There’s not long to go until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally released on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.
To say people are excited is an understatement. Expectations are high – too high, probably – but with good reason. Whatever you say about Nintendo, when they bring their A-game they leave other developers for dust. With development on Breath of the Wild taking the best part of six years, we’re hoping that Eiji Aonuma and his team have created a game that will finally topple Ocarina of Time as the best 3D Zelda adventure and may even be the best game in the series, period.
Here are ninety-nine reasons why we think it will be just that.
- We’re finally getting the open world Zelda we’ve been asking for.
- If you buy the game on Nintendo Switch you can play in 1080P on TV.
- Or in 720P, while you take a pee.
- Link can climb everywhere. Take that, Ezio.
- The game includes over 100 puzzle shrines. Head scratching joy awaits.
- It looks like Princess Zelda will have a significant role in the story.
- And might even be a playable character.
- Manaka Kataoka’s musical score – as heard in the trailer – is truly beautiful.
- The game looks a bit like Skyrim, with puzzles!
- The horse owning mechanics make it sound like Grand Theft Stable.
- Fitting Breath of the Wild into the Zelda timeline will be game in itself for the series’ most ardent fans.
- Link has a natty new blue tunic.
- But he can still get a traditional green one – phew!
- The Korok leafs are back.
- The beginning of the game features an old man, a cool throwback to the opening moments of the original Legend of Zelda on NES.
- You can snowboard on your shield.
- The game looks a bit like Shadow of the Colossus, with puzzles!
- You can glide from great heights with a leaf.
- Or by using a para-glider.
- And that same leaf can be used to create instant wind when sailing.
- Horseback combat looks super-cool.
- Taking down Bokoblin camps is like a distilled version of Far Cry.
- The series finally gets real voice acting.
- But, crucially, Link will remain mute. (Put down your pitch-forks, everyone)
- Playing with fire looks like lots of fun, but kids, don’t do it at home.
- Rolling boulders could be the Wii Bowling follow-up we’ve been waiting for.
- And Baseball too, as Link can bat rocks back at enemies with a club.
- You can tame wild horses.
- Hand-holding tutorials appear to be a thing of the past.
- Calamity Ganon is the best name for a big bad, ever.
- The are some HUGE monsters to deal with.
- The world is rich with detail with lots of potential for environmental story-telling.
- The Goron that shouts ‘Here it comes!’ in the trailer could well be the best NPC ever found in a video game.
- That beach looks like a beautiful place to relax.
- When it rains, it pours. And it’s beautiful.
- But watch out for lightning – it can be attracted to Link’s sword and shield with painful consequences.
- Stealthily crawling through long grass looks cool. Watch out for Pokémon.
- Hyrule’s buildings and bridges appear to deliberately echo past Zelda games.
- Link can strip down to his shorts when he goes for swim. This boy is buff.
- You can use the mighty power of bees to scare away enemies and create distractions.
- Rock monsters!
- You can lift up objects with a giant magnet and throw them around with gay abandon.
- The art-style is glorious, a subtle but natural evolution of The Wind Waker.
- The Guardians are creepy, scary and cool, all at once.
- At last you can drop pins onto the map to mark points of interest.
- Link can hook-shot giant sand worms (sorry Sean Murray).
- If get the game on Wii U you can play Breath of the Wild in GamePad mode.
- Link needs the player to make him jump again.
- Environmental physics are big step up for the series.
- Items and weapons can be combined in a multitude of ways.
- It looks a bit like The Witcher, with puzzles!
- Ever wanted to wield a pitchfork? Now you can. Hyrulian Gothic selfies await.
- There’s an item called a Rushroom, which does exactly what you’d expect.
- There are recipes to discover and stat boosting meals to cook.
- And the charming cooking animation will never get boring.
- The music is very subtle and contextual, reacting to Link’s situation and actions.
- The English localisation includes the word ‘clobber’. Top marks, Treehouse.
- The sound meter and thermometer will create all sorts of fascinating gameplay opportunities.
- Using the Scope, you can also place pins and warp spots for fast travel.
- Depending on the weather and time of day, monsters and animals will behave differently.
- Link can use all sorts of items as weapons, including swords, clubs, and sticks.
- As well as the dismembered, and still-twitching, arm of a Stalfos.
- Wolf Link returns (if you have the amiibo, of course).
- Other Zelda amiibo can make goodies fall from the sky, just like in real life.
- A Bokoblin swinging a spear round its head is one of the funniest things you’ll see in a game this year.
- Breath of the Wild is the fulfilment of a twenty vision for director, Eiji Aonuma. That alone makes it interesting.
- Crafting comes to the Zelda series in a big way for the first time.
- Link doesn’t have an annoying sidekick like Navi or Fi, this time. (We hope…)
- One of the in-game items is a “Pot Lid”. At long last, Nintendo, at long last.
- Sorry Epona, but in Breath of the Wild you can own – and therefore love – more than one horse.
- And you can name them.
- Beedle is back! “Thaaaank you!”
- According to early reports it sounds like it will be the most challenging Zelda game in some time.
- It’s a colourful open world game but with a fairy-tale atmosphere rather than the usual medieval-fantasy tone.
- And there’s an intriguing science fiction element to uncover, too.
- There will be a DLC story expansion later this year (it’s expensive, but we’ll gloss over that, because more Zelda.)
- And there’s also another Cave of Trials to suffer through.
- It looks a bit like Horizon: Zero Dawn, with puzzles!
- Monolith Soft – developers of excellent Xenoblade series– have lent a hand with development, which can only be a good thing.
- You can now choose when to detonate a bomb…
- The slow-motion arrow attack is glorious.
- You can mine things and sell them for rupees.
- Apples don’t grow on trees, you know. Except, in Breath of the Wild, they do.
- Miyamoto has said that the story won’t slow down or interfere with gameplay.
- Dungeons might be even more challenging than in previous games – there’s no compass this time.
- The changing weather will affect gameplay, meaning no two encounters will ever be quite the same.
- There are messages – written in Hylian – hidden all over the world to find and translate.
- Inventory management fans will be in their element, as there’s a lot to organise in Breath of the Wild.
- This version of Hyrule is 12 times larger than the map in Twilight Princess.
- You can use a boulder and catapult to launch yourself into the air.
- You can show off by paragliding right on to the back of a horse and transitioning straight into a gallop.
- Dungeons can be tackled in any order, you just need to be equipped to deal with the challenges they pose.
- Link uses an item called the Sheikh Slate which is a really cool (and in no way a virtual memorial to the game’s original Wii U roots…)
- The flexible nature of the game means a second play-through will likely be a very different experience.
No pressure then, Aonuma-san.
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