Australian T3 - - NINTENDO SWITCH -

Breath Of The Wild is the crown jewel in the Nin­tendo Switch’s launch line-up on 3 March 2017. Won­der­ing what all the ex­cite­ment is about? Here’s the quick­est of primers: the game strips Zelda back to its barest essen­tials, then builds a new kind of ad­ven­ture on top of those solid old bones. No more strict dun­geon-item or­der – now you can ex­plore the world as you wish, by run­ning, climb­ing, swim­ming and even hang-glid­ing. And no more Mas­ter Sword wor­ship – now you can wield any (roughly hu­man­sized) weapon you find in the game.

The story? Link awak­ens in a mys­te­ri­ous Sheikah res­ur­rec­tion cham­ber af­ter a 100-year nap (or death), grabs some musty clothes from some old chests, and heads out into the world to ex­plore. That’s the in­tro. Rather than di­rect play­ers to the next tem­ple, im­por­tant NPCs or sig­nif­i­cant items with a nag­ging fairy part­ner and a lin­ear path, those types of di­rec­tions are now more like gen­tle nudges. Right away, you can jump off that cliff to the right (not rec­om­mended), scale a far-off moun­tain, climb a tree to col­lect ap­ples, or rush a Bokoblin camp in search of trea­sure. Be­fore you talk to any­one, you al­ready have plenty to do.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to ex­plore the whole world on foot. At some point, a trusty horse whose name prob­a­bly rhymes with Sha­mona will come into the pic­ture, and you’ll even be able to find a hang glider. But if you choose to, you can skip all the dun­geons and items in the game and head right to the fi­nal boss of the game – if you can fig­ure out how to get to him. Pro­ducer Eiji Aon­uma said at E3 this year that you can beat the game with­out com­plet­ing the story. Now, that’s an open world.

ABOVE: The lat­est in the

Zelda se­ries re­leases the reins and en­ables you to ex­plore with free­dom

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