The Legend of Zelda games have always embodied the most basic hero-fights-bad-guys-with-sword story. The magic is that each installment finds a new way to expand and grow that narrative, until we have great complexity of characters, plot, game play and every other aspect of each game. Breath of the Wild (BOTW) is to me the very best of that upward curve, with heart, soul and an amazing story driven gaming experience. It’s a grand adventure on a huge scale which still includes the character to character connections which make any story feel emotionally real. Heck, I even got attached to my horse!
Our story starts out classically, Princess Zelda and our Hero Link are fighting the big bad, Ganon. Things are going well up until they suddenly aren’t and Link is given a mortal wound. Zelda uses the last of her magic to put Link in a magical-medical-coma for 100 years to recover and binds herself to Ganon and Hyrule Castle in order to contain the evil there for that time. BOTW properly starts with you waking up as Link in the future and slowly learning about the past as you explore the world. It’s unique in that technically, we have already lost before the game even starts. It gives the game a different vibe since we spend our time killing goblins, finding shrines and doing quests trying to find out what our purpose really is. Is it even possible to save everyone now after the fact?
If you could care less about the plot there are still a million things to do! You can play the game focusing entirely on the food you can cook, or find all the different types of weapons or seek out the tiny leaf people known as Koroks hidden throughout the expansive open world map. The game meets players where they are and allows them the freedom to play however they want. For me, that meant 100% the game because I was unwilling to leave such a beautiful world behind. Everything from the music to the scenery of forests, deserts and mountains is stunning and I can’t recommend this game enough as an enthralling escape into a fully formed fantasy world. Because in the end, who doesn’t want to go on a heroic adventure?
I rate this game a 10/10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is available through the library for Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Wii U, both listed here. And remember, save files are saved to your console, not the game cartridge, so you can continue your adventure from the same place you left it every time you check out a library copy!
This game has an ESRB rating of E 10+ for everyone ten years and older.
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