It won’t be hard to believe that you have heard the words Zelda Breath of the Wild a lot. From t.v. to youtube everyone seems to be talking about Nintendo’s new flagship title. In short, Zelda Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece. However, don’t get me wrong, the game being a masterpiece doesn’t mean that it is without flaws. From the beginning, BotW drops you off in a world that is begging to be explored. From the snowy peaks in the northwest corner of the map to the rainforest in the southeast corner, every environment in BotW is full of life and character. In most of the open-world RPG’s I have played I tend to death grip the fast travel system and never let go. What is the point of traveling on some boring road when I can instantly be at my objective? That is a mistake when it comes to this game, rewarding exploration is the first thing that locked me into BotW’s world.
Breath of the Wild features 120 Shrines as well as 900 korok seeds. Each shrine features a puzzle that you have to solve in order to obtain a spirit orb. With every 4 spirit orbs, you obtain you can upgrade your heart containers or your stamina. The korok seeds on the other hand allow you to upgrade the bag space of your weapons. Most of the puzzles throughout the map are simple, logic-based that get progressively difficult as you enter into hard areas. Others can be either combat challenges or tests that involve doing something in the outside world. For instance, I had to carry a ball to the center of a swirling piece of land. Now, I decided to carry it the entire way, but there were at least two other ways I could have solved that problem that I could think of.
It is that freedom of choice that turns Zelda Breath of the Wild from a simple open-world adventure into an epic that will stand the test of time. The first thing I did in BotW was climb a tree. I walked out of the starter cave and had the instant urge to climb a tree, so I did. It was this small detail that let me know I was in for something special. And these small details are littered throughout the game. If a monster is lit on fire than there is a chance that the items they drop will be destroyed. Fire creates an updraft that you can ride on to get an aerial attack in. Wolves will try to circle around you before attacking, and if they sense too much danger they will run. The entire world isn’t reliant on you and travelers will try to fight off monsters on their own. These types of things bring a level of believability to the world.
Monster encounters vary not only between types of monsters but by classes of monsters as well. A simple Bokoblin tends to run into your weapon by accident sometimes but later versions of this monster can not only see your attack coming but it can also learn to target your blind spots. I have never died more in a Zelda game, but every death felt justified as I learned what the game was expecting from me. Once you learn the dance, monsters will never be a problem again. Weapon degrading is a big topic of debate in BotW. Weapons in the beginning of the game will in fact break if you look at them wrong. So much so that I developed a habit of holding on to my better weapons for harder situations. This method of play is fine, but it is highly unnecessary. The rate in which you get weapons is incredibly quick with a new sword or ax around every corner.
As I said before, Zelda Breath of the Wild is not without its flaws. While dealing with mobs of Bokoblins the game sometimes tends to lag. It has happened a total of 5 times over my 40+ hours with the game. It never happens with any creature other than the Bokoblins, for me at least. The cooking system is in serious need of a recipe book like Skyrim has because losing track of the thousands of combinations is a thing you will do. Made an awesome potion by accident, good luck duplicating the process after 10 hours of game play has gone by. Speaking of potions, what was the point of giving us an awesome potion system if you were just going to give us really easy armor that makes every potion obsolete. It would be different if you could stack effects but it is only one effect at a time.
The main story is surprisingly easy. For reference, it took me 4 years to beat Ocarina of Time. Maybe that game was hard, maybe I suck, I like to go with the former. That being said the main story took me about 10 hours in total. The bar to beat the end boss was set very low. However, it was in that final fight that I realized that beating the end boss wasn’t why I was playing. Sure, it was the reason that Link was doing what Link was doing but I had genuinely been sucked into the world.
The Nintendo Switch’s launch superstar seems to have managed to live up to the expectations of the general populous, and that is a great sign of things to come. I still have several hours ahead of me but I am looking forward to them with a big grin on my face. Every time I see someone discover something else I hadn’t found it makes me want to jump back in headfirst and see what else I can find. Sure, Zelda Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece, but above everything else, it is a fun experience that you don’t want to pass up.
The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is available on Nintendo Switch for $59.99