Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

If you haven't played it yet, you NEED to.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is without a doubt one of the best games I have played in years. With so much to do and explore, I found myself lost in the world of Hyrule once again.

Breath of the Wild brings a fresh view to the way a Zelda game is played. Your options are limitless. You can do anything you want. Ordinarily, Zelda games in the past had a certain formula. You have to defeat a couple of temples, where you usually find an item that helps you to navigate the temple and defeat the final boss. You then get the Master Sword, defeat a few more temples, and then you fight Ganon or the main boss. It is all a linear story.

From the beginning of Breath of the Wild, you get the sense that this is no ordinary Zelda game. You realize the vastness of the landscape, how beautiful everything in the world looks, and how much adventure lies ahead of you. Much like in real life, there is no specific path that you must take. Everything is up to you. In fact, you can attempt to take on the final boss from the very beginning (although I wouldn’t recommend it). You are in charge of your story, and it feels amazing.

The open-world aspect of this game gives the user so much freedom, and exploring this new environment and all of the puzzles and secrets that come along with it feels so fresh and exciting. Instead of the usual temple formula, Breath of the Wild incorporates the use of 120 shrines. Each shrine is essentially a mini-dungeon where you solve a few puzzles in order to get a spirit orb. These orbs are then used to upgrade your heart count or stamina. Finding shrines also allows you to fast-travel between locations, which is extremely useful since the map is absolutely HUGE.

One thing that’s great about this game, but frustrating at the same time, is that the enemies are pretty tough to defeat. Upon starting the game, I was shocked to find out that running up and slashing at opponents wouldn’t get me very far. You have to strategize and plan things out if you want to make it far. If there’s a boulder at the top of the hill, roll it down to take out enemies without much effort at all. Pretty much everything in the environment can be interacted with in one way or another, and it’s up to you to figure out how to use that to your advantage.

Another cool concept with this game is the fact that your weapons and shields are all perishable (except for the Master Sword). Each item has a different rank and you are always swapping them out for others, hoping to find the best ones. This game is big on looting items, and every enemy you defeat will leave behind certain monster parts that can be sold or crafted into meals. Yep, that’s right, meals. A big part of the game is exploring which food items can be mixed with certain monster parts to create a particular effect on Link. Some may add hearts, some may help withstand the cold, it’s up to you to figure it out.

Aside from this game being visually stunning, there are some sweet cut-scenes that are unlocked as you progress throughout the game. Some are obtained after finding Link’s memories and others are shown when freeing these things called Divine Beasts, which makes defeating Ganon way easier. I thought it was so cool watching these scenes in a Zelda game, and you actually get to hear the other characters talk, which is something I never thought I’d see in a Zelda game. Of course, you never hear Link utter a word.

Ultimately, Breath of the Wild is a game with so many possibilities. On top of the main story, there are 76 side quests to pursue. You can hunt animals, tame wild horses, and have to deal with elements like lightning, snow, and water. It is a game that you can put countless hours into and it will still leave you wanting more. By not giving you a direct path to follow, Breath of the Wild gives the user exactly what they need – the ability to explore and write their own story. No two gameplays will ever be the same. And that is a good thing.

Grant Pfost, your gamer bro, enjoys long binges on the couch when he's not binge drinking like he's still in college. A connoisseur of tv and film, Grant hopes his articles will make you laugh, cry, and appreciate the little things in life.

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