It has been a very long time since I have played an open world game, but being an Ocarina of Time fan and having recently played the Twilight Princess game on the Wii, this game was a must have. I usually like to devote a solid three weeks to making sure that I play the entire game and get in as many side quests as I can leading up to the big finish, so here's my take on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
For starters, the game play is astounding! You are able to openly explore the world of Hyrule through various means (running, climbing, swimming, and now gliding with a paraglider). It features an interactive environment with puzzles, scavenger hunts, challenges, and a ton of tough enemies to get through.
Link also carries a piece of tech with him called the Sheikah Slate, which will help guide him through the open world of Hyrule and gain access to valuable information in the shrine. Think of it as a smart device equipped with a camera, inventory stash, resource guide, and weapons toggler. You'll be able to use runes, which are tools that can control the movement of metal objects, freeze time/space, as well as create remote bombs to blow up objects.
This game really implores you to be resourceful and manage your health well. Scavenging for items and cooking is a method implemented into this game as well as getting rest. Weapons and horses can be found as you wander around, but even they have their limits. My advice is to be resourceful with your items and find lots of Korok seeds because they will come in handy when you have to expand your inventory.
There will be lots of beautiful scenery and amazing looking enemies that you will encounter over the course of this adventure. Instead of temples, the bosses take form of divine beasts designed by Ancient Sheikah technology located in the four major areas of the game. If you've played Zelda games in the last decade, it should be fairly well-known where they're located. The main goal is to recapture your lost memories and free the divine beasts of the Calamity's wrath.
For those of you who are completely OCD like I am and want to find all the shrines, here's an image that maps out all of the locations. It's actually quite helpful and makes for a really simple, yet tedious quest to find everything. When you complete each shrine, you are awarded with a spirit orb. When you collect enough of these, you will be able to upgrade your hearts and stamina meter.
If you can find your way through the center of The Lost Woods, you’ll be greeted by a host of Koroks, you old friend the Great Deku Tree — and of course, the Master Sword itself. All you need to do is grab it from the ground, and it’s yours. Actually before you do that, there is one requirement… To obtain the Master Sword, you’ll need 13 full heart containers. While it’s easy to get temporary hearts, unfortunately, this will not cut it. You need 10 Heart Containers in addition to the three hearts you start with from the beginning of the game.
You can get Heart Containers from beating Divine Beasts or by trading in Spirit Orbs you get from all the Shrines around Hyrule. And if you’ve traded in a bunch of Spirit Orbs on Stamina Vessels, don’t worry: You can actually trade Stamina Vessels for Heart Containers and vice versa.
As you pull the sword from the ground, it will drain Link’s health until he’s an inch from death. Right before dying, Link will pull the sword from the stone and you'll finally get your hands on the Master Sword!
Calamity Ganon’s attacks should look familiar if you’ve completed the Divine Beasts. The creator of their bosses — Fireblight Ganon, Windblight Ganon, Waterblight Ganon and Thunderblight Ganon — and uses the attacks he created for his minions. As ever, keeping your distance offers you an advantage.
The best way I found to reliably damage Calamity Ganon is to concentrate on his little back legs. Wait for him to attack, and run around the the back, where you can swing away. Calamity Ganon has a laser gun. He uses it when he climbs the wall like a spider, and he uses it on the ground. Just be glad that he’s using it, because this is where your perfect guard skills come in handy. If you know how to parry his attacks with your shield at the right time, then it will make the fight a lot easier.
At the end of it all, there's a surprise second stage... which is the Dark Beast Ganon! In the first phase, you'll have to use your horse to ride around and hit the boss in its highlighted weak spots with your bow and arrow.
All in all, it's definitely one of the best Zelda games that is currently out right now. It is riveting to see a beloved game evolve 20 years later and provide us with the look and feel of a real world adventure.
If you pick up a Wii-U or a Switch, be sure to download Breath of the Wild and enjoy!