I’ve fallen head over heels in love with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
“Yeah, I’ve actually been playing heaps of Zelda lately,” is not a sentence I thought would ever come out of my mouth.
And yet, as I came back into work this last Monday and a colleague asked what I’d been playing, that’s exactly what I said. Yeah, even two months after its release.
Let it be known that I am far from the world’s biggest Zelda fan. Of course, I’ve played them all, and enjoyed them well enough, but I’m certainly not the type to lose sleep over the announcement of a new game. ‘Time to save the Princess again!’ Yay. *Goes back to Tamriel*
You can imagine my amazement, then, when I found that time and time again I’d be heading home, pulling the Switch out of its dock and just marathoning Zelda. It got to the point where I’d almost considered bringing it with me to work and playing for half an hour or so here or there. An addiction.
Understandably, I found myself wondering why. The logical answer is Breath of the Wild’s open-world setting. I’m a sucker for a great RPG, and have lost many an hour to the likes of the brilliant Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Horizon Zero Dawn. Perhaps it was the lure of somewhere new to explore?
Then I thought, “Maybe I’m just smarter?” More than one Zelda puzzle had thwarted me in the past, and the first few Shrines I encountered in BotW were a breeze. That was until I got a little further in and almost threw my Sheikah-Slate-sized console through the window. Nope. Definitely not smarter.
I thought perhaps it might have been the design. There was a study recently that showed a bunch of people only played games for their graphics. Why shouldn’t I be a part of the crowd? Why wouldn’t I like a game just because the horses looked nice and the grass swayed in the wind? No, it wasn’t that.
In the end, I think I came to the conclusion that the whole of Breath of the Wild is far greater than the sum of its parts. It’s all of these elements – the art style, the genre, the mechanics – that come together to create something magical.
If you’ve seen The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild getting 10/10, it’s because it bloody deserves it. I could very well play this for the rest of my life, and you can be damn sure I’ll be paying closer attention to the next Zelda game that graces our screens.
Missing out on the action? JB has you covered.