THE LEGEND OF Zelda has always been a misnomer because the franchise’s game has had very little to do with Princess Zelda in any significant way. Since the Nintendo saga’s early 8-bit days, the title has conjured images of grandeur, heroism, and myth—but the reality has always been, in the details, smaller and more intimate.
Instead, the series is best summed up by its second game, Zelda II: The Adventures of Link. It’s the title that marks the series’ true spiritual birth. And it’s the spirit that Nintendo Switch launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild does its best to return to.
From its mysterious opening to its action-packed conclusion, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a revolution for Nintendo's revered series. It's both a return to form and a leap into uncharted territory, and it exceeds expectations on both fronts. The game takes designs and mechanics perfected in other games and reworks them for its own purposes to create something wholly new. It's a truly magical work of art that embodies Nintendo's unique talents, and a game that everyone should play regardless of their affinity for the series' past. It is a game of lonely journey of a boy without guidance in a world which is much larger than he is. He has a friend to save, and a monster to stop. He finds a sword, then a bow, and he takes the rest one step at a time.
Let's have a look at this extraordinary game:
Breath of the Wild opens with series hero Link awakening in a dark cavern. A mysterious disembodied voice guides him to a tablet that has a passing resemblance to both the Switch and Nintendo's maligned Wii U controller. The tablet helps to navigate this version of Hyrule — the fantasy realm that has long been the heart of Zelda adventures. As you learn in the very early parts of the game, a century ago, powerful evil destroyed much of the world, allowing nature to reclaim castles, and littering the land with abandoned machines of war. People still exist, in small towns and stables, but much of Hyrule is beset by hordes of monsters who have bivouacked into the hills. This is a dangerous place. Naturally, your job is to set things right.
Link is the protagonist & player with whom you will connect to this world. Zelda is the princess of Hyrule & to save her is the key role of Link here.
HOW IS IT PLAYED?
Link’s latest adventure is a bold and much-needed reinvention of the beloved franchise. Zelda games have always been large, but Breath of the Wild feels uniquely grand, a massive open world filled with so much to do that most of the players — even those who complete the main story — will miss large swaths of the map. The scale could have been daunting, but the joy of discovery and the satisfaction that comes from finding your own way make it inviting instead.
Travel across fields, through forests, and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this stunning open-air adventure. Explore the wilds of Hyrule any way you like - Climb up towers and mountain peaks in search of new destinations, then set your own path to get there and plunge into the wilderness. Along the way, you'll battle towering enemies, hunt wild beasts and gather ingredients for the food and elixirs you'll need to sustain you on your journey. More than 100 Shrines of Trials to discover and explore - Shrines dot the landscape, waiting to be discovered in any order you want. Search for them in various ways, and solve a variety of puzzles inside. Work your way through the traps and devices inside to earn special items and other rewards that will help you on your adventure. Be prepared and properly equipped - With an entire world waiting to be explored, you'll need a variety of outfits and gear to reach every corner. You may need to bundle up with warmer clothes or change into something better suited to the desert heat. Some clothing even has special effects that, for example, can make you faster and stealthier.
As you continue to improve Link’s stamina meter and skills, you can reach even more of these varied locations. But no matter how much stronger you get, the world or the Mother Nature is always more powerful than you will ever be. Random events like rain and thunderstorms slow down your movement across slick surfaces, and dangerous lightning bolts can strike with little warning if you’re wearing any metal. Additionally, the day/night cycle is constantly running and makes meaningful differences: nighttime brings monsters that spring up from the ground; it's easier to spot some useful bugs and plants, and other secrets that you are going to discover by yourself. These are all constant reminders that you are always at the mercy of the world itself.
Breath of the Wild’s anime-inspired art style is colorful, remarkably lively, and beautifully animated, but it comes at the cost of brief frame rate hiccups and object pop-in that’s most noticeable when you’re playing the Switch in TV mode, where it renders at 900p, and when there are a lot of physics particle effects flying around the screen. The issues are less frequent playing on in portable mode on the 720p screen.Performance on the Wii U version is roughly the same as the Switch, although it's important to note it renders at 720p. This makes the jaggies a little more visible and lighting appear slightly different. Otherwise, it looks good on Wii U.
Performance on the Wii U version is roughly the same as the Switch, although it's important to note it renders at 720p. This makes the jaggies a little more visible and lighting appear slightly different. Otherwise, it looks good on Wii U.
- Explore the wilds of Hyrule any way you like
- Beautifully depicted a huge open world
- Incredible depth
- More than 100 Shrines of Trials to discover and explore
- Very satisfying gameplay
- Beautiful art direction
- It's tough, but always fair
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a master class in open-world design and a watershed game that reinvents a 30-year-old franchise. It presents a wonderful sandbox full of mystery, dangling dozens upon dozens of tantalizing things in front of you that just beg to be explored. You should definitely buy this game & play for yourself.
For that definitely, you should own a Nintendo Wii U or Switch. You can also see our Nintendo Switch review.
Release Date: March 3, 2017
Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, Switch