Wild bunch

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.

Far out

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”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.