses cel-shaded graphics, and is incomparable to anything else on the market. With Nintendo’s unique visual approach, the colour palette is bright and expressive—giving the game’s world character and presence unlike any Zelda game in the series.
You’ll traverse traditional Zelda environments, and see familiar races from the Zelda universe—all with a fresh coat of paint that look amazing on the game’s new graphical engine. Monsters have new strikingly detailed appearances that look better than ever before. Wait until you encounter some of the epic bosses within The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They are simply breathtaking in appearance and in scope. In addition, animated sequences are fully narrated and are stunning.
Surprisingly, Zelda’s iconic symphonic soundtrack that accompanies games in the series is absent. For the most part, music is soft and muted in order to enhance the rich sounds of nature. However, I completely understand why this was done, when you hear the shriek of an eagle or the scuttling noise of a fox nearby—it invokes a sense of freedom that will send shivers down your spine.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another game in what has already been an stellar first quarter of 2017. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a perfect mix of nostalgic elements with ground-breaking innovations. In turn, it makes this one of, if not the best games available.
Nintendo has a knack for making one a kind unique games that nobody else can come close to, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a shining example of this. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a near perfect game that that all Switch and Wii U owners should have. Furthermore, it’s a game that will be remembered for years to come, and sets the bar high for others to surpass.
+ Rich and inviting story
+ Cel-shaded graphics are colourful bright, and bold
+ Amazing amount of content in both the main story and side quests
+ Virtually perfect gameplay
+ Sense of freedom is unlike any other game in the series
+ Evolution of the Zelda franchise
+ Switch version allows you to pickup and play on the go
– Slight slowdown in some instances
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5
Overall Rating 4.9/5 (98%)