The Breath of a Generation

Andrew Borba (12th), Reporter

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a special kind of game. It’s the type of game to come out to immense hype, which in today’s gaming landscape usually leads to mass disappointment, and to not only reach the expectations of gamers but actually surpass them.

The game takes the best ideas of the past generation of games. A combination of the best features from BioShock, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, and even Dark Souls (and many others), with the usual Zelda and Nintendo charm, make Breath of the Wild feel like the game that everything was leading up to. It’s the game of a generation, literally.

Despite obviously having inspiration from other games, Breath of the Wild does plenty new in its own right.

The climbing mechanic is a great innovation for exploring the huge world. This makes world open up and the player is able to explore literally anywhere on the map. It’s a world players want to explore since there are always hidden treasure chests everywhere rewarding the player for exploring Hyrule.

The combat is where the Dark Souls influence comes in. While combat is much faster than the usual Souls game, enemies can kill Link incredibly fast if the player’s skill isn’t good. Luckily Link has many ways to combat the dark forces in Hyrule. He can use a wide variety of Melee weapons like axes, swords, lances, etc. or can take out enemies afar with bows or bombs. Every weapon in the game can break so a strategic approach is applied to combat as the player will want to save their stronger weapons for bosses or particularly hard enemies like the centaur-like Lynels or the Guardians which can shoot lasers and will chase after Link.

The story of the game takes a backseat to allow the player to explore the world. In fact the player can ignore the story and go straight to the final boss if they so choose. Despite the more hands-off approach the story is still intriguing but is mainly told through cutscenes for the major story beats but the player can piece together some story from looking around world. Environmental storytelling shines in Breath of the Wild so it’ll be fun to see what theories are formed from the clues in the world.

The music is much like the story, in that there isn’t a lot of it. For the most part it’ll be light or there will just be environmental noises. The music that you can here clearly is great. It’s epic to hear a triumphant version of the main Legend of Zelda theme on the outside of the final dungeon then hear an ominous version of the classic Zelda’s Lullaby on the inside of the dungeon.

If there is one glaring flaw on the game, it’s the performance. While the Switch version is solid for the most part, on the WiiU there has been times where the game seemed to not only reach single digit frames per second but sometimes actually freeze for a bit all together. That scenario is kind of rare but in the general the game’s framerate is all over the place. It’s a blemish on an otherwise perfect game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game everybody needs to play. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and is easily Nintendo’s best game (not to mention the best Legend of Zelda game) in the past decade.

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