Videogames are in abundance these days, every detail marketed in order to sell more. Knowing what to expect before playing has become the norm, taking away the magic of what it was like when all you had were a few screenshots or a magazine article to pore over. After watching the initial trailer for Breath Of The Wild, I decided to avoid any new information surrounding the game until reading E304’ s review and the brilliant story behind the game’s creation. After reading through both pieces – enamoured by the subscriber cover art, which seemed to take reference from Monet’s Water Lilies series – I knew I was in for something special.
Like an oil painting come to life, the initial outlook onto the horizon is awe-inspiring. Having Hyrule at my feet, with an unrestricted sense of freedom and total lack of handholding, was intimidating yet exciting. The term ‘open world’ is frivolously thrown about within the industry, and is often quickly countered by the introduction of invisible walls and unscalable terrain; removing the authenticity of a living, breathing world and replacing it with a playground full of scripted events, seeming somewhat predictable. With Breath Of The Wild I’ve found quite the opposite: I’m constantly surprised by each new venture. Finding treasures and secrets not marked on the map prolongs the mystery and evokes childlike curiosity upon discovery, allowing people to experience the game in their own unique way.
Unexpected occurrences arise: bumping into Cambo on a hilltop vista, eyeballing the packs on his donkey, before watching the sunset on my way to Kakariko Village – stumbling across hidden treasures along the way. It captures that sense of adventure that is lost in many games today. Discovering hidden alcoves and sea-floor caves, sweeping fields and forests – densely populated with such an array of wildlife, monsters, forageable foods and more. The game offers the player unprecedented exploration with a surprise around every corner. I found myself sat crossed legged, Joy-Cons in hand, staring in awe at the TV. The game makes me feel like a child again, capturing that childlike sense of adventure, something it seems only Nintendo has the tendency to do. It’s not often games like this come along, that make the whole industry stop in its tracks for a while.
Like Monet’s great work, this game is nothing short of a masterpiece. Thomas Wood Lovely stuff. A free year of Playstation Plus probably isn’t much use to you right now, but do get in touch with us when you’re ready to leave Hyrule.
So it’s the start of March, and I’m sitting reading the April edition of Edge, which went to press in February. And far from being some bizarre temporal paradox, this is a pattern repeated nearly every month. It’s not a massive thing, but it’s curious that, when we’ve had instant gaming news available to us 24/7 online for at least the last 15 years, magazines still feel the need to engage in this charade that their information is not only right up to date, but is being sent to us from several weeks into the future.
And before I sound too pedantic, it’s more than just putting the wrong month on the front cover. There’s a baffling veil of mystery over when you and other magazines go to press, with no mention of a date anywhere lest the whole act be spoiled. With gradually unfolding and changing news stories, it can actually be pretty helpful to know when articles were submitted, and it wouldn’t stop people from reading them – clearly, we’re doing so because we value your opinion on
“It’s not often games like this come along, that make the whole industry stop in their tracks”