Breath of the Wild: My Link to the Past
The Nintendo 64 was one of my first video game consoles ever. I begged and pleaded with my parents to buy me one and have since fallen in love with every single game my parents bought for it. But not a single game I played on it could compare to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was a game about good and evil, about a hero prevailing against all odds, and at such a young age, playing it was my first and only chance to feel like a hero. But as I grew older and matured, so did my taste in video games. I moved on from Nintendo and onto the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty and Halo. The child inside me had disappeared as did my desire to be that hero. It is now 2017, however, and I have found my way back to The Legend of Zelda. Link’s newest adventure has grabbed me just like the Ocarina of Time but impresses even more than its predecessor.
I have found my way back to The Legend of Zelda.
The Breath of the Wild is a beautiful game. Green grass, swaying trees, bright blue skies and a slew of contrasting colors make for a living, yet understandable world. It is littered with diverse wildlife and new and interesting things around every corner. The sounds of the wild echo throughout the World from the rustling of leaves to the babbling of water. The World is alive at every turn and standing in one place is never a bore. You can look off into the distance and see for miles and go in any direction your heart desires. Everything you see and hear can be touched, a level of detail unknown to not only Nintendo games, but video games as a whole.
The game’s mechanics complement this new world of Zelda as well. Climbing has no bounds in this game; anything you see can be scaled. Climb a tree for an apple, scale a mountain for some ore, take a shortcut by hopping a wall. Boundaries are almost non-existent in the Breath of the Wild and it makes the world so much more believable. Paragliding adds to the expansiveness of the game’s world as well. You can traverse the highest mountaintops and glide all the way down into the deepest valleys, taking in the abundance of sights and sounds as you descend. You hit the ground softly, unsheathe your sword and battle a horde of Bokoblins….until your weapon shatters in a ray of blue light. Weapon durability is not to be taken lightly in Breath of the Wild. Every swing of your blade and every deflection of your shield must be calculated. One sweeping blow with an axe could be your last. Luckily losing health isn’t all that bad. The game’s cooking mechanic makes staying in top shape easy and intuitive. Experimenting with different combinations of ingredients could be the difference between a good meal and a great meal, and added benefits go a long way in the world of Zelda. Instead of cooking a single piece of meat, combine it with another and a dash of salt to double its healing powers. Add a special mushroom for some added stamina benefits, or some nightshades for a boost to your stealth. There are no bounds to what you can create.
What’s more is how the story driving this game pushes you to connect with your surroundings. One particular mission challenges you to traverse the world in search of lost memories, or key moments leading up to your current adventure. Snowy mountains, airy deserts, foggy wetlands, the game’s quest lines take you all over, and along the way you meet many quirky and interesting characters. Mad scientists and trees with maracas aren’t unordinary in this new world of Zelda, and everything surrounding them is just as unique and charming.
Together, these elements make The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the perfect open world game. As a grown man, it is refreshing to see just how much the franchise has matured . My fifteen hours with this game have been very unique and have revealed certain qualities in myself I didn’t realize I had. I have given in to Amiibos, strategy guides and posters. I’ve given into memorabilia, statues and branded apparel. I have the same feelings now with Breath of the Wild as I did with Ocarina of Time, only this time I have my own money to spend on it. It’s rare for a game to be this special but it’s even more rare for a game to make someone truly connect with their younger self. For everything that the Breath of the Wild is, it is, more than anything, my Link to the Past.
Breath of the Wild is…my Link to the Past.
Header Source Image: Nintendo