My Thoughts on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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Some quick information not related to this post. Adam, Shane, EoN, and others will be participating in another charity event on 12/29/2017. Adam’s Twitter thread is probably the best explanation I have readily available.  Please stop by and support if you feel like it! It’s a good group of people, and it is bound to be entertaining!

I purchased The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (further referenced as BotW) about a month ago. It’s been a very enjoyable adventure. The world is vast, and in the early stages, it is unforgiving. I don’t view this as a “traditional” game. BotW reminds me a lot of the original NES The Legend of Zelda. 

Sure, the map in BotW is way better (that should be expected of a game in the 2010s), but the exploration is there. I feel like the map is so awesome once it is filled in using a Shiekah Tower is so cool. I use the map all of the time. I’ll scope out different areas of the map to find my own points of interest. Then through fast travel, walking, riding, climbing, and/or gliding I can reach my desired destination. 

They have shrines littered all throughout the map. Most Shrines have a unique puzzle that gets you a spirit orb that can be used to purchase stamina and heart upgrades. Both types of upgrades are important. If you have more stamina you can do actions for longer, such as climbing or gliding. Hearts help with not dying. 

I’ve enjoyed most of the newer mechanics. They’ve made me play in a very different way than I did when I played Ocarina of Time. Starting with weapons, bows, and shields, all of these things break. They will break often, and when they break they are gone. I feel like it’s an interesting mechanic because I have to be smart about the weapons I have on Link. I can waste bits with my good weapons on weak enemies, but then I won’t have them for more serious battles. 

Another mechanic is the food/cooking mechanic. I disliked it at first. It’s frustrating finding these cooking stations early in the game, but eventually you get used to using them every time you see them lit. You can combine all sorts of meats, fruits, veggies, herbs/spices to get different effects and number of hearts refilled. Going into an area where you will be sneaking a lot, make a meal/potion that gives a boost to sneak! Strong enemy ahead? Pound a an attack up consumable and beat the crap out of them. 

The bombs have changed in this game (for the better in my opinion). Bombs are now a power rather than needing a bomb bag. You have as many bombs as you want. There’s just a short recharge time, and then you can use them again. On top of that, you get 2 types of bombs: round and square. As expected, the round ones roll and the square ones stay flat. They also detonate using a remote, and square and circle bombs both use different powers. This means they can be used at the same time. 

All around, Nintendo really makes sure throughout everything in this game that form follows function. Think back to the example of the square vs circular bombs, they function based off of how they look. Trees can be turned into logs which can be turned into wood, which can be lit by striking flint. Flint can be gathered from mining ore spots throughout the map. You could then use the fire to light a cooking spot using s torch or any other wooden object. Link struggles with large weapons and is graceful with smaller weapons. 

I guess these all seem like minor details, but I think that’s part of what makes BotW so special. There’s a lot of attention to details. The mechanics end up being cool and interesting. Just be prepared to die... a lot!

Monsters will consistently destroy you early on because everything is stronger than you. Most of the time (even later on the game) it’s worth it to use sneak attacks or avoid the enemies altogether. They are an interesting puzzles to solve too. Did I mention enemies can ride on horseback too? Well, they can. If they hit you, it hurts. Some enemies hit really hard and add considerable tension to gameplay. 

I’ve really enjoyed the game so far. It’s really not at all like your recent Zelda games, but I love it. It feels creative and vast. I guess I’ll have to see how much my completionist nature kicks in to ever let me full finish.