Photo Walks in a Virtual World Pt. 4 – Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild

The Nintendo Switch.

Since I watched the first teaser advert that Nintendo released I was excited at the prospect of what this console could do. I followed the hype, watched the release and read the reviews with anticipation of one-day purchasing one for myself.

Friends purchased and recommended them. Reviewers reviewed, and they were glowing, updates came from Nintendo which fixed some of the minor issues these products have at launch. I held out.

Then, about a year ago, around a year after the initial release, I noticed a few sales. The console price came down and with the help of a left-over Christmas gift card I splashed out.

The Switch in dock.

The Switch was everything I hoped it would be and more. The novelty of being able to play these games handheld, place the console in the dock and carry-on playing on TV and vice-versa has still not worn off.

The versatility of hand-held and docked play has given me more opportunities to game on it than would be the case with traditional consoles. Gaming on the train to work, for example, was a revelation. Albeit it has seriously dented progress on a number of books I’ve been trying to read.

Breath of the Wild

The first game I purchased when I picked up my Switch was none-other than the incredible Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (BOTW). I loved Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64, it had been an obsession for many months of my life, friends and I would discuss it endlessly, I woke up early to get in half an hour or so before school. This game had a lot to live up to.

The first taste of Hyrule as the game begins is a beautiful introduction.

Oh boy, did it.

From the moment you awake in-game and walk out into Hyrule, the game is a visual treat. The choice to stylise the game the way they did really paid off when paired with the beautiful lighting and stunning scenery.

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It’s two years since BOTW was originally released and there have been a lot of articles resurfacing or being written recently that talk about how great the game was on release, how great it still is and how great it is to play all over again. I’m certainly going to be playing again, the only choice to make is; do I delete my old save and really go from scratch or do I create a second profile on the Switch and keep the option of going back to my 100+ hours of item collecting and shrine completing. Something to think on.

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Something I adore about the game is the freedom the player is permitted to play how they want, take the route they want and generally explore the world entirely how they want to. This game provided me with an experience that was exciting and frantic at times, but also remarkably serene. I could take time to soak up the scenery or go shield surfing down a grassy hill without feeling the game was bugging me to get to the next objective.

When you do explore; wandering Hyrule’s mountains, deserts, and grassy plains you feel the gentle pull to keep seeking more. It feels like there’s always something else. What’s over the next ridge, hill, building or mountain? Well climb it and find out. It’s probably another impressive vista or a shrine containing a fun challenge. You’ll leap, activate the paraglider and gently drift towards your intended landing spot while taking a moment to enjoy the amazing landscape around you.

I can’t wait to start my adventure with BOTW all over again.

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