Platform: Nintendo Switch
Game Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 3rd March 2017
Prepare for the biggest The Legend of Zelda adventure yet, with an open-air style that breaks new boundaries while honouring the origins of the acclaimed series.
Explore a world of unprecedented size and discover more than 100 puzzle-filled shrines, plus a wide variety of weapons, outfits, and gear. Players won’t want to stop playing, and they won’t have to, since Nintendo Switch allows them to continue the adventure anywhere, anytime.
I heard the hype surrounding The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, and whilst this is no doubt a hotly anticipated game, could it really deliver and meet the expectations? The answer is a big, fat, resounding YES! In fact, not only does it deliver, but it has taken, perhaps one of the biggest gaming saga’s into a new and utterly exciting direction.
The plot of this instalment in the Zelda saga sees an amnesiac Link awaken after 100 years, to find the kingdom of Hyrule in ruins, due to the wrath of Calamity Ganon. Ganon has turned the Guardians and Divine Beasts against the kingdom, and it is Link’s job to regain control of them in order to defeat Calamity Ganon in a showdown at Hyrule Castle.
When I started playing I expected the world surrounding my immediate field of view to be just for decoration – little did I know that you can not only travel as far as the eye can see, but you can go a hell of a lot further! This game is MASSIVE! In a departure from most of the other Zelda games, Breath Of The Wild features an open-world environment, allowing you to explore and take part in challenges at your own pace and convenience.
Just like with previous Zelda games, you start off with pretty much nothing…nothing except a Sheikah Slate, which provides the player with a map that allows you to create waypoints in the game. There are various towers throughout the world, which, if you climb to the top successfully and insert the Sheikah slate into the plinth, you can unlock detailed maps of your surrounding area. The Sheikah map also shows you where the various shrines are located; where you can solve puzzles to pick up orbs and other handy objects to help you on your quest.
Along the way, Link has to fight off the many hoards of enemies, including Bokoblins, Moblins, Lizalfos and Guardians (to name just a few). It is the Guardians, however, that will have you jumping out of your chair, when all of a sudden their laser beams lock onto you, and you make a mad scramble to avoid the imminent blast!
As if enemies weren’t enough to keep you on your toes, you also have the environment to deal with. In yet another genius level of realism, Link reacts to the area that surrounds him; if he is in the high peaks of a snowy plain, he needs to wear appropriate clothing, otherwise his health will be affected as he slowly freezes to death. Likewise, if Link is near any volcanic regions, he needs to wear the appropriate fireproof clothing to avoid overheating and, ultimately dying.
And then there is food… Whilst you can still collect apples, acorns and mushrooms, Link, it seems, has now discovered his culinary skills as you can craft gourmet dishes from the many (MANY) ingredients you find on your journey. Delicacies like ‘Energizing Fish And Mushroom Skewer’ can be yours with a Stamella Shroom and a Hyrule Bass. Or how about ‘Energizing Meaty Rice Balls’, made with Raw Meat, Hylian Rice and Courser Bee Honey! Forget McDonalds – Hyrule is where it’s at! Seriously though, this is yet another example of the love and care that has gone into the making of this game, and makes the process of obtaining food more enjoyable, interactive and entertaining.
As morning moves through the day to night time, you get to see each of the environments and landscapes in different lights, and it really does feel like a beautiful world (despite the ruin Hyrule appears to be in). Riding across a grassy plain bathed in sunlight is among one of the many enjoyable moments we’ve encountered, and whilst playing on the console screen itself is awesome, seeing the game on your home TV makes it even more realistic.
Also worthy of note is the stunning music that accompanies the game. Manaka Kataoka and Yasuaki Iwata have crafted a beautiful (yes I know I’ve used this word a few times already – but it is!) score that compliments the game and sets the mood and tone for the many areas and elements that Link encounters. There are haunting piano pieces on one hand and eastern woodwinds on the other, and if you weren’t playing a game, you could quite happily enjoy the music all on its own.
I’ve been playing The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, for a week now, and there’s no sign of my interest waning. There is simply too much to see and do, and putting the controller down is incredibly hard to do (as my wife and kids can testify). The more you play, the more you appreciate the sheer scale of effort that has gone into its creation, and it will have you scratching your head with the thought of how the hell it was made!
When the Nintendo Switch launched last week, I was a little concerned that Mario wasn’t available as one of the launch games, but, let’s be honest, he has had his fair share of the spotlight over the years, and no doubt will in consoles to come, but right here, right now, I honestly couldn’t think of a more perfect game to launch the Switch than The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
This is hands-down, one of the greatest console games I have ever played; Breath Of The Wild has carved its name in the annals of video game history and has raised the bar to breathtaking new heights, so much so that in a first for ToysWorld, not only does the game get a 5-Star rating, but it achieves our very first Gold 5-Star rating!
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