Unlike many other people, when Nintendo first revealed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I was skeptical and already had low expectations set. What was the reason for such blasphemous views? Simple: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Yes, I was not a fan of Skyward Sword whatsoever. The game just did not feel right for me as a long time Zelda player and left a horrible taste in my mouth and completely soured any positive outlook I would have on subsequent Zelda games. With the opportunity to give The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a spin, I figured I might as well give it a chance. And, boy, am I glad that I did.
As you may already be aware, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild focuses heavily on being an open-world game. In the first playable demo, I was let loose in an expansive environment to do basically whatever my wandering heart desired. I could gather goodies that nature provided such as mushrooms, wood, and flint like you might find in a more survival-focused game. Hunting boar for steak was also possible. These items could then be used to craft yummy meals over a campfire that I sparked myself. Unlike many Early Access games on Steam which attempt the same things, Nintendo’s talented team have turned hunting, gathering, and crafting into a polished and fun experience.
The gathering and cooking that I experienced during this demo was extremely fun and already feels like a welcome addition to the series, but it just barely scratches the surface of what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has to offer! When I was ready for some battles and excitement, I then made my way towards monster camps in order to obtain their treasure. Somehow, combat in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild feels incredibly different than previous Zelda titles. Perhaps it’s due to combinations of various maneuvers and weapons that you’re able to wield. Oh, and the best part? No silly motion controls in order to swing your sword every single time. Yep, I’m still annoyed at that design decision in the Wii era.
There are a bunch of little attentions to detail that help The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stand out as well. The world players inhabit feels so lively. Not that old Zeldas lacked a charming world, but this has been increased quite a lot for this Wii U title. It is hard to imagine what it will look like on the Nintendo NX as it is already looking to be a beautiful title! The sound effects and music keep up with the beautifully detailed world too. No matter where you look there are lush colors, soft sound effects, and more that made me want to stick in this world for much longer than the demo allowed.
I would have absolutely continued playing obsessively if the full game were available right now. It was that amazing to see what Nintendo have been able to do to evolve Zelda into the next generation. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has completely changed my opinion on Zelda for the better. I can’t wait to get my hands on it when the game arrives in 2017.