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Zelda: Breath of the Wild

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#1 uiruki

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 12:53 AM

I put in the Wii U tag, but if my friend's preorder is anything to go by it's definitely hard to get hold of.

 

As I alluded to in my Horizon writeup, these two games are extremely different. In fact I'm not sure how much more they could differ while still falling into the wide 'third person open world game' category, short of becoming The Crew or something. Horizon emphasises ranged combat with wide selections of craftable arrows and traps while Zelda has you using a wide array of breakable melee weapons. Horizon has experience points and skill trees, Zelda has heart containers and stamina refills only gained by completing side areas. Horizon keeps you pointed in one area while Zelda seems to allow you to walk up to the final boss after clearing the tutorial area (in theory!). Horizon is a showpiece for the most powerful console out there while you can take Zelda outdoors and play it anywhere.

 

My experience of the first few hours of this is of constant surprises. I don't want to spoil any of them but it has been constantly getting reactions from me. While Horizon reminds me of a low-tech (in terms of weaponry) Far Cry this feels like a fantasy Half Life 2 at times. The world is part of the game system; the map has clearly been designed in conjunction with this. Your weapons may break constantly but you are given a few permanent items for use throughout the game and so far the game's optional shrines have been great for testing my knowledge of them. Using physics to solve puzzles ingame can be a bit of a risk, but so far Zelda has applied its rules consistently and with a sense of verisimilitude (not necessarily realism!) so that it really feels like the game is leading you towards solutions while still retaining the sense of being able to play your own way.

 

I really feel like I've only just scratched the surface of the game so I won't write much more, but so far this feels like the kind of game that people will spend a lot of time talking about. The way it mixes in high difficulty stuff that I feel like it is technically possible (but improbable) to do has been a good example of this. At one point I was taken by surprise by the console's vibration!



#2 shadowman

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 02:33 AM

I'm loving it from what little I played (on the Switch) so far. The combat is what has been my biggest surprise, its nothing that hasn't been done before really, just not in Zelda to my knowledge:

 

Lite stealth - sneak up on enemies and use the bow or a super finishing move to take enemies out quietly to thin the herds. And since enemies aren't pushovers in groups its well worth doing so!

Flurry/Counter attacks -  dodging at the right time lets you follow up with an epic looking counter attack. Great to deal lots of damage quickly and just satisfying to watch.

Approach battles in different ways - this bit is sorta like Far Cry (4) in the way it lets me mix stealth, animals, gadgets/power ups and good ol' fashioned sword play to fight enemies - throw a remote bomb into a crowd, use stealth to take a couple of enemies out, how about shooting that bee hive? Its nice that the game lets you approach this in different ways as it makes combat encounters way more fun than in previous games.

 

Also, the breakable weapons all have different attack strings, and wooden weapons can be set on fire (which in turn can be used to your advantage). Its surprisingly deep and well done. All this while you are given a huge world to explore with tons of stuff dotted around the map to investigate. But it doesn't feel like other open world games where you do the same thing over and over (like Far Cry 4).

 

Not sure if I like the stamina bar though, feels restrictive for no reason, unlike say in Dark Souls where it forced clever and calculated combat, here its just a obstacle to running for prolonged periods of time and climbing high areas.



#3 uiruki

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 09:07 AM

I think on the stamina bar it's meant to restrict how far you can swim, glide and climb in one go to stop you from killing yourself too quickly. Also running away from

Spoiler
is more difficult so it might be to try and make the player a bit more cautious about tougher encounters?

 

Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to mention - I like the music in this. I'm sure you've seen me complain about the state of the arrangement in a lot of Nintendo games so to see a bit of self-control in this respect makes the whole thing sound a lot better.

 

edit: I also appreciate the inclusion of the Japanese language text in the UK version - I've actually noticed it on quite a few games on the Eshop and it's fantastic. If the space is available there's no reason not to do it so I'm very happy that they have - at least for now.


Edited by uiruki, 04 March 2017 - 09:12 AM.


#4 shadowman

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:02 PM

I ran into one of those

Spoiler

 

I assume more awesome bosses are roaming the world? If so it only reminds me of Dark Souls more - in that I'm going to have to fight them all as I love stuff like this. 

 

Also, one thing worth noting that many people seem to be pissed off about - and that's the frame rate. It does drop a couple of times in the forest area (near a moblin camp for me) but its hardly game breaking. And from what I understand once I make it outside the starting area things improve further anyway. Can't see it really bothering me, just seems like people are over reacting yet again to be honest.


Edited by shadowman, 04 March 2017 - 04:02 PM.


#5 uiruki

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 04:08 PM

It definitely drops quite often when playing docked, but I was playing portable for a few hours yesterday and it didn't seem to. Strange that it would be that way around - I'd have expected there to be compromises in performance on the undocked version.



#6 shadowman

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:35 PM

Yeah, the performance is odd. But I've just cleared the starting area and only noticed issues at one small point in the game so far so I'm satisfied. Its nice that the game runs solidly on the handheld mode, but really it feels like it should be played on a big TV (especially the big dungeons and story missions). 

 

Anyway, got all the starting power ups and am ready to head out into the wider game world. Had some more really entertaining battles against moblins (I really appreciate the fact they added stealth into this game, its simple but its effective) plus I've just realised you have a shield parry attack as well as the dodge flurry attack. Seemed simple to do, very useful as well.



#7 E. Randy Dupre

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Posted 04 March 2017 - 07:40 PM

Would the performance drops be because the hardware's having to process the transfer of the image to the TV? the TV-out displays at a higher res than the unit itself too, doesn't it?

 

I've had to resort to eBay to get hold of a copy for the Wii U. I'm not sure that there are shenanigans going on, but it at least feels like Nintendo have limited Wii U stock in order to try to push people into buying the new machine.



#8 Adrock

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 06:22 PM

The game is brilliant. I've played around 4 or 5 hours so far and the game is an excellent mix of dark souls and assassin's creed or something.

Best 3D Zelda I've played.

#9 shadowman

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 07:42 PM

Would the performance drops be because the hardware's having to process the transfer of the image to the TV? the TV-out displays at a higher res than the unit itself too, doesn't it?

 

I've had to resort to eBay to get hold of a copy for the Wii U. I'm not sure that there are shenanigans going on, but it at least feels like Nintendo have limited Wii U stock in order to try to push people into buying the new machine.

 

I think its just the bump in resolution that is causing problems, since the game runs in 900p in docked and 720p in undocked it might be the causes. But I've now left the first area and I've seen no performance issues what so ever, I don't really see it as being a problem unless your super sensitive to any slight frame rate drops.

 

Anyway, been exploring the larger areas in Hyrule and its been great. There is stuff all around you to do, I was planning on heading straight to the next mission objective but after seeing how far away it is, I'll tackle another couple of shrines first. Definitely liking the way the open world is handheld so far, in that it doesn't feel samey, but rather unique and well designed. Even small moblin encounters usually have  certain things like boulders, explosives or look out points that you can use to your advantage.

 

That and I'm still very impressed by some of the day/night & weather graphical effects in the game. Despite some texturing not being as slick as say... Horizon its still got a great graphical look to the game so it looks really nice in my eyes. Definitely the most fun I've gotten out of a Zelda game in quite a while.



#10 uiruki

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Posted 06 March 2017 - 09:14 PM

Still playing this. Still fantastic. Very much the kind of game where you want to just talk about it but hold back for fear of spoiling people.

#11 shadowman

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Posted 08 March 2017 - 11:39 PM

Yeah, I played a bit more today and had problems reaching the first town as I kept walking off doing different things. Though now I've managed to improve Links gear which is ace. I stumbled upon a second optional boss

Spoiler
.

 

Plus the challenge shrines continue to be nice and unique, no two feel the same. Its always a joy when I reach one.

 

Only thing I don't like is the horse controls. Feels rubbish and hilariously unresponsive so I just go around on foot 90% of the time. Doesn't really feel slow since I'm always climbing and exploring anyway. Plus gliding is great fun and often helps me cover ground quickly.



#12 uiruki

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 11:34 PM

At the point where I'm being told I can finish the game. Really don't want to yet.



#13 davejm

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 09:09 AM

I really want to play this.  My Son has a Wii U; but the price of the game is really high.



#14 uiruki

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 11:21 AM

Yeah, I think the Wii U version might have been a situation like Twilight Princess on Gamecube - small print run meaning high prices if you don't get it immediately. There were issues with people not getting their copies day 1 either. That's what led to a friend of mine actually buying a Switch so he could play it!







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