SEEMS LIKE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR (…WE’LL SEE OURSELVES OUT)
Unless you were hiding under a rock during E3, and for weeks after, you probably noticed that there was a lot of information about Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released. The main thing we learned? This Zelda will be very, very different. Hell, Princess Zelda will even be voice acted!
Link will still be communicating in shouts and grunts, though. Some things never change.
The game looks absolutely gorgeous and, while a bit empty, the game world looks like it will be a ton of fun to explore. And we’ll have plenty of room to do so, too. Apparently, the demo that was available during E3 only spanned 2% of the entire map and it was a fairly large area already.
Of course, we mentioned how different the game was. While the aesthetic is recognizable to anyone who’s played a few Zelda games, the mechanics have been updated and some very interesting new ones have been added. Most of these new mechanics have been done before in different games, but are appearing for the first time in a Legend of Zelda game in Breath of the Wild.
Let’s look at 4 things we like, 4 we don’t and 1 we’re not so sure about.
Like – Shield Surfing and Paragliding
The moment we saw these, our inner 13-year old went “Fuck yeah!” These are hardly the most important new additions to the games, but both look like so much fun. Shield sledding is a good way to get some extra downhill speed and you can even attack and fire arrows while doing it. We can finally be Legolas!
The fact that we can paraglide implies that the world will have an impressive level of verticality. We already know Link can climb almost anything, provided he has the stamina, so we can’t wait to find the highest point and leap off to glide away.
Dislike – Item Durability
Listen very, very closely. Item durability is never a good idea! It’s not fun, it does not add challenge, it adds nothing but busywork and annoyance. That being said, apparently it’s being included, so we’ve got to learn to live with it now.
While this will most likely not affect things like the Master sword and possibly the Hylian shield (we hope), it seemingly affects pretty much everything else. Shield sledding even damages your shield and that’s just a bloody travesty to our inner 13-year old.
Let’s hope there is some way to fix damaged weapons and shields we really like.
Like – Weapon and Item Variety
This one is only sort of new, but it’s being done on a much larger scale with Breath of the Wild. You can pick up weapons and shields by disarming or killing monsters and use them as your own. This is sort of a requirement, considering the fact that your weapons will degrade. You’ll need backups. This seems to extend to outfits as well, as we’ve seen Link in a few different ones. We’ve even seen him wearing some sort of plate armour, which is a first for the series.
We’ve seen Link wielding weapons he’s never had before and we wonder if this is a way in which you can switch up your approach a bit. Considering the importance of the Master Sword, though, you’ll probably come back to swords eventually.
(Sort of) Dislike – Open World
…We’re honestly a little tired of open world games. We like having a solid story to follow and at times we don’t mind having a very clear objective with nothing to distract from that. These aspects of a game always suffer when the world is completely opened up. That’s not even mentioning the developer cluttering the world with collectibles, though it’s unclear if this will be the case in Breath of the Wild.
Even a quick look at the map in the demo revealed it was a bit cluttered with different symbols, like so many other open world games. We love that there is so much to explore and that we can get there however we like. However, it’s been done so often and the same aspects always seem to pop up. We just hope Nintendo avoids the more tedious and annoying parts of an open world.
Like – New Combat Mechanics
Combat has always been pretty simple in the Legend of Zelda. Keep your shield up, swing when you can and occasionally fire an arrow. That seems like it will still be an option, but the mechanics have been changed a bit to make combat feel more fluid.
You can now execute perfect blocks or dodges by blocking or dodging with the proper timing, which leaves the enemy open to a counter. With dodging in particular, you can execute something called a flurry rush, in which you hammer the y button rapidly to get as much hits in as possible.
It’s a nice way to shake things up and something that will undoubtedly be valuable to master.
Dislike – Stealth
Why? Seriously, what is the point of including a stealth mechanic in a Zelda game? We’re honestly asking. It doesn’t really do the game any favours when it comes to not looking like Nintendo’s interpretation of Far Cry.
Sure, we’re not forced to use it, but we just don’t get what the point is of including it when the series has had next to nothing to do with stealth up until now.
Like – Cooking, Hunting and Interacting
The addition of a cooking mechanic is easily the biggest change to the series. Items found around the world or gathered from animals can be eaten raw to restore a little health, but combining them to cook certain meals lets you make far more effective healing items. The Legend of Zelda games have often had the theme of unity with nature and this seems to build on that.
There are also far more ways to tackle problems you encounter than in previous games. Find some bokoblins? Push a boulder down the hill and crush them, shoot a beehive out of a tree and let them take care of it or even light the grass on fire and burn them alive.
These new tricks will undoubtedly also extend to puzzles, which will allow for an impressive variety to face. We can’t wait to see how the game will make us think outside of the box.
…That and we sort of want to start a massive grass fire, just to see how the world deals with it.
Dislike – The extinction of hearts and rupees
Finding hearts and rupees by cutting up the local flora is such a staple of the Legend of Zelda, that the fact that hearts are gone entirely and rupees are mainly found through bartering sort of worries us.
The game still looks like a Legend of Zelda game…but won’t it feel like something is missing?
Unsure – Sheika slate and Runes
The special items found in dungeons are generally the best part of going in there in the first place. You fight some monsters and get a new toy to play with in return. Now, it seems we’re getting an all new type of toy.
The runes, accessed through the new sheikah slate, are found in shrines and dungeons. They can do anything from create remotely detonated bombs to move metal items. It’s an interesting concept, but somehow it also feels a bit less special.
Is finding a rune really the same as delving deep into a dungeon, fighting a mini boss and being reward with a bow, a hookshot or even a wrecking ball? Guess we’ll have to play the game to find out.
All in all, we are very, very excited about Breath of the Wild. It looks like a wonderful addition to the franchise and we hope that, in doing so many new things, they make sure to do them all well.
Is there something new you particularly like which we didn’t mention? Be sure to let us know in the comments!