The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

The very first The Legend of Zelda, released in 1986 and outlined the General rules that are built games in the series – the study of the environment, the progress of the character through the key items, the system of caves, backtracking. Ocarina of Time twelve years later rewrote the formula for the third dimension, and the most notable innovation related to the control character in a three-dimensional world and its interaction with the environment – targeting, a change in perspective during the battle, the shortcut button and some others.

Since then remained unchanged game structure: the core element was the main quest of the protagonist is to find the six keepers and defeat the villain, often in a strictly specified order. Convention is not characteristic only for games in the series, but for the vast majority of adventure games in General: all roads to the final written writers and designers. Mandatory quests may vary, the choice of a particular path is sometimes also given at the mercy of the player, but the freedom of action exists in the story, while remaining situationally or reduced to other aspects of the game (as an example – method of pumping affecting the style of play, in role-playing adventure).

Nintendo experimented with the linearity of the main quest before – the most recent example is A Link Between Worlds, where the order of topical assignments – free. However, it is the Breath of the Wild has the potential to become a new turning point in the history of the series, as this game was the most interesting and significant structural changes since Ocarina of Time.

The main quest as the supporting structure of the game narrative ceases to exist. Binding remains only a two-hour introduction with learning the basic mechanics of the game and collecting all the necessary items. The player then finds out its main goal – the destruction of evil, hidden in the Central castle – and sent to “float freely.” Unlike previous games, the characters Breath of the Wild don’t give units but tell you where ought to go. Thus at the very beginning emphasizes that the player is free to do as you please and can immediately move to the castle if you feel ready; thus a large part of history will remain behind the scenes – and this is also freedom of choice.

Conrad destroyed a hundred years ago the first knight of the Kingdom just woke up from centuries of sleep and bad traditions lost memory. On the ruins of the old world, he seeks answers and deliverance from Distress, which always returns to the land. Quest Breath of the Wild is the path of empowerment, a manifestation which can be any and depends on the player’s actions: to collect fragments of memories in search of lost artifacts, find allies to downplay the forces of evil to the final battle through to victory in the underground, to pump parameters of endurance and health in the sanctuaries, to seek more advanced equipment, as well as to study the tactics of the enemies and combat system, however, hunt and search for recipes that enhance the hero – of the ways to achieve the goal a great many, and the player chooses. In the Breath of the Wild, there is a large main dungeon, but I managed to finish the game after only three-quarters of the total. In theory, you can completely ignore this side of “Zelda”, but in this case, brace yourself for a finale.

The game is incredibly open and, thus, at first, unfriendly. The first few hours for some players can be challenging – you will have to complete quests to retrieve a glider that will allow you to descend from the starting plateau safely. In the process, you need to navigate the terrain, climbing the peaks and exploring the environment in search of goals and optimal routes. Groups of enemies will be a severe problem since a good weapon there, and the management and a lot of new features require time to learn. Overwhelmed (as I thought) the layout for a long time was uncomfortable before my brain switched to her usual schemes of Dark Souls and the old “of Sölden.”

During this introduction, you will learn hunting, cooking, potions and, of course, collecting all sorts of LUT. To the surprise, old fans of the series, piercing and cutting items – dozens of items, plus they break down and disappear without the ability to repair or restore (with some exceptions). The player regularly finds something new and interesting models – the most powerful instances it’s reasonable to save up to another difficult battle. Management of items in a limited inventory and a constant study of new properties and movements of the arms make the process even more interesting. Because of the variety and constant change of blades combat system just won. She doesn’t look much like any previous “Zelda”, or Souls games in comparison with the last interview is less demanding accounting of stamina, but more viscous, and the enemies cause significant damage, so desirable a thoughtful methodological approach. The noise indicator will allow you to sneak up and strike a sudden blow – sleepaway camp can simply kill in stealth. And using a bow in a jump will allow slowmo (takes stamina) to choose a target and make a few accurate and quick shots.

The behavior of opponents is a separate issue: the post ordinary carefully inspect the area and in case of detection of a hero to alert teammates. In the evening around the campfire they lose their vigilance and fall asleep – deal with them now is a matter of technique. In the battle shattered the enemy weapons you can pick up and use against him, in this case, try to find a new blade or go hand to hand.

At the very beginning may meet a formidable opponent – the Guardian (‘ll be lucky if disassembled). This mechanical octopus – the main threat throughout the game. They move quickly and lock onto the hero of the laser pointer. The player has a few seconds to prepare to parry. Mechanics similar to that of Dark Souls – it is necessary to swing the shield at some point. If done correctly – the laser beam can be reflected. Fend off more attacks, including melee weapons.

Different types of enemies in the game quite a lot, but a large area may be only a few species, characterized by aggressiveness, size, weapons and the force of the blow. The uniformity of the opponents catches the eye on the starting locations, in the future, bright new specimens are much more common.

At the conclusion of the introductory part, you will receive everything you need to advance through the world and solving puzzles, the most intriguing – glider, allowing the height to cover the distance by air. Every now conquered the top opens up access to vast territories.

Support for the new open model is a physics engine affecting all aspects of the game, from the combat system to the game. Everyone, with rare exception, the subject obeys the laws of physics, which in itself gives a lot of possibilities in solving of game situations and, in particular, puzzles. Tools of the player includes a set of five runes, allowing you to detonate bombs, to manipulate metallic objects and stop time for individual subjects. The result of the banalest attack on an enemy Outpost can be turned into sophisticated violence, try to throw a massive boulder off a cliff, or an arrow to shoot down hanging over a powder keg of Shiner, or the distance to throw an iron plate on the heads of unsuspecting opponents.

The physics of the game allows you to create a unique situation and come up with hundreds of solutions. In this lies the potential Breath of the Wild to constant research. For example, the rune “Stasis”, stopping time for a selected object will cause a number of times in “frozen” the subject and ask him powerful momentum – he’ll fly like a Cannonball. And if you quickly get on it before the “defrost” – it is possible to repeat a memorable trick of Baron Munchausen.

The functionality of the shortcut buttons, wherever possible, also migrated to the game’s physics. To set in motion the iron trolley, not enough to click on a universal button “A” to put a bomb in the boiler and blow it up. In order to rotate the switch mechanism or steering wheel, you need some kind of physical impact again. To build a fire, have to throw firewood on the ground, to put next to the flint and the spark with his sword. Thanks to such things the degree of immersion increases.

Surrounded by the Breath of the Wild are incredibly interactive and thoughtful. For example, the surface exposed to temperature and moisture. It is not necessary in the rain to climb up a steep slope – the main character will constantly slip and lose power. Shouldn’t be too close to the fire – you can turn on and lose the wooden equipment. On the other hand, fire can be used – try to ignite the tall grass and catch the flow of the rising air with his glider.

A weather system and temperature difference – this is another interesting mechanic. The first time in the desert, I was surprised to see that the indicator shows a low value (did not expect that the authors will consider her night feature) – the main character from the cold, began to lose health. Dressed up warm and drinking a hot drink, I solved the problem – until the morning. Then the sun rose, the air was hot, I was losing health is for the opposite reason – I had to run faster to shelter, where there is shade and the temperature is lower.

During snow storms and thunderstorms the wind picks up and visibility drops, is an impressive sight. Especially dangerous is lightning, which can be “induced” on the metal gear and kill the hero. You can take a chance and just before the kick to try to throw the enemy electrified weapons. And wise to find some shelter and a campfire (in the rain kindle fire will not work) – it will sleep until the next day. Weather forecast in the bottom right corner will tell you how soon the storm will be over.

The world of Breath of the Wild is in a constant state of flux and full of life. Variety of climatic zones, flora and fauna is impressive – just been a pine forest, then wetland birch grove and now the red stony desert. Thus no abrupt transitions, and dissonance does not arise. Constantly there are any small discoveries and unexpected encounters – be it bright red Fox against the white snow or the wild boar that attacked from behind. One gorge I met amazing elk of gigantic proportions – but to catch him failed.

A special place in the game take riding animals – primarily horses. They differ in speed, endurance, strength and disposition. The potential of the individual is determined, oddly enough, the color of the peg is likely to be weaker. To catch and to tame any wild horse, but the more complex her character is, the more stamina it will take to capture. Animal you can register and then take in any of the stables scattered across the map. To improve relations with a horse she needed comfort, to pet and even feed apples (discovered quite by accident, throwing the fruit in front of her nose – but the bananas she is refusing). A well-trained horse in the future she will stay the road.

A huge advantage is given to the rider of foot enemy. Battle on horseback – this is another brilliant element of the game. The main thing here is to throw the enemy to the ground. However, we must be careful, your horse may even kill, to get her back without loading an old save will not work (the progress is saved automatically, in addition available and manual save).

Other animals that can be used to navigate through the world is a desert scene, with his original mechanics of movement in deep sand, and forest deer – but I have a go at this failed. To register these animals impossible.

Talk about a lively and interactive environment Breath of the Wild can be long, but it is especially important that the game does not degenerate into a “going day”. It does not allow to get lost and constantly raises some new goals – you will always have a few guidelines. Characters are encountered will indicate the location of towns, important people, or offer quests. One of the key items of the protagonist, a tablet called “Stone Chic”contains a detailed map of the world and quite a standard questbook divided into four sections: the main and additional jobs, “sanctuaries” and “memories”. Received quests are automatically stored in the diary and selected job leaves yellow marker on the map. This is not necessarily the ultimate goal, but some key point. Detailed information about the region will appear after the player activates the red tower is a kind of beacons of peace Breath of the Wild. You can also leave your own notes, indicating some interesting locations.

The sections “basic tasks” and “memories” contain the main quests from advancing them depends on the nature of the final battle. The game is unobtrusive leads along the invisible lines of these quests, directing from town to town, giving guidance on the key characters. Here is main story material.

As usual, the main tasks sooner or later lead to the dungeon – an essential attribute of the series. This aspect of the game has also undergone major changes. The map is now three dimensional – like Metroid Prime, it can be rotated in three dimensions. All dungeons are thematically linked and in a uniform style – a huge mechanical monster. Solving puzzles tied to the manipulation of the structure of the dungeon, and to pass you need to activate five switches. Without going into details to avoid spoilers, Breath of the Wild offers the most complex and memorable spatial puzzles in the entire series, you will be surprised. At the same time from the old concept of keys and special items that allow you to advance further, was abandoned. Puzzle dungeons don’t require anything except the original four runes, tablet, standard Arsenal and your wits. Bosses – demonic creatures like Dark Souls (particularly in sound design). They varied in their tactics and give a good challenge, but the opportunity to stock up on healing food in any quantity saves nerves. Bosses of the external world I liked even more, as they are thematically different and bright: Centauromachy of Lever, fat Cyclops, elemental, or an animated pile of stones – these characters will be hard to forget.

Sanctuary – mini-dungeon, scattered around the world, and part of the source of items of pumping. In addition, each serves as a fast travel location. These small dungeons is performed in a unified visual solution, and present a series of spatial puzzles and the challenge, the complexity of which varies: somewhere just need to rearrange a few metal cubes, and somewhere a sly way to build an electrical circuit. Jobs are rarely repeated and are one of the most interesting games Plast. In total, there are about a hundred pieces. For passing the player gets a prize – “The Sphere Of The Spirit”. Four of these can be exchanged at the statue of the goddess on the additional container of the heart or addition to the stamina.

However, spatial puzzles are not confined dungeons and shrines. In the study of the world pay attention to strange signs and some features of the environment – if you manage to figure out what’s wrong and to solve a puzzle will appear forest creature Crusts (familiar to the Wind Waker) – it will give you seeds, which can then be exchanged to increase the capacity of the equipment.

The last category of questbook – “side job” – it’s dozens, if not hundreds, of side-quests of varying difficulty, spread through the world and designed to fill his little stories. From the standard “go-fetch-kill” – to less trivial “find me a husband” or “find out what he wants my sister.” The beauty of the Breath of the Wild – in the surprises that result from some of the characters and their questline – hidden locations, magnificent dragon flying in the sky, the whereabouts of the Master Sword… the Game never ceases to amaze.

Paradoxically the most free and open “Zelda” contains the largest number of cinematic cutscenes that are fully voiced and translated into nine languages, including Russian. Fans of epic and emotional cutscenes will not be left disappointed. I am glad the presence of the Russian audio track, but I don’t quite like how it was voiced young heroine – so I prefer English-speaking Zelda. Language can be changed by changing the console settings.

Game audio in General – is impressive. The illusion of a living world create including the constant chatter, the murmur of streams, the rustle and hum of the wind and much more. Music performed in a more strict and restrained in comparison with previous games of the series. The action is accompanied by beautiful arrangements of the old order and the new quiet melancholic melodies. As a result, the music creates the right background to study outer world. Fights with bosses and other enemies are accompanied by more energetic tracks that support the needs match rhythm.

Unfortunately, technical limitations of the platforms did not allow the game to be as perfect graphically. Even in the Switch version of Breath of the Wild suffering  objects from a short distance away, drops the frame rate in the busiest scenes and blurry objects on some plans. Great job artists, of course, compensate for technical flaws. Another, if not a technical defect, a miscalculation that designers are some oddities in the work of the AI: sometimes the enemies didn’t react to the bomb blast a few metres from them, and archery from behind cover sometimes introduced the enemy into a stupor – he could not understand what direction it was fired, and stood with a question mark above my head to a complete loss of health. It is rather the exception to the rule, and perhaps will be fixed in a future update. In any case, these rare situations that did not affect the overall impression of the combat system: correct placement of enemies and a wide variety of patterns of behavior do not allow to relax and to lose interest.

Integrated game controller and a high barrier to entry can deter inexperienced players. However, fans of the open and complex games will receive one of the most vibrant, diverse and memorable adventures in the genre.

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