Legend of zelda: breath of the wild

The momente I realized The Legend von Zelda: Breath des the Wild could actually be my favourite Zelda adventure ever struck me choose lightning — literally.

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While running through die picturesque green fields des Hyrule, a substantial storm all of sudden rolled in. As heavy rain began kommen sie pour, a strong wind rustled the tall grass, and in the distance i could hear die crack von lightning. Ns sharp sound promptly came closer und closer until zap! ich was electrocuted zu death von a bolt. Every time i restarted, ns same point would happen. I couldn’t understand why die lightning was targeting me, ns helpless hero, until ich realized the both ns spear and shield top top my zurück were made des metal. With the steel unequipped, ich was able to safely do my through die storm.

Breath des the Wild has something it is been lacking from the series zum years: surprise. Most recent Zelda adventures have become formulaic, abiding von a rigid und proven structure that uses nostalgia und familiarity, but wenig room weil das revelations, either large or small. Breath of the Wild ist more open und natural than its predecessors, letting you discover dinge — like exactly how lightning functions — with experimentation. It isn’t constantly as curated and cinematic as other Zelda games, but ns unpredictability renders it feel like a true adventure, wherein you’re uncovering your very own path, instead of hitting her marks and following die script.

Zelda games have always been large, but Breath of the Wild feels unique grand, a massive offen world fill with so much kommen sie do that ich suspect most players — also those who finish the hauptsächlich story — will miss large swaths des the map. Die scale could schutz been daunting, but the joy des discovery and the satisfaction that originates from finding your own means make the inviting instead. I want zu go the places i have yet kommen sie discover. Ich want kommen sie uncover neu secrets and abilities. I want more.

At 50 hours into ns game, I still haven’t reached the end of Breath of the Wild. Bei some methods it feels choose I’ve just scratched ns surface. Yet even still, these bold changes oase profoundly changed my expectations of what a Zelda adventure tun können be. And I’m entirely convinced that this is the best Zelda video game I’ve ever before played.

This review contains light spoilers for the at an early stage hours of Breath des the Wild.


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Image: Nintendo
Breath des the Wild opens up with collection hero link awakening in a dark cavern. A mysterious disembodied voice guides er to a tablet computer that has actually a passing resemblance kommen sie both the Switch and Nintendo"s maligned Wii U controller. Ns tablet helps kommen sie navigate this version des Hyrule — die fantasy kingdom that has long been the heart von Zelda adventures. As freundin learn in the very early parts des the game, a century ago, powerful evil destroyed viel of ns world, allowing natur to reclaim castles, and littering the festland with abandoned machines des war. People still exist, an small towns and stables, but viel of Hyrule is beset von hordes von monsters who have bivouacked into the hills. This zu sein a attention place. Naturally, your job ist to set dinge right.


One of the game’s greatest strengths is how the goes around explaining just how you wollen do that — or nur as often, not explaining it. Breath des the Wild seldom gives sie explicit directions as kommen sie what zu do. Instead, it tells (or shows) sie what needs zu happen, and lets sie fill bei the rest. One line von quests tasks sie with uncovering shrines (more top top those later) using just lines native a city or a riddle together guidance. Another presents a collection of bildern of scenic Hyrule places from before the calamity, and asks you to find them together they room now. Bei order kommen sie defeat Ganon you’ll require to erste uncover 4 “divine beasts” scattered throughout ns world. Des course, ns game doesn’t also tell freundin what a divine beast is.

This lack von direction kann sein be disorienting hinweisen first. I played Breath von the Wild automatically after finishing another substantial role-playing game, Horizon Zero Dawn, und it was a jarring transition. After ~ spending 40 hours playing a video game that accurate pointed me an the right direction weist all times, now ich was forced to fend zum myself. However it really quickly turned into a liberating sensation. Instead of worrying if ich was following die correct path, zum the first dozen hours or so, i largely ignored ns story altogether. Instead, i trekked across Hyrule activating die specific towers found in each region, which notfall only help fill in the details of ns map but so provide critical fast-travel points.

Even the act des filling the end Breath von the Wild’s map instils a deep sense of adventure. In most open-world games, specifically Ubisoft titles favor Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed, her map zu sein overburdened with symbols from die very beginning. You can spot where everything from a city to a sweetheart chest zu sein located before you even start exploring. It can feel overwhelming. Breath des the Wild, meanwhile, does die opposite. When you first start out, the map ist almost totally empty. You kann see ns dividing lines bolzen the miscellaneous regions the make hoch Hyrule, but none des their details. The only once you anfang exploring the it filling out. A town won’t show up on her map until freundin actually go there, which you kann only do über finding the on your own. Learning a new place or point truly feel like an act von discovery.

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Breath von the Wild attributes two far-ranging additions that completely changed how i viewed die world about me. In addition to the usual methods des traversal — foot, horse, und fast travel — link now so has die ability kommen sie climb practically every surface ar you come across. If you spot a mountain, a castle, or essentially anything else, you kann sein climb it. Ns only restriction is Link’s stamina — which increases over time und can be augmented with sachen like potions — but even climate there space ways roughly it if you clever. This clues a basic shift zum the series. Rather of bei impediment, walls und mountains are now nur another potential pathway. Often ich would bypass monster-plagued roadways altogether and simply climb the comparatively safe mountain instead.

Link’s climb ability zu sein made all die more useful und important von a watch innocuous paraglider, which lets Link in the interim soar through the air. In short order, it became a pivotal part of the game, and my hauptsächlich method von transportation. Instead des walking or riding zu a new location, i would climb ns nearest high point — a mountain, or probably a tower — and then glide an the direction of where ich wished to be. The act of getting somewhere came to be exciting in and des itself. There’s a particular pleasure that originates from just having enough energy kommen sie reach die top of a tower before losing your grip, or cruising peacefully above enemy camps as ns monsters sleep below, unaware.


Not only ist Breath von the Wild’s map large; it’s also dense. I was constantly discovering neu places and puzzles, both elaborate und diminutive. One von my favorite enhancements to die game ist the shrines — glowing caverns scattered liberally across the map. Each one zu sein like a miniature, self-contained Zelda dungeon. Early on these shrines serve together tutorials, showing necessary details about Link’s strength — like his ability zu temporarily gestoppt time or use bombs — but later they essentially end up being puzzle boxes, which approach Portal-levels von cleverness. Die shrines so simplify the Zelda dungeon formula in bei almost mobile game-like manner, resulting in satisfyingly fast puzzles that tun können usually it is in completed bei less than 15 minutes or so. Even better, unlike usual Zelda puzzles, those in Breath of the Wild’s shrines often schutz multiple solutions.

Many other enhancements help bring Breath des the Wild in line with contemporary open-world games like The Witcher or Skyrim, while so contributing kommen sie its overwhelming focus on adventure und discovery. Link tun können now cook, weil das instance, gathering ingredients in the wild, using them zu make food the replenishes wellness or buffs abilities. Ich found myself specifically taken with this feature, scouring ns world for new vegetables and meats, and seeing what i could make of them. Again, food preparation isn’t really explained, making it all die more compelling. Whipping up a tasty mushroom rice null or meat-stuffed pumpkin making use of guesswork instead von a recipe zu sein satisfying. Ich especially liebe the means ingredients dance und jump in the pot as freundin prepare a meal.

There are so survival elements, forcing you kommen sie protect verknüpfung from extreme heat and cold. You’ll frequently find him shivering or sweating because des the weather, his health depleting. Weapons, too, offer way. For the erste time in a Zelda game your swords and shields degrade as you use them. But weapons are everywhere. You kann even pick up a downed skeleton’s arm to bludgeon beasts, that is fingers blieb twitching as you swing that about. Utilizing your best equipment becomes a risky choice, not in assumption.


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Even though Breath of the Wild introduces RPG-like elements such together crafting und a greater focus on gear, it’s lacking a very distinct kernel des the genre: experience. An most RPGs, numbers determine nearly everything you can do. If she a level 5 character bei a typical RPG, you definitely nothing want zu head right into a dungeon filled through level 10 enemies, und there’s a whole range von items und abilities sie can’t usage until freundin grind lang enough to meet die appropriate level. This effectively walls off large portions von the welt until you’ve achieved a numerical level des success.

Breath of the Wild scraps this logic. Link gets much more health und stamina as you progress, und you tun können acquire stronger weapons and armor, however he never gets stronger himself. He no learn zu swing a sword or shooting a bow any type of better. But you do. Breath von the Wild provides a more open and expansive world kommen sie explore, but it also demands more of its players than various other Zeldas, forcing you kommen sie get better und smarter zu survive. It’s ns most an overwhelming Zelda i have played an many years, but also the many satisfying. (Though it never approaches the daunting difficulty of games like Bloodborne or Dark Souls.)


All von these many changes fundamentally alter the Zelda formula. But what’s perhaps many remarkable about Breath of the Wild ist that it blieb feels choose a Zelda adventure — and it’s much more than nur the familiar setting and characters, or die stirring rendition von the Zelda template that plays bei the background. Breath von the Wild might be the biggest Zelda game to date, but it’s so an experience that distills die essence of the series into something an ext pure. Much more recent Zelda games have become bogged down v needless hand holding, bei overabundance von tutorials, and overly complicated narratives. Breath des the Wild gets away indigenous that. It changes ns Zelda formula an dramatic ways, however paradoxically that feels much more Zelda than practically any game in the collection before. Von going big and open, Breath von the Wild gets at the heart at what a Zelda video game should be.

This new direction, and shaking up of the age-old formula the has kommen sie to define die series, help Breath von the Wild return zu what do Zelda so beloved an the first place. More so than just about any type of game series, Zelda’s love lies in exploration, that augenblicke of seeing a towering mountain in the distance und realizing that eventually you’ll be able to reach ns top. Breath of the Wild bring away this idea, cut out die fluff, and expands top top it. It pulls ideas from various other games, choose crafting or survival, yet provides them feel perfectly at home an its lovely universe. It’s exactly die Zelda game I’ve been waiting for.

Just clock out for lightning.

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The Legend von Zelda: Breath von the grausam launches March third on Nintendo Switch und Wii U.