There are very few games that can say they nail almost every aspect of the game. Nintendo’s Zelda Breath of the Wild (BOTW) is certainly one of those games. Developed for both the Nintendo Wii U and Switch consoles, this game released in 2017 to almost universal acclaim by both critics and fans. It’s undoubtedly one of Nintendo’s crowning achievements, so let’s go over why.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is now available for both Nintendo Switch and Wii U. Still need to get the game? Visit the Buy Now page to purchase the digital version on Nintendo.com and automatically download it to your device. You'll also find links to online retailers offering different physical editions of. Interactive, searchable map of Hyrule with locations, descriptions, guides, and more.
New Start, Familiar Faces
In Breath of the Wild, Link first wakes up with amnesia and is unable to remember where he is. All he is told is that both Zelda and Hyrule are once again in danger due to Calamity Ganon. Link sets out to restore his memories and put a stop to Ganon once again. This is not unlike previous Zelda games of the past. These games were completed in a linear way, asking players to take complete parts of the story step-by-step. That is not how you’ll be tackling Ganon this time around. Instead players are treated to a massive open world that they can then choose to tackle in any order they’d like, barring if they are equipped to do so.
Link the Tomb Raider
That brings us to the exploration element of BOTW. In my humble opinion, it’s the best part of the experience. The world the team over at Nintendo and Monolith Soft created an absolutely stunning world. You’ll cross plateaus, climb mountains, explore caves, and traverse dangerous rivers. Through each of these environments, you’ll find yourself stopping to enjoy the beautiful vistas before scoping out your next area to explore. I found myself often getting sidetracked because I saw an interesting area I just know a treasure might be hiding in. To explore Hyrule, you’ll eventually learn to use your tools earned and found during your adventure. Tools such as the hang glider, which allows you to jump off high points and glide to previous unobtainable areas; or the shield that doubles as an extra line of defense, but also a snowboard when sliding down slopes. The traversal mechanics are an absolute blast to experiment with.
While your main goal is to recover Link’s memories (although this is sort of optional) and defeat Calamity Ganon, there is much to do before then. To start, you must eventually defeat the four main dungeons called Divine Beasts. These are HUGE structures that have unique and very challenging puzzles within them. You’ll alter their shape while eventually fighting an end boss that is equally challenging as the puzzles. As you explore, you’ll also encounter Shrines. These are mini-dungeons where you must solve physics-based puzzles with maybe a few enemies in between. They are both addicting and rewarding. Make sure to find and complete these to increase your stamina and health meters. As you continue your journey, you’ll find charming and interesting characters along the way that offer side quests you can partake in. Most of these quests eventually turn out to be fetch quests, but can be used to powerful equipment or items.
I’ll Miss You, Favorite Weapon
Let’s talk about combat. We’ll start with one of the biggest pain points for some. In BOTW, your weapons and shields can only take a certain amount of damage before breaking. This means your cool, new, high-powered weapon may only last you a short while if you’re using it all the time. This means you’ll need to pick and choose what weapon to use. Are you facing an easy enemy? Try pulling out a weapon you don’t care much for. Then you can save your more powerful gear for the enemies that are giving you trouble. Next, you’ll have access to a dodge and parry system. If you time it perfectly, you’ll slow down time and be able to rush in at the enemy with a flurry of attacks. This is the sure fire way to take down harder enemies. Lastly, you have your Sheikah Slate. This combines your map, inventory, and special abilities called runes into one handy tool. Link can use his runes to manipulate the world around him. For example, he can stop an object in time so he can jump over it. Or if there is water in the way and Link can’t swim in it for too long, he can freeze the water to create pillars of ice to walk on. Combine these runes with your weapons to become the ultimate version of Link.
If you’re looking to invest over 100+ hours exploring and completing side missions in a gorgeous world, then Zelda Breath of the Wild is right up your alley. It oozes charm and you can tell the developers didn’t overlook a single piece of detail. Don’t miss out on playing one of the best Nintendo games of all time, and maybe ever one of the best games period.
- Beautiful landscapes that range from grassy lands to tall mountain tops
- The physic-based puzzles are unique and challenging
- Exploring is rewarding
- Cute characters that add to the main story line
Zelda Breath Of The Wild Secrets
- Easy to come across enemies that are too strong for you
- Weapon durability can be a chore to maintain at first