In Breath Of The Wild, players take control of Link, a silent protagonist who has just been awakened from a deep slumber one hundred years after Calamity Ganon destroyed the land of Hyrule. The pointy-eared hero must overcome four deadly bosses in different regions before he can face Ganon head on to save Princess Zelda and restore order to the world.
Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s first open-world Zelda game, and it is fantastic. The ability to climb any surface in this vast open-world makes the universe feel even larger. The cell-shaded graphics are beautiful and unique, and the game performs well on the Switch platform. The frame rate rarely dips below 30fps, and while 60fps would’ve been even better, it’s forgivable given that it runs on a portable gaming system.
The user interface is minimalistic, which is means it doesn’t clutter the screen, so you can see more of Hyrule. The render distance is also impressive, which makes running, riding and paragliding through Hyrule feel super realistic.
The combat mechanics are great. Link has a wide variety of weapons and runes (powers) that he can use in combat and to solve puzzles. The catch is that these weapons break, so remember not to get too attached to any particular one.
The issue of vulnerable tools is alleviated by the fact that killing enemies, completing dungeons, and doing side-quests will net you powerful weapons. Link also has a large wardrobe to choose from, which can negate harsh weather effects, provide special effects, and increase Link’s defence.
Link starts out with three heart containers (health) and a ring of stamina. You can increase your total stamina and health by obtaining spirit orbs by exploring the shrines scattered across the land. To recover lost health, you simply have to find ingredients in the wild and cook food! There are all sorts of fruits and vegetables with different effects and rarity, but the sheer amount of recipes is truly staggering.
One minor complaint is that the inventory management controls are a bit clunky and could benefit from some optimisation. Other than this quibble, Breath of the Wild is unmissable.