Since the release of the Wii U I have been looking forward to the next home console instalment of the Legend of Zelda series. The wait has been long, Long enough to almost skip an entire Nintendo home console, but has it been worth it?
Hell freakin’ yes it has! This game is absolutely breathtaking! Not only is it incredibly gorgeous but it is so incredibly deep and intuitive. It’s the Legend of Zelda game that I never even knew I wanted.
I’m playing, as I assume most people would be, on the brand new Nintendo Switch so I can’t speak to the graphical capabilities of the Wii U version, but Breath of the Wild is absolutely stunning. Right from the beginning you are let loose into this enormous world. Fields of gras and trees. A living world not only crawling will enemies but also countless wildlife.
Whenever I play an open world game like this the first thing I generally do is just run as far as I can and see how far I can get, jumping my way up terrain that was not meant to be climbed. In Breath of the Wild, you can climb almost anything. As soon as a rock face gets too steep to just walk up, Link will latch on and begin climbing. And the transition from walking to climb is so incredibly fluid it creates a genuine suspension of disbelief. You ARE Link, running and climbing the fields and mountains of Hyrule.
The game also gives you most of the powers Link will need to complete the various puzzles throughout the game within the early stages. This is an interesting change from the normal Legend of Zelda format of finding the thing you need right before you need it, but speaks beautifully to the freedom that the team have given you with Breath of the Wild. While you may not necessarily have the Hearts or Stamina to face Ganon right from the start, it is entirely possible to head straight to him.
The addition of the crafting mechanics is a great deal of fun. I imagine that mere hours after the release of the game there were hundreds of tutorials and recipes for the best food combinations online, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun to just grab a handful of ingredients, throw them in a pot and see what delicious dishes you can create. Most food items will recover portions of your heart containers but once cooked can also refill your stamina, give you cold resistance, increase your speed while climbing, I’m sure the list goes on and on.
The one thing I am yet to try is using all of my Legend of Zelda Amiibo for the various bonuses that they can drop into the world. Depending on which one you use you may receive rupees, food, weapons or clothing. Some even give you special bonuses from previous games. I imagine this kind of thing could definitely give you a leg up in the early stages.
The breakable weapons mechanic is, at times, frustrating. You begin the game with limited room in your inventory for weapons and they seem to break so easily that you end up grabbing whatever is around just to get through some battles. Because of this I found myself planning my attacks against a camp of enemies. It adds a layer of tactics and stealth that you don’t often find in a Legend of Zelda game.
So, if you can’t tell from the rambling above, I absolutely LOVE this game! This is a welcome new addition to the Legend of Zelda series and a game that I believe absolutely anyone could pick up and enjoy. I highly recommend grabbing a copy to see for yourself. You won’t regret it!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available now on Wii U and Nintendo Switch.