First Impressions - The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

Available on Wii U and Switch, version played Switch


20 hours in and One Dungeon Down
It's not many times that I can say this and it applies but I will this time. Everything you have heard about this game is true. I will admit that I was a little worried at first, especially with the numerous delays but this game has been well worth the wait. Everything that I have encountered in this game so far; from the combat and world design, to even the puzzles have been awesome. This is the biggest Zelda game I have played both figuratively and literally. The map is humongous and there are many places to visit and characters to interact with in the game.


The game is set sometime in Hyrule, though there is no clear indication or guess as to when or where this game could possibly sit in the timeline. The game opens with Link awakening to the sound of a voice telling him to open your eyes. It is at this point that you are greeted with the introductory portion of the game. The story takes place 100 years after Hyrule has been laid waste by Calamity Ganon. Link was gravely injured in that battle and Zelda was left to confront the Calamity by herself. One of the newest additions to the Zelda franchise is the addition of voice acted cutscenes. As it stands I have to say it works. The cutscenes themselves do not seem to go on too long and the dialogue is never bad or hokey in my opinion. The cel-shaded art style really fits those scenes well. It is kind of like a mix between Wind Waker and Twilight Princess. By that I mean the art seems to have found that happy medium. I think that most will agree that the game looks and feels amazing.


Gameplay
So how does the gameplay? The game is open world and you can tackle it in any way you want. There is no set pattern to follow and there are multiple different ways to complete objectives. Combat wise there will be a little bit of a learning curve as this game introduces the Flurry Rush. This can be done by dodging if properly timed, the game will enter slow motion and a Flurry Rush will be available. This move has saved me on multiple occasions. Also new to the mix is cooking. Cooking is important as that is the way you can regain health as well as gain stat boosts. There are a lot of different collectibles out in Hyrule this time around and it is in your best interest to take the time to learn what to cook and what ingredients make what elixirs. Another gameplay addition is weapons. There are plenty to find and you will probably want to make sure you have a nice mix as certain enemies are tougher than enemies in the early going. Also, weapons, bows, and shields all have different durabilities and they will break on you in the middle of a fight. Not to worry though as you will always be able to find weapons of varying strengths and durabilities. The key is knowing when to use them and knowing when you are fighting an opponent that is way out of your league. Did I mention you will be dying a lot at the beginning of this game. There are some enemies out in this game that are the very meaning of "one hitta quitta". That being said I am still having fun with the game and coming up with strategies to get my sweet revenge. The last thing I want to mention is about the Shrines. There are over 100 in this game and from what I can tell this is how you will get most of your heart pieces and other attributes. They can get tricky as they are basically puzzles that function as annoying brain teasers. That being said they are worth it as they help the player to master certain areas of the game.


What do I think So Far
Well, I'm not going to say Game of the Year because the year isn't over yet. I will say that I am enjoying and loving this game so far. As a long time Zelda fan I like what Nintendo has done and I look forward to spending a lot of time out in the Wilds of Hyrule. What do you think? Did you pick this game up? Let me know in the comments and as always thanks for reading.


Trailer




Images via Nintendo Switch
Also, Gameplay is up on my youtube channel. Check it out when you have a chance.

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