A plethora of flawless reviews can’t be wrong and I’m only here to confirm that Breath of the Wild is a guarantee Game of the Year if not the best game of all time! Bold statement I know but know this, this one game alone is single handedly selling the Nintendo Switch out of stock globally! Sure there are a few other titles on the shelf but I can’t imagine there is anyone out there that owns a Switch and doesn’t own Zelda. So what’s the hype all about? Let me tell you 🙂
There are tons of die hard Zelda fans out there in the playground but I am not one of them. Of all the previous titles, I’ve only ever enjoyed A Link Between World’s, perhaps coz it was on the DS so I was able to take it around with me on my travels. Even then, I didn’t love it like other series titles such as Final Fantasy, Fallout, Borderlands, Saints Row and so on. The main and probably only one reason I never enjoyed them was that you could never customise your character. You were given a sword, a shield and a bow, that was it! You couldn’t upgrade or customise your characters like a standard RPG, it was more focused on the puzzles which they pulled off brilliantly. Breath of the Wild however changes this! Finally, a Zelda game you can change the items you use, upgrade your shields, use different arrows with your different bows, gain stronger swords, enhance your gears etc. Not only that, the game is completely open world, it’s a beautiful, magnificent masterpiece!
You’ll have to forgive me, even though I’ve played around 12 hours, I’m still not 100% sure on the overall story. This is purely because I’m having so much fun just roaming the vast, vibrant and side quest packed world. So far the jist I got was that 100 years ago, Calamity Ganon was on the verge of winning his battle against Link and princess Zelda. Overwhelmed by the attack, Link fell and was put into a 100 year sleep by his friends so he can return and defeat Ganon when he leasts expects it. The game begins when you wake and you’re pretty much left to do as you will. You have the basic tutorials and guidelines should you wish to follow, but if you’re like me, you’ll see something far off in the distance and see if you can actually get there. Turns out you can! Anyhing you see in the game is reachable and along the way, you’ll probably run into 20 other things you can do to keep busy and have fun with! This is why I’ve not really touched the surface of the story yet and why I predict I’ll still be playing come May if not later.
As is standard in any RPG, combat is a main feature of the game however this is no easy ride. I’ve died countless times already when I thought I was invincible running in gung-ho, guns blazing only to find one hit from an enemys club downs me like a rejection for a first date! The combat is all about reading the actions of the enemy and using them to your advantage. Luckily there is a pretty forgiving auto save feature and you can manually save your game almost anywhere in the world; you’ve just gotta remember to do so! Playing on the Switch, the loading times are also really sweet and fast given they use cartridges, not discs.
As stated above, you can upgrade your weapons as you go but each one has durability and will eventually break so it’s important to change every so often so you don’t find yourself helpless in battle. One handy way to do this is to take the weapon of your downed enemy once defeated, this is probably the primary means to gaining new weapons in your journey. There are various other ways to down a foe such as using your environment. You can roll large boulders down a cliff on an unsuspecting group below. You can shoot barrels of dynamite to expose when enemies approach. You can also use bombs that are given to you early on and plant traps for nearby patrols. Let’s not forget the bow and arrow, I find myself using this more often than I thought I would. The benifit of using different arrows also helps. Shock, fire, ice, bomb and standard. You can use these to your advantage in many a situation. Shields also come into play when blocking but that’s pretty self explanatory.
It’s the vast kingdom of Hyrule that really stands out when playing Breath of the Wild. From the moment you’re let off the starting area, you’re free to roam the whole world at your own pace. If like me you don’t fancy completing the story straight away, you can wonder off in any direction looking for things to explore. I often find myself on a path to a distant area, running into various other side quests and points of interest along the way, thus making me procrastinate. 2 hours later, I find myself at that point i originally set out for, kind of reminds me of the Witcher 3. There is so much to do ranging from gathering herbs to fighting mini-bosses and everything in between! You can tame a horse, catch fairies, go treasure hunting, paraglide off tall structures, catch fish, chop for wood, make elixers, cook dishes and much much more!
If you can’t think of it whilst roaming the land, chances are you can do it! You’ll also have your map to hand and handy stamps you can use as markings should you wish to revisit a place later on and don’t wanna forget where it is. You also have to factor in weather, if it rains thunder and lightning, be sure not to be welding a metallic sword, shield or bow else you could fall victim to a bolt of electricity. If you’re climbing tall mountings, it could get chilly so be sure to wear warmer clothes. If traversing the desert, wear something that will help cool you down. You get the drift, failing to adhere by these rules of the world will result if you losing health rapidly so you have to think before you venture. Night and day also exists and it’s really beautiful just watching the clouds go by.
This is truly an epic open world adventure.
There is so much to keep you busy in Breath of the Wild, 18 hours in now (yes I wrote this review a on separate days) and I’m starting to focus a bit more on the story but I can see myself playing for a good few months still. I’ve paid homage to my brothers in Final Fantasy by renaming my horses that I’ve tamed whilst I give the game a rest until the DLC comes out.
As stated above, all the reviews can’t be wrong, if you’ve not got a copy of Zelda Breath of the Wild yet, you need to hurry up and get ordering, this is one not to be missed even for the casual gamer. I know at the start of the review I said i wasn’t a die hard Zelda fan but this game has put me on the ladder. Back to Hyrule I go!
Ciao for now!