The Leg­end of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Australian T3 - - SELECT -

$89.95; Switch (tested), Wii U

The shrines, it turns out, are just the be­gin­ning. Ever since our first play of this sprawl­ing ad­ven­ture, we’ve been work­ing to the as­sump­tion that th­ese short, taut puz­zle dun­geons would be BreathOfTheWild’s fo­cal point. And that’s true, to an ex­tent.

Nin­tendo has stud­ded its largestever game world with over 100 shrines; they’re self-con­tained, sub­ter­ranean cham­bers that are a vi­tal com­po­nent of Nin­tendo’s first open-world game, serv­ing as tu­to­ri­als, pac­ing de­vices, fast-travel points, sign­posts, land­marks – and puz­zles. Yet they aren’t the only way

BreathOfTheWild taxes the grey mat­ter. There are puz­zles, by the dozen, above ground too.

That hoary old open-world cliché now needs to be up­dated. See those moun­tains on the hori­zon? You can go to them, yes, but for­get about sim­ply set­ting a map marker and fol­low­ing a pre­scribed GPS route. Head­ing to a moun­tain-top shrine you spot­ted from a kilo­me­tre or two away, you find your­self di­vided from your des­ti­na­tion by a large ravine. Do you cross it us­ing the bridge you can see on the hori­zon off to the west? Do you paraglide across and grab the cliff on the other side, gam­bling that your stamina wheel will last long enough to take you to the top? Could a cliff­side tree be chopped down and serve as a bridge? Or do you head east, where the land­scape might el­e­gantly curve round, along a moun­tain path straight to the sum­mit?

Which­ever route you choose, chances are you’ll get dragged far­ther off course along the way. There might be a ban­dit camp to clear out, a wild horse to break, an ir­re­sistible peak to scale, or a cu­ri­ous ar­range­ment of stones that you sim­ply can’t leave un­in­ves­ti­gated.

Per­haps you’ll hap­pen across a sta­ble and spend some time by the stove, cook­ing restora­tive meals and brew­ing stat-buff­ing elixirs, sell­ing un­wanted in­gre­di­ents to Bee­dle, the no­madic mer­chant who has a re­mark­able habit of al­ways know­ing ex­actly where you’re go­ing to pitch up. Then maybe you’ll stay the night in a comfy bed for the tem­po­rary health boost it gives you. The next morn­ing you’ll sad­dle up, head off and, with any luck, re­mem­ber what it is you came here for in the first place. This is a game where you al­ways have some­where to go, and some­times even make it there.

This world is an ab­so­lute, and un­remit­ting, plea­sure to get lost

RIGHT Paraglid­ing the way to get around, and it doubles as a spe­cial attack.

TOP Link spies a moun­tain, and can go there, but it’s likely he and you’ll be dis­tracted along the way. Not a bad thing, ac­tu­ally.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.