GAME REVIEW: A Link Between Generations

Ahmad Heneine
Contributing Writer

One of the most well-acclaimed and most-anticipated games, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” made its way to Nintendo’s next generation console, the Nintendo switch, and its predecessor, the Nintendo Wii U, on Friday, March 3.

For the first time ever, a mainline Legend of Zelda game gets to have an expansion pass for an extra $20. Initially announced for release in 2015, the game’s hype has rapidly increased since then. With the years passing by, fans grew anxious about the future of the franchise. Now, with the game being in the hands of fans across the globe, we can finally discuss our experience with the game and how it compares to current generation games.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” is inspired from the original Legend of Zelda released in 1986, in which you can explore the world freely and enter different dungeons without a specific order. For the first time ever in the Zelda franchise, we are immersed in an open world with a diverse fauna and flora, spectacular terrains, beautiful villages and locations that are featured with a mellow and resonating soundtrack. The game comes to life with its “gouache and en plein air” art style, giving us an exceptionally detailed environment, which makes the visuals of the game a true delight.

In designing a Zelda game, developers look at how they can evolve the gameplay and not the graphics. As a matter of fact, this is what makes Zelda games and perhaps even all Nintendo games unique, and “The Legend of Zelda Breath of The Wild” is no stranger. The combination of a gorgeous-looking environment and immersive gameplay renders the game astonishing.

With all new combat mechanics, weapons, and animations, the gameplay feels fluid and exciting. Additionally, the combat is intense, and fun. Our hero and protagonist, Link, has a wide variety of combat moves and an arsenal of weapons, each with its own unique use.

Link also uses bombs to blast his way past enemies, the environment for tactical strategies, and can almost climb on everything. The newly-introduced RPG elements such as weapon durability, hunting, food gathering, wood cutting, cooking, and side quests help keep players busy.

When “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild” was first announced as an open world game, people started comparing it to behemoths like the legendary “Skyrim” and this generation’s jewel “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.” Both games deliver a true RPG experience with visually stunning graphics and scenery, especially in the case of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” which provided us with gorgeous and revolutionizing landscapes.

Both the aforementioned games are M-rated (18+) for the use of intense violence, blood and gore, in addition to sexual themes and alcohol, but the “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” targets gamers of all ages with its age-rating of 10+.

Setting aside the age rating and going into the gameplay, both “Skyrim” and “The Witcher” have a massive load of side quests, weapons, spells, armor, and many more RPG elements. They also feature intense combat scenes with violence and gore. Through the combination of magic, sword fighting, and arrow shooting the gamers slay their way past enemies and beasts.

“The Legend of Zelda,” on the other hand, is more fun to play. The game might not appeal to gamers who are into realistic graphics, violence, and gore as it has a joyful feel to its combat, in which there is running around, slashing swords, climbing on objects, and causing explosions.

With the success of “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild,” one of Nintendo’s greatest game titles, and what experts believe to be a “vital” element in Nintendo’s new console’s success, will the Nintendo Switch follow in the footsteps of success, or will the console fail miserably as the Nintendo Wii U did?

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