The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Posted in games at 12:20 am by wingerz

It seems fitting that the last blog post here was about Bloodborne, my previous video game obsession. It’s been replaced by Breath of the Wild as my new favorite game. It seems that every Spring some game is released that is all-consuming (last year it was Dark Souls III). But instead of doing one hour a night, it ended up being over an hour and a half a night (80 hours in 51 days).

That extra half hour a night represents the thing that makes Zelda special – I had the intention of going to sleep every night after playing an hour, but there was always one more thing to check out, which would lead to another thing to check out, etc. The sweeping landscapes are full of visual landmarks and gorgeous scenery, and this is the first game I’ve played where it’s fun to get lost looking through the map; the points of interest all have such alluring names.

The most powerful form of this came last night. I finished the main story elements leading up to the last area of the game. I intended to play for an hour and go to sleep at 10pm. I went to collect something, and happened to be on the doorstep of the final area, so I wandered in. I kept meaning to turn around but there was always one more thing to look at – an interesting set of ruins or a tunnel or a wall to be blown apart or an enemy to fight or flee from or something else. At midnight, after I had consumed nearly all of my food, the end credits were rolling.

I still have a very long to-do list for the game and intend to finish most of them. I’ve only found about half of the shrines (mini-dungeons) and about 5% of the Korok seeds. The scale of the game is staggering.

I’ve loved every moment of exploring the landscape, as well as the wonderful feeling of walking through uncharted territory for the first time (there’s actually still a lot of it). I’ve really enjoyed discussing the game with friends and colleagues – we’ve all run into unique situations, and talking about them has been like the elementary school days of bringing up “did you know you could do this?” In addition, many of the rare shared experiences are so distinct that people know exactly what you’re talking about (various islands and puzzles and enemies).

I can’t remember the last time that I didn’t want a game to end; with life being so busy I usually want to crank through something as quickly as possible and move onto the next game. It’s amazing that this game has been able to capture me this way, in perhaps the best 6 months of gaming I’ve ever experienced (PSVR, Resident Evil 7, Switch release, Mario Kart 8 coming out this Friday, I’ve ignored Nioh, Horizon Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, Rise of the Tomb Raider).

[I still regularly write a fair amount but it usually gets posted to our private family blog or sent out to my colleagues.]

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