Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Series: Legend Of Zelda
Released: March 3 2017
Console: Nintendo Switch & Nintendo Wii U
Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild combined the artistry and format of the Legend of Zelda series with the endless opportunity of open world gameplay to create an immersive masterpiece, one well deserving of being one of the best-selling games of all-time.
The main storyline follows the main character of Link waking up from a hundred years of sleep to find Hyrule war-torn. As Link, the player sets out on a journey to defeat the evil Calamity Ganon that torments the land. Unlike the previous games in the series, Breath Of The Wild provides a more non-linear and open-world form of game-play. This lets the player decide when they wish to tackle different parts of the game.
Before playing Breath Of The Wild, I was somewhat familiar with the Legend Of Zelda series. I had played a quarter of Ocarina Of Time and Twilight Princess, and five minutes of The Wind Waker. They were games I wanted to get into, but whenever I tried getting into them, I’d play for a little while before getting distracted by something else and never coming back to it. Obviously they’re great games, but the series never really engaged me.
This changed with Breath Of The Wild, which was one of the first games I bought on the Nintendo Switch. I was hooked from the second I walked out of the cave to see the beauty of the landscape of Hyrule. It was truly the most immersive gaming experience I have had for a long time. As I travelled through the game, I was engrossed by its world-building and tragic backstory. I was strongly emotionally connected to it. I didn’t want to let go of my controller; I locked myself in my room for months.
To this day, almost three years after starting it, I’m still finding new things to do within it, as the options are endless. These range from locating all the mostly puzzle-based shrines, collecting all the hundreds of Korok seeds or solely exploring the gigantic open-world. Frankly, a lot of the fun comes from traversing the different areas of the world map. The game is a banquet of so many different things to do; it is awe-inspiring. The game lets you play the way you want, and where you go next is entirely up to you. You could face Ganon straight away if you wanted to, though you will likely die straight away if you did.
In traditional Legend Of Zelda fashion, the game is quite challenging, especially the bosses which took me a few attempts at defeating. The final boss, Calamity Ganon, took me ages to defeat. I was close to giving up, but I pulled through. I’m glad I did, as it was such a rewarding feeling to defeat him. Now obviously it’s not the most difficult game ever made, but it doesn’t hold your hand during the experience. Often you have to work things out for yourself and that can be challenging, but that’s part of what makes the game rewarding. A big criticism I’ve seen about the game is the short lasting durability of the weapons and shields. And yes, that can be annoying. But in my opinion this adds to the challenge of the game and keeps you on your toes.
I do have two small issues with the game. The first is that I wish it could have more substantial side-quests. Not to say there aren’t tons of different side-quests within the game, by the way. I simply feel that there’s not as much substance to them, such as, say, an open-world game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has. Skyrim’s side-quests have a lot more plot and they really add to the world building. This issue is sort of fixed with the DLC, but to me they don’t add as much to the world building.
My final criticism is that, once you defeat Ganon and complete the main story, you are back to the time period prior to facing him. I found this to be a bit of a let-down. I would have liked a bit more of a playable narrative-based epilogue to tie things together. This isn’t to say there isn’t much post-main game stuff, as there’s still tons. It just didn’t feel as rewarding. However, with the release of its sequel coming soon, I will hopefully get the closure that I desperately seek.
Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild will always be remembered as the standout game of Switch-era Nintendo. It’s an almost never-ending adventure which will leave players wanting for more, and I for one cannot wait to spend months locked in my room playing the next installment.
Target Audience: Children Aged 12+
Content: Some scenes may be scary to very young children
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect
For more information on Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild for the Nintendo Switch, click here.