Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

That shit's gonna break soon.
I should hate thig game soooooooo much.

First and foremost, I do not have a deep and abiding love of Zelda as a series. I have no nostalgia for it. I played half of Wind Waker before I got bored and have maybe dipped my toe into the series one or two other times along the way. I don't have a Triforce tattoo and I never will.

I don't like crafting. I don't like having an inventory full of fucking components I pick up by the dozens and then have to look online for recipe lists so I can make the shit I need to play the game when the game could just as easily put bullets on a table instead of lead, gunpowder, and copper on three separate tables and then making you go to a bench somewhere to make bullets.

On a related not, I don't like seeking out raw materials  from monster drops. I don't want to spend hours hunting for respawning dudes of a specific type in the hopes that I'll get the thing I need to mix with the other things to make a thing I need.

Not a fan of aimless wandering through an open world. I like direction. I like dots on maps. I like arrows. I like linear paths that, when they branch, you know one of the branches is gonna dead-end real soon as a treasure. I don't have a lot of time to spend playing games, so I can accomplish a lot more, more efficiently, if I'm not fucking around a field.

Breath Of The Wild is full of ALL THIS SHIT AND I LOVE IT AND I DON'T KNOW WHY. It just works. The game is open world, but it's full of things, so your path between any two points usually results in interesting, but optional, discoveries. The crafting, in the form of cooking, sin't one of those "100 recipes, 10,000 combinations, so most of the time if you experiment you'll just lose" types. You can cook anything and get something, so it rewards experimentation.

All the game mechanics are polished for maximum enjoyment and minimal hassle, with one exception, and it's the one part of the game I hate. Now, keep in mind, I'm only a few hours in, having cleared the opening secition and gotten to the first major town. But so far, the only thing I hate is the fragility of weapons. Your weapons will barely last one medium or two small size combats before breaking, making you switch them up. But you also can't carry that many weapons, so the "use it or lose it" calculations are a constant annoyance.

But then there are the shrines. Remember the original Tomb Raider reboot, and how the best part of the game was the optional tombs, a dozen or so short puzzle rooms that were full of cool ideas? Well, Zelda has shrines, and each shrine is a miniature challenge like that, and there are a ton of them. There's just so much to do and see, but none of it feels like work, or a burden. I don't know what makes it that way, but whatever they did, other developers need to take note, because there's a magic to it that I'd love to see in more games.

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