The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was my most anticipated title going into E3, the hype around this title is real and Nintendo put all their focus on it this year. When I did finally get to play it, as even the press area was crazy crowded it definitely did not disappoint. You could see those delays and years of work had been properly funneled into what’s truly a magical title. This game captures the feeling of Orcarina while moving forward to the massive open worlds of today similar to what I’d say would be The Witcher 3. While we still get a couple jokes about the Wii U throughout the conference everyone felt that this game was amazing. People lined up for a couple hours to play it and half that just to watch it. Being press I got VIP access to play, but our guide with enthusiasm brought us through the regular doors for effect. This was the right thing to do as you could feel the magic entering their closed off area and like in Jurassic Park it had that same glamour to it. There were large to scale figures from the game, beautiful artistic backdrops and real plants. Seriously real, I was encouraged to feel them, it’s legit and a nice touch. After that I got to play the larger portion of the game as I initially went through a show-off tutorial previously, both experiences are described below.
The first demo was basically just giving us all the tools and saying have at it. Here I learned the control scheme of which I once again was reminded of how cumbersome the game pad was, but that aside everything button wise felt right. From there I went hunting to practice my bow skills and then switched to melee for sword practice. The melee system worked well with charge attacks and past that there are more combo type options, but they weren’t implemented in this build. I took on simple enemies before moving away to explore. The first thing you notice is just how vast this world is, it’s crazy in scale where you can go anywhere you see and even beyond. It’s amazing that they’re created such a large world and it already looks stunning despite being in development. It’s also a lively world with creatures running around and many survival like activities as well. You will need to adapt to climates as Link gets cold or too warm, collect resources and generally survive while progressing. I was told tales of people just cooking through their demos and others that just chopped trees. I was personally the first to drown the Amiibo Zelda Twilight Princess wolf so that was fun. This was down by swimming and he somewhat vanished then I drowned as well, quite funny honestly.
The second demo was longer and actually shows the first twenty minutes of the game. Link awakens in this weird tree area and just starts going, it’s a bit odd and will probably have more info. You walk to the world and get a beaming semi cinematic with the full “Breath of the Wild” title which was a truly magical moment. From there I talked to some creepy old guy and went on my way in the world. This is apparently just the regular game and the freedom is immense. It’s focused at the start if you follow along, but we were encouraged to just have fun and run around. I killed enemies; looted chests, cut trees, ate and hunted. The demo wasn’t too long, yet I was just so pleased with the time combination of these two. The world is just so responsive as swings of your tools cut grass and the world seems filled with opportunities as there were huge collections of castles or ruins in the distance all around. There’s also the magic of doing whatever you want whenever you want as I could literally just run to the last boss and take him on though gear wise I’d be ill equipped. There just seems to be so much potential with this Zelda and it’s ever exciting to see it running in full glory at launch. It also already looks great on Wii U, can only begin to imagine what the NX version might look like. I’ll hopefully be reviewing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild someday though on which console will have to be determined.
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