I loved Breath of the Wild from the moment I first played it. And after watching the reveal trailers for Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I decided I needed to play through the game again in order to see if I could pinpoint anything of value that might be either clarified in Age of Calamity or perhaps explain some of the mystery in particular trailers. Because I was trying to focus on the story and cutscenes, I ended up speeding through to get to all the main points in order to analyze the game quicker. As a result, I ended up not enjoying the game nearly as much as when I have played Breath of the Wild in the past. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the story, I still find Breath of the Wild’s storyline very captivating. But, the reason I’ve enjoyed this game in the past, is not just because of the story that unfolds, but because of the experiences you have throughout your journey to save Hyrule. Today I’m going to talk about why Breath of the Wild takes my breath away, and discuss all of the qualities that make it truly special.
Physics Are Real
Some games don’t do a very good job mimicking gravity, wind, and objects interacting with physics. But Breath of the Wild’s physics are very realistic! As a result, you can come up with some pretty creative ways to solve puzzles and defeat enemies, even if it’s not the way the game intended. I’ve used bombs to blast enemies off of cliffs I didn’t want to fight. I’ve shot fire arrows at bomb barrels in order to wipe out a camp of bokoblins. I’ve used the direction of the wind to push my paraglider farther in one direction so I can bypass enemies on the ground. I’ve even found the shrines in Breath of the Wild often can be solved in more than one way as long as you use physics correctly.
Because there are realistic physics in this game, you have to be pretty careful when performing certain tasks. For example, if you wear metal in a lightning storm, you will be electrocuted. If you climb a cliff and run out of stamina before reaching the top, you will fall to your death. The physics in Breath of the Wild add a level of challenge, but also fun, to the game! Sure it’s really annoying to have to take off all of your metal clothing and weapons when you enter a stormy area, but you can also use the storm as an opportunity to throw metal weapons at enemies and electrocute them! Because of the way physics work in this game, your options for defeating enemies and performing tasks are limitless.
A TRUE Open World Game
I’ve played a lot of open world games in the last few years. Out of every open world game I’ve played, Breath of the Wild meets the expectations of an open world game the best. You can climb almost every surface in Breath of the Wild. The only surfaces you aren’t able to climb are those of Shrines and Divine Beasts (and that’s intentional so that you actually have to solve them without cheating). But any other surface you encounter, whether it be a cliff, tower, tree, or even building, is climbable. As a result, you can explore literally every inch of Hyrule, and go anywhere in any manner you please. This game is so beautifully designed with breath-taking sights, having the option to explore every part of it truly is amazing.
I’ve played many games where the land itself is open world, but you have to climb walls in designated areas. In Breath of the Wild, a path is not designated for you. YOU can decide where to go and how to go there. I do not think an open world game is TRULY open world if you are not totally free in how you move throughout the game. A lot of the magic behind Breath of the Wild is the amount of freedom you are allowed by choosing your own path. Even the title of the game “Breath of the Wild”, reveals how much joy you can find by forging your own path through the unknown, rather than following the common road.
Freedom To Choose Your Own Journey
The thing I love most about this game is that you can decide for yourself what path you will take on your journey to save Hyrule. If you want to only do the main quests in order to progress the story as fast as possible, cool. If you want to get all of the shrines and get a ton of hearts and stamina vessels, more power to you. If you want to complete all of the side quests before ending the game, have fun! What’s cool about this game is once you get off of the Great Plateau in the beginning of the game, you can even do your main quests in any order as well. If you want to ignore King Rhoam and charge in to defeat Ganon, have fun storming the castle! If you want to get the Master Sword before doing any Divine Beasts or Memories, that’s a fun idea! The point is, the game doesn’t limit you by only allowing you to take a certain path in Breath of the Wild. If they did, your freedom would be a lot more restricted. What I love about this game is if you want to have a different journey each time you play, that’s great!
Something I discovered this last time for myself however, is I don’t enjoy skipping quests and experiences. This last time I played, I bypassed a lot of side quests and honestly the game lost some of its magic. I was so focused on the main story and studying it before playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I forgot to find joy in the journey. But not everyone is like me. A lot of people don’t like side quests, and that’s fine. What I think is most important in a game like this is to do what makes you happy. Personally I can’t play this game without founding Tarrey Town or stranding myself on Eventide Island. But some people never do those things, and still enjoy the game.
I guess what I’m saying is the reason Breath of the Wild is so amazing is because you are allowed limitless freedom in deciding your gameplay experience, and having the ability to decide your own schedule in the game truly is amazing. Breath of the Wild was made in a way to please both the completionist players, and the speed-run players. And something else that still amazes me about Breath of the Wild to this day is because the game is so expansive, I can find something new each time I play. So I will never run out of things to do, and can play this game multiple times without getting bored. I can’t say that with every game I play.
Thanks for reading! Do you play Breath of the Wild? What are some of your favorite things about the game? Also, since I love koroks, if you were a korok, where in Hyrule would you hide? Let me know in the comments below!
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3 thoughts on “Review: Breath of the Wild―Why is Breath of the Wild Special?”
I love this game so much I wrote a whole post about how it got me back into gaming after many years: https://geekmamas.com/2019/12/17/breath-of-the-wild-breathes-some-life-into-an-older-gamer/ … It’s just so beautifully made! I love the graphics and the game play. I’ve been playing Zelda since the very first one so playing this one is just a huge treat for a long-time Zelda fan 🙂
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Breath of the Wild really is so unique and totally different than so many Zelda games before! I already loved the Legend of Zelda series but Breath of the Wild definitely stands out among all of the Zelda games, definitely because of the exploration and freedom it allows the player! Thanks for your comment! I love hearing about other people’s experiences with gaming!
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Yes, it just blew me away when I started playing it after not playing a Zelda game for many many years! I love the open world concept and the exploring possibilities. Sometimes that’s all I do – just get on and explore all the nooks and crannies I haven’t been to yet.
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