The Legend of Zelda killed it this year. It singlehandedly powered a brand new console into relativity after a failed system put Nintendo’s reputation in peril; just as Link continues to rescue Zelda from the perils of Ganon’s clutches. To put Breath of the Wild’s impact into perspective, 100% of Nintendo Switch owners bought the game either with the system or in the first month of launch. Nearing the end of the year, Zelda sales have kept up with booming console sales at a nearly 50% ownership rate.

Breath of the Wild was a breath of fresh air for many gamers. It features mechanics that we’ve never seen in a major franchise. The most impressive part of this game is that you can access anything you see on the screen. Want to climb the biggest mountain? See an island in the distance and curious about what adventures it may hold? As long as your stamina bar is developed enough to make the trip, the world is yours.

The cooking system is fun as well, as the amount of ingredients to throw in the cauldron make a nearly endless list of potential meals to boost your attributes. Fans appreciated that they left out the hunger system that was recently revealed as a possibility earlier in development. Zelda is intended to be played by all demographics, which includes Nintendo’s main target group: children. Kids don’t need to be bogged down with having to cook and revitalize periodically during play sessions. There’s enough to do without having to worry about Link’s hunger.

We’ve seen weapon repair systems for some time. The concept isn’t new, but what is new is that you have to continually find new weapons; as there’s no option to repair your damaged weapons. This actually works in a lot of ways. Instead of filling the game up with a vast armory of unique weapons, you’ll become familiar with a smaller selection and hunt for those you like the most. It may annoy you at first, but at least it’s unique and original. Once you unlock the Master Sword, you can keep a weapon that doesn’t break, but rather has a cooling period.

The story in Breath of the Wild was pretty good. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat as there are no audible conversations. You have to read subtitles in true Zelda fashion. In BotW, Link finds himself in a tribal dystopian future, where four Divine Beasts are being controlled by Ganon. Conquering the Divine Beasts are exciting missions where you solve mildly difficult puzzles to access alternate forms of Ganon bosses. BotW is so unique that you can actually head straight to the final boss from the beginning, but you’re going to have one hell of a hard time taking him down.

Nothing in Zelda is a game-breaker in terms of negatively effecting the gameplay. In fact, I would go as far as to say Breath of the Wild is as close to perfect as any game you will find. You can find yourself immersed in Hyrule for marathon sessions without knowing it. The time it takes to complete every mission makes this one of the best purchases of the year. It’s a perfect score in every review out there for a reason, and we have to agree.

Did you enjoy Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? If you had any critique we didn’t mention, we’d love to hear from you!

 

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