‘Breath of the Wild’ breaks ground with open world, RPG elements

by RILEY GOLDEN//Entertainment Editor


Take control of Link on a journey to save Princess Zelda and all of Hyrule in a groundbreaking addition to the “Legend of Zelda” series.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is a third-person, action/adventure video game available on the Nintendo Switch and Wii U that released to eager fans on March 3, 2017, after being in development since 2011. And it was well worth the wait.

Link has been asleep for 100 years after falling to Calamity Ganon, whom Princess Zelda has been holding at bay since taking Link to the Shrine of Resurrection. Link wakes up and is presented with the Sheikah Slate at the beginning of the game, giving the player access to the map of the massive, beautiful world of Hyrule. From the forested and snowy lands of the Lanayru Range and the desert of the Tabantha Frontier to the volcanic area of the Eldin Mountains, Hyrule has every type of environment imaginable.

These environments are not just looks, as they actually affect Link’s health by making him too cold, too hot, or just flat-out making him catch fire in the volcanic area. Gaining access to these areas can be challenging, but it’s not impossible.

There are a ton of different types of clothing and armor in “Breath of the Wild” that make Link capable of not only withstanding more damage but also the different elements that the player will encounter throughout the game.

To be able to stand the crisp cold of the Lanayru Mountains, the player must acquire the Warm Doublet, which boosts Link’s resistance to the cold. To be able to survive in the volcanic Eldin Mountains, the player must acquire at least one piece of the Flamebreaker Armor, a somewhat silly looking stone and metal set of armor that is fire proof. Although I thought that the Flamebreaker armor might work in the desert, this is not the case. I have yet to find the heat-resistant outfit, but this doesn’t necessarily mean I can’t explore the desert. I could wait until night time and equip my Warm Doublet, or I could cook something that would give me heat resistance.

In “Breath of the Wild,” the player can hunt deer, boar, fish, pick plants and vegetables, mine for salt, or purchase any number of things from markets around the land of Hyrule. Then the player only needs to go to a campfire with a stove top and drop up to five ingredients in the stove and cook things such as Spicy Pepper Seafood that provide cold resistance, or Chilly Seafood Rice Balls, that provide heat resistance.

One of my favorite armor sets to wear when I’m not facing harsh conditions is the Soldier’s Armor, a silver set of armor that provides quite a bit of protection and looks cool. The player can also dye clothing and cloth parts of armor sets that really add an extra level of customization to Link.

High-level armor is important when fighting enemies in certain areas of the map because they have stronger weapons and are more resistant to damage, but they also tend to drop their weapons after being whacked or slashed a couple of times.

The weapons available at the beginning of the game are simple, low-level wooden spears or clubs, along with some metal weapons here and there. But as players progress through the game, they will find much more powerful swords, axes, spears, and bows that are all different and extremely aesthetically pleasing. But sadly, they almost all break at some point.

And with better weapons come tougher enemies. Bokoblins, short, stocky, goblin-looking creatures, are some of the first enemies the player will encounter. Not long after, they will be short work for the player. But the farther the player takes Link on his journey, the harder the enemies will become to dispatch.

Often, the player will encounter these enemies on the way to a Sheikah Tower or Shrine.

The Sheikah Towers are glowing orange until Link climbs them and places his Sheikah Slate in the podium and activates them. Activating the Towers unveils the section of the map that the tower is in and makes the tower glow blue.

The Shrines are scattered all over the map, and they are some form of a large-scale puzzle that reward the player with a Spirit Orb. Once having collected four Spirit Orbs, you can exchange them for either a heart container or a stamina vessel. You will want to add at least 10 hearts to your original three because that will give you the ability to get Link’s Master Sword, the only sword in the game that doesn’t break. But having at least one extra stamina vessel is nice, because stamina is required for running and climbing, which helps with movement speed.

This could very well be one of the best games of this generation, receiving perfect scores from all major publications. I give “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” 5 out of 5 stars.


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