First Impressions of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
In preparation for Breath of the Wild I play the first Legend of Zelda on virtual console as it was pretty much an open world game and no doubt an inspiration for Breath of the Wild.
I’ve played about 30 hours and have not completed it yet but from what I’ve seen of it I’m pretty certain Breath of the Wild going to quickly become one of my favorites.
vidme link: https://vid.me/PIra
The player starts in a sort of tutorial zone called the Great Plateau with Link awakening from some magical Sheikah technology chamber and stumbling across a mysterious old man. Unlike past modern Nintendo games Breath of the Wild does not hammer the player with tutorials.
If the player doesn’t figure out how to hunt, gather firewood or make food they will likely encounter the Old Man doing these things in the Great Plateau. If the player is curious enough they can ask him what he’s doing and from there learn the basics.
The Old Man is of course not just any old man and story spoiler aside, he tasks Link with visiting four shrines and completing the challenges within in order for the player to get their hands on the paraglider so that the player can safely go over the cliff’s edge of the Great Plateau.
Within those first few shrines the player is given “runes” which are essentially abilities tied to the Shiekah Slate that Link gets at the start of the game. With the ability to freeze objects, create pillars of ice, move metal objects and create two kinds of remote bombs Link is well equipped early on.
Once the player leaves the Great Plateau they’re given a single plot lead, beyond defeating the “Calamity Ganon” and tools, skills and abilities that enable and encourages the player to explore.
This is just the beginning of discovery.
The player can run around the world on foot, fast travel between completed shrines or ride a horse. How you get the horse is up to you whether you tame it or find one currently being used by a Bokoblin. What might be an unwelcome departure is that while there are four or five dungeons, the games focus is instead on the exploration, villages and shrine puzzles. It reminds me a little of how Majora’s Mask only had five main dungeons.
The player recovers health by eating and the better prepared food the player makes the more health Link will recover. Ingredients can be baked by a fire, but it’s better to cook things in a pot. Elixirs can also be made at these pots and depending on what’s thrown in the elixir will have various effects, such as sneaking or defense buffs, for varied duration. Dishes can also have stat bonuses to a lesser degree, such as countering harsher weather conditions.
From what I’ve seen an animal such as a bug or lizard determines the status effect and the quality and number of dropped monster bits will change the duration of the elixir.
Link will have countless weapons, such as bows, shields and swords but the player will go through several of each as the weapons will eventually break. It can be annoying to have a nice sword only for it to break but better gear is quickly found outside the Great Plateau and the player even gets the ability to increase the number of weapons held. It creates a nice little survival scenario where the player should make sure they have durable gear before running into a fight.
Even then there are dozens of ways to fight enemies, such as using bombs, pushing boulders into a Bokoblin camp, setting fire to the area around them, destroying their weapon stash, sneaking up on them as they sleep or just sniping them one at a time.
Once I got the ability to leave the Great Plateau and went West instead of East and fought a boss. I then reloaded my save, went East and spent an hour running through the forest climbing trees, fighting monsters and hunting. The hour after that was spent taming a horse.
With the addition of being able to climb nearly anything Breath of the Wild feels like a truly open game. There is an abundance of player option that so far feels meaningful. It is inevitable that if I play a game long enough I will learn to see the nuts and bolts of the game’s designs rather than being in awe of what can be done.
With all that can be done I imagine it’s going to be a very long time before I reach that point, which is all the more reason to make a first impression video than a review.
I’ve barely even touched the story. I’ve not yet met Zelda or any of the familiar characters in the series but I’m getting a sense the character’s will grow on me from the minor interactions I’ve had with travelers, merchants and treasure hunters.
Unless there is a giant shift in tone or gameplay later in I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy myself until completion.
Thank you for watching this video. I know people want to get a sense of games shortly after they come out and I’d rather make a first impression video like this instead of rush through a game for a review. So please let me know if you liked this and leave any other relevant feedback.
Until next time.