After all this time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild has been released. I’ve played through the first few hours of the game and I’d like to share with you my first impressions.
(I’d like to point out that I am currently playing this on the Wii U. So there may be minor differences in certain aspects of my thoughts between this and the Switch version)
Breathtaking. I think that’s the best word I can use to describe the feeling I got from this game. The moment I ventured out into the open world I had this sudden surge of excitement and it honestly took my breath away. The visuals of this game are stunning. The world that Nintendo has created honestly looks incredible, it’s vast, wonderful and just full of life. The best part about all this? You can explore every single inch of it. The first area is huge, it has you climbing mountains, crossing rivers and traversing across the worlds stunning grasslands. The visuals are accompanied with beautiful ambient sounds, you can hear the wind breeze past you, you hear the long blades of grass rustle as you pass through them and you can almost feel the rivers flow. Other than during combat or some jingles now and then, there’s no world theme playing, instead you get the sounds from the environment around you and it all adds together to create a complete sense of immersion. It truly is breathtaking.
I used the Wii U Pro Controller during my play through and I found the controls to be quite fiddly when you first start. I found myself constantly flicking between the wrong inventory at times and switching between melee and ranged combat, coupled with the abilities can be quite confusing. However after a short amount of time you get used to them and the game controls really well. Switching between weapons in combat becomes a breeze and I found there to be quite the arsenal early on in the game. Swords, clubs, axes and a bow of course. There really is plenty to get stuck into and they are all easily accessible, which gives players a great chance to try out different playstyles.
As you progress through the first few markers, you find and unlock a tower. These are essentially view points and they work similar as they do in many open world games. You find one, you climb it and it updates the map. From here we start to enter the Shrines, which are basically like mini dungeons. In each of these you will solve a few puzzles and make your way through the rooms to either obtain a new ability or a token (There are over 100 Shrines scattered throughout the world). These Shrines are a great change of pace from traversing the open world. As for the puzzles in these Shrines, early on they are rather simple but still rewarding, however as you get further into the game you do have to start thinking about the puzzles more. It’s these moments in particular you really feel like you’re playing a Zelda game.
You are then told to visit three more in the starting area so you can obtain more key items to help you progress. It’s at this point I began to branch out and explore the opening area. This world really is full of life, there are countless enemy camps, a tonne of different collectible items and ingredients which you can cook to replenish your health. There’s puzzles and breakable walls, there’s multiple paths and always a unique way to approach every situation. Every moment I spent in the starting area I was floored just by how alive this world really is. Finally after completing the first four Shrines, you’re greeted with a cutscene and finally given the glider. This item allows you to leave the starting area and traverse the whole of the extensive world and it’s where your journey in The Legend of Zelda Breath of The Wild truly begins.
Let me emphasis this. So far this game has exceeded my expectations, I can already see why this game has had fantastic review scores. This world is gigantic, now that I have the glider the already immense map has opened up even more. I look forward to updating you all with my thoughts as I progress through this game, but one thing is crystal clear to me. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild is an incredible game that more than lives up to the hype.