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First Bite: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

100 years is a long time to be asleep…

Dave Karev

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The initial few hours I played in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild were met with absolute delight, never has a Legend of Zelda game captivated me as much as Breath of the Wild did in its first few hours. The game immediately throws you into this massive world, there’s a brief cutscene with Princess Zelda telling Link to wake up. At last, Link has awoken from a hundred year slumber and is tasked to save Hyrule from darkness once again. That’s the gist of the plot so far, within five minutes you’re already playing in the open-world. You first begin your adventure in the Great Plateau, the starting region in Breath of the Wild. From there; you can play as you see fit, but it’s best to try and follow the main quest line to progress outside of the beginning region.

You’re given a key item as you awake and get a sense of your surroundings, the Sheikah Slate is your bread and butter in the game. Everything from accessing the map, viewing objectives, and gaining entry to the many Shrines scattered across the world is all thanks to the Sheikah Slate. With a hundred to find; these Shrines are puzzles for you to solve, each varying in difficulty. Completing a Shrine awards you with a Spirit Orb, get four and you can upgrade to an extra heart container or get more stamina. Certain Shrines even give your Sheikah Slate access to more abilities for Link to use in-game. With these rune abilities, Link can navigate Hyrule a little more comfortably.

Link eagerly running to see the view up ahead.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is truly open ended; you can travel anywhere you want, really play how you want, and die a thousand times exploring this grand world. By far, this is the hardest Legend of Zelda game I have ever played! Never have I’ve been so frustrated trying to beat a boss, but at the same time so ecstatic to finally beat em’! The best way to really appreciate Breath of the Wild, is to simply play the game at your own leisure. You’ll quickly learn from your mistakes, and the satisfaction you get from figuring out a certain puzzle, or defeating a boss is a genuinely rewarding experience. Breath of the Wild is certainly not an easy game, but with a little bit of practice and patience, you can master the mechanics of the game.

The amount of attention to detail put into this game is astounding, of course the game isn’t without its faults. There are a few hitches to the framerate at times, but nothing so bad that it distracts you from enjoying the game. From a design standpoint; Breath of the Wild is a Japanese game at heart, with a Western spin. It’s obvious that Nintendo took inspiration from other titles with Breath of the Wild. The game certainly looks and plays like a Zelda game, but it’s the most unrestricted Zelda title to date. There’s no hand holding here, most of everything you see around you can be used in some way to help you out. One of my favorite additions is the ability to be able to cook meals, there are a multitude of recipes for you to experiment with. Eating the food you cook up can provide you with a few gameplay buffs, and of course replenishes your hearts back. No longer do you have to search for hearts to drop in order to fill your meter back.

Link raiding a bandit hideout.

A lot your time will be spent fighting enemies, without a doubt the most challenging part of the game. If you’re ill-prepared you’ll find yourself staring at the ‘Game Over’ screen more times than you’d like to see. With the added difficulty, you can’t come into a fight and expect to best every enemy. Your weapons have durability on them, and ultimately break over time. So you’ll have to pick and choose your battles more carefully, it’s better to come back to an area after you’re better equipped. The added challenge makes finding good loot more satisfying, than if you had weapons that never broke. Flawlessly dodging attacks and countering them, can make or break a battle for Link. You’ll want to perfect the combat early on to have an easier time ahead. Every enemy now has some weapon you can take off them, so you’re never leaving empty handed. This mechanic is something that not everyone will enjoy, at times I just wish I had a weapon that would last more than a few hits.

I’ve only spent a few hours playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and really taking my time with the game. Learning at my own pace, and exploring every part of Hyrule. I’m not anywhere near to completing this game, but I’m not in any hurry to rush my way through. Yes there’s a main quest line to follow, and added side quests to do. But personally, I think the most fun to have is to simply delve into the game without any sort of guide, to discover for yourself what Breath of the Wild has in store for you. The game really is magical at times, and I still have more to see and do. You can expect a full review whenever I complete The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but you might have to wait a while for that one…

NerdBite founder and news editor. When I'm not writing about video games, I'm out eating sushi and rewatching LOST for the hundredth time. Some of my favorite games include; Wind Waker, Red Dead Redemption, and Witcher 3.

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