Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched March 3rd alongside the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo’s new video game console. Being the nerd I am, I went into Walmart at midnight to get my hands on the game and the new console. I am very glad I did because the console is now sold out everywhere. Breath of the Wild has been acclaimed by critics worldwide as an excellent game, but does it truly stand out amongst the myriad of open world games such as Skyrim and the Witcher III? Well, I believe it does, and here is why.
Breath of the Wild harkens back to the old days of Legend of Zelda while also branching out in new and unique paths. The game goes back by returning to the original roots of the first Legend of Zelda game, which came out in 1986. It does this by focusing the game on exploration and adventure. Unlike other games where a set path is designed for the players to follow, Breath of the Wild allows its players to go wherever they want from the very beginning. The game drops you into a plateau which acts as the “tutorial”. I call it a “tutorial” loosely because it doesn’t really explain anything. It gives you a minor direction and leaves you to run with it. After the “tutorial”, you are allowed to explore the immense world which is filled with many different places to visit. If you want to explore the desert or go to the volcanos, you can do it. Just be well prepared, otherwise your horse might be set aflame by falling lava. Alternatively, you might die of frostbite if you go to deep into the tundra. You know what, just be prepared to die, a lot. The game is not very easy, but that is a very good thing.
The current age of videogames has been very focused on holding the player’s hand, often too much. It is refreshing as a gamer to have a game that throws you into it with no help or direction and just lets you play. It’s also a nice change for the entire series as a whole because before this game, not many Legend of Zelda games were very hard. In fact, many fans complained about the lack of difficulty in the most recent titles. Nintendo was clearly listening as this one really stands out in terms of challenge. This is not the only way the game sets itself apart from its previous titles.
The game also does a lot to change the games with its mechanics. Legend of Zelda games are known for having many tropes, such as specific items appearing in each game, like the grappling hook or bombs. Breath of the Wild breaks away from many of these tropes. For instance, it uses a new weapon mechanic which involves new types of weapons. Each weapon has it’s own damage rating and durability, which basically results in you hoarding every single weapon you can get your grubby hands on. I know I have the legendary spear of the Zora, but I’ll be darned if I use it against the bokoblins.
I could probably rant on and on about how great this game is. There have been so many moments when I was exploring some random cave only to find a massive giant or stone monster. The game inspire its players to explore and is full of surprises all around. I believe of all open world games to date, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of my all time favorites, and you should check it out.