The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the newest title from one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, was released for the Wii U and Nintendo Switch on March 3. After four years of development, Breath of the Wild finally came to stores with numerous significant changes and new features uncharacteristic of traditional Zelda games, earning 10/10 reviews from many game critics and enjoying rapid sales.
Most notably, Breath of the Wild has the largest in-game world yet within the series, greatly increasing exploration and freeplay capacity and starkly contrasting with the usual linear, structured styles of Zelda games. Within the vast in-game world, almost all weapons and equipment have limited durability, while most previous titles had constraints on weapon use much less extensively. The increased difficulty for players to attain or sustain equipment encourages the protagonist to scavenge or take his enemy’s equipment in addition to the more traditional ways of obtaining equipment from dungeon chests or at stores.
Other new and notable mechanics include crafting and cooking, stealth and sound, vertical climbing, and new methods of transportation.
Breath of the Wild and its open-world exploration and survival style thus offers a much more fresh and new gameplay to Zelda fans, who have long requested for a less linear and restrictive gameplay than those of Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.
The usual Zelda plot of saving the world from evil has also been given a more original spin as the game reveals that the hero, along with the princess and other champions, failed to stop the antagonist a hundred years before the the game’s beginning point in time. Breath of the Wild also includes a number of original and familiar characters from various games of the franchise, appealing to Zelda fans of many titles with its healthy balance of new and well known characters, plot, and mechanics.
Anthony Crehan, a junior attending La Cañada High School and fan of the Zelda franchise, shared his opinion on the new features, expressing that he thinks “it’s really an interesting direction for them to go in, and it’s definitely a fun game – just not a traditional Zelda game. I mean, there still are classic Zelda elements in the game, like the creative puzzles and the magic of the world, which are a big part of what makes Zelda what it is.”
Despite its great changes from previous games, Breath of the Wild seems to be a game that will definitely make its mark in the history of the franchise.