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The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild - Epic Epic Preview

That's it, there it is! After years of expectations, hopes, dreams, theories, it has finally arrived! It is finally in my hands! The very latest Zelda game! Nyyyyaaaaah Okay, the crowd of groupies in my head, calm down and let's get serious. The Legend Of Zelda : Breath Of The Wild is the latest installment in the marvelous, gigantic and magnificent Zelda saga, it was released on March 3 for Wii U as well as Switch and is published and developed by Nintendo.



 

The history

As always, I won't say too much so as not to spoil it. The game puts us in the shoes of Link who wakes up froma long sleep of 100 years, without his memories, in the completely ravaged realm of Hyrule and at the mercy of the hordes of monsters and demons in Ganon's pay. Link will therefore not only have to rediscover his memories of yesteryear, understand what happened 100 years ago, but also fight and defeat Ganon.

The scenario is certainly classic, but we once again discover the kingdom of Hyrule in a new light, with its ups and downs, its history, etc. In addition, during the adventure and during the explorations, we discover many secrets that help us understand this world, towards when and in what historical framework it takes place, etc.

A hero never gives up!

The game being a Open world and moreover, the player being completely free to go where he wants and do what he wants almost from the start of the game, each game will be unique and the path will vary from player to player. It is quite possible to kill the end boss early on without having discovered a single storyline. Some speedrunners have also taken the words of Eiji Aonuma, one of the game's creators, saying that players will be able to face the final boss from the start of the game, and it was not lacking. The first speedruns arrive and the players are off to face the end boss and defeat him in an hour and, without using any glitch or cheating. The promise is therefore kept!



Of course, this sort of thing is not the main point of the game. The story is discovered by exploring the world, completing certain quests, defeating certain enemies, and so on. But you can very well spend 20 hours playing between each advance of the scenario. Absolutely nothing will hinder you in progressing and exploring.

Yes, your majesty !

For those who ask themselves the question: "in what chronology and where is it placed in the frieze?" It is not clearly stated in the story. However, we have a lot of little information, whether during the main quest or outside, which gives us details to try to find in which chronology this opus is placed, but also where it can possibly take place. I will probably do a separate article detailing all this, so as not to spoil the preview!

 

The game

The game itself is a huge change from previous games in the series. Completely free progression requires, you can complete the dungeons of the story in the order you want, or even do none and go straight to the final dungeon and fight the end boss. This Zelda breaks the "codes" of the series in the way he equips himself, evolves and obtains new items and equipment. Indeed, the diagram "Dungeon> discovery of equipment specific to the dungeon> massive use of the latter in said dungeon> boss defeated with this equipment> Equipment which becomes occasional, or even useless thereafter" is over. Dungeons no longer offer weapons, items or accessories specific to them. Everything is collectable anywhere in the game. For example, instead of getting the bow in a dungeon, you can get one by killing a lambda enemy while walking around Hyrule, or in a chest, or even in a house.



The dungeons linked to the main frame are in number five. Four optional dungeons and the final dungeon, which can also be optional. Indeed, you do not have to explore the dungeons in their entirety to succeed. You can very well only explore a few obligatory places to advance and completely ignore the rest of the dungeon (which would be a shame, because you can collect great rewards there). The final dungeon can even be skipped completely and you can just follow the road to the boss room.

Just following the road will be quick. Exploring the totality will take a long time.

Dungeons also have a new mechanic: configuration change. Indeed, it will be possible to change the internal dungeon configuration, opening or blocking passages, playing with physics to move elements of the decor, activate mechanisms, etc.

And me during that time, I was turning the crank ... There are, of course, enemies! The proboscis can be moved.


Riddles present ... … Which use the mechanics of the game. The bosses are awesome!




Five main dungeons, it might sound weak, but that was not counting the dungeons in the open world and not related to the main storyline: the sanctuaries. Au total name of 120, Shrines are mini-dungeons that take between 10 and 20 minutes on average to complete. There are two types of shrines, combat shrines which represent the minority and puzzle shrines which are the most numerous.

Battle shrines will require you to face a more or less powerful enemy (easy - moderate - extreme). The puzzle sanctuaries will each offer one or more different puzzles, often in the form of a puzzle. The puzzles proposed are all different and will be based on one or more game mechanics. Whether it is the physics of objects, the effects of the elements (hot, cold, etc.) on magnetism, electricity, wind, etc. Some are really difficult to achieve because the slightest mistake makes you miss the solution, I am thinking in particular of those who will ask to play on physics. Fortunately, it is possible to start over again and again, most often by activating a small mechanism that resets positions or makes an object reappear, like cubes in Portal.

Shall we play ball? Do you think a waterfall will block me? Amateur! Ice and fire don't mix!


It turns… You thought you blocked me, damn gate! Who left the fans on ?!


Some shrines will require you to solve riddles, puzzles, or an achievement not inside, but directly in the Open World. They are sometimes extremely well hidden, which can only be reached, for example, by a tiny crevasse located in the middle of a snow-capped mountain.

It's all dark, I'm afraid! Like a bird…


Apart from the shrines, there are the Korogu nut. To the staggering number of 900 (!), they are scattered all over the game map. Some are very easy and quick to collect, for example by completing a simple geometric figure by moving stones and other rocks while others will test your skills in aerobatics, climbing, archery and many other things. These Korogu nuts will, in addition, expand the character's inventory ! Respectively the inventory of weapons, bows and shields. The other inventory spaces, such as food, cooked meals, various objects, are in unlimited space.


The game does not hold hands at all. Forget about the recipe log, NPCs that sell absolutely all food / items / equipment, etc. in unlimited quantities. You will have to explore each part of the game to discover and learn everything. Sometimes an old abandoned cabin with a book inside will teach you a recipe, but don't expect it to appear in a menu tab. Sometimes hints will also be given by listening to conversations, talking to NPCs, observing the scenery, etc. Do you disembark in an area and suffer an adverse effect such as your linen outfit which starts to burn due to the extreme temperature? Nothing will explain or tell you what to do or how. We will therefore have to find a way to pass on our own. It can be by chatting with NPCs (sometimes even very far from said area), buying an item from a merchant, completing a side quest that has nothing to do with the area, or even simply looking at a sign. display in an inn that shows the daily specials, a panel that must be looked at manually and not by pressing a button to "read" the table!

Oh ! But what can this book say?

In addition, except for the main quest, the side quests will not display indications on the map other than the location of the NPC who gave you the quest. When taking a quest, the NPC will tell you something like "At the top of the lonely tree, the white bird spreads its wings." Within its belly, the treasure waits in its den ”and with that, manage to understand what it is, to know what it is about exactly and above all, where to go! The puzzles are pretty much all laid out in charade form, told in legend, song, etc., and it's up to you to figure out what that means.

 

The gameplay

As written just before, the strength of this opus is its open world. It is not only huge, but it is possible to explore every square inch of the world, without any restriction or blockage. Forget about invisible walls, mountains that make you slide to prevent going to the top or going behind, etc. In addition, to give you an idea of ​​the grandeur, on foot it takes about 35 minutes in a straight line, without a break or a fight, to go from North to South and about 1 hour 15 minutes to go from East to West in the same conditions. Fortunately, over the course of the discoveries, it will be possible to teleport.

What a beautiful volcano. A beautiful sunset, it's romantic. The water looks good there!


Do you see the volcano in the first image? Well, you can go there with no worries. You see the mountain soooo far to the right of the sun in the second picture? You can go there too. The tiny island in the middle of the water, in the distance after the mountain in the third picture? Same thing. And all without the slightest loading screen or separation whatsoever! Even when you enter a house, a city ... Used to open worlds, I can tell you that this Zelda, like Ocarina Of Time in its day, brings a whole new standard to this type of game. There is absolutely no blockage. You can climb the mountain very well, hover there from the top of a higher mountain, go through the river on a raft. It is also confusing, because we are let loose in this huge world from the start of the game. There is no indication, you wake up, grab some pants and a t-shirt and get by!

 

The world itself is also very various. Plains, mountains, forests, jungles, desert, swamps, icy mountains, lava lake ... everything is present.

I will never complain about the heat in the summer again ... Oops, they saw me! Don't panic my little hobbyist ...


A beautiful, restful spring. A pretty river, flowers and a beautiful sun. What more. It's hot in the desert ...


And of course, all these places will bring an important mechanic of the game: the elements and the weather

Indeed, in Breath Of The Wild, the elements (fire, ice, water, etc.) and weather effects (rain, lightning, heat, cold, etc.) play an extremely important role. Are you walking in the middle of a plain with metal armor and a metal pole weapon (and therefore conductive) while there is a thunderstorm? Expect to attract lightning and finish cooked to perfection! Are you going for a walk at the top of a snow-capped mountain in your underwear? Very bad idea, unless you want to become an ice cube. A little walk in the desert during the day? You are going to die of heat. The same night walk? You are going to die of cold ... You throw a stone at the side of a snow-capped mountain? As it rolls down the flank, carrying snow with it, and will become a big snowball by the end. Even food is affected by the elements. Throw an apple next to a fire and it will eventually turn into a roasted apple. Throw some meat in snow and it will eventually become frozen meat, etc.

The vice has been pushed into gameplay mechanics and even during battles. When it rains heavily, you will have great difficulty climbing a wall because you will slide due to the rain. Want to shoot a flaming arrow at an enemy in the pouring rain? The latter will go out and become a standard arrow. It is also impossible to detonate powder! It's raining, you wade through a puddle and you draw a magic sword with the power of electricity? Very bad idea. Of course, all of this affects enemies as well.

Zeus is not happy ... … And he learns to aim! You shouldn't block my way!


It also allows you to play it. If you are, for example, surrounded by brambles, you can easily set on fire, however, beware of the wind! It may spread the fire much further than expected and turn your small campfire into a real forest fire! An enemy has a wooden shield? A small arrow of fire or a shot from a flaming weapon and it will burn, while also burning the enemy if it does not separate from it quickly enough. But be careful, by throwing the shield, it risks setting the surroundings on fire! Do you fight during a thunderstorm? Disarm your enemy and throw him a metal weapon, the latter will recover it at the risk of being struck by lightning. Does he plan to spit fire on you? Put away your wooden shield or you're screwed! There are also other gameplay elements, such as "Assassinations" if you manage to approach an enemy without being detected, furtivité, etc.

You don't scare me with your fiery breath! I am a shadow, I am invisible, I am a ninja ... You don't know it yet, but you're already dead.


However be careful, enemies are not all stupid! Some are even very intelligent. Throw a bomb at one of them and he'll throw it back in your face with a kick or shield. Big enemies won't hesitate to uproot a tree to use it as a sledgehammer and attack you from afar, or even grab a smaller enemy and throw it at you. Some will not hesitate to kill another enemy to recover his weapon, or even use part of his body, head or arm (in the case of a skeleton) to use it as a weapon!

Oops it's not my fault !

And it does not stop there ! For example, if you are near a very strong heat source (eg lava) and you have wooden weapons, they can catch fire. You are walking in the snow with a torch or a firearm, you will be much less cold and you can even melt the ice.

Lightning is likely to hurt! Wood + strong heat = bad idea!


We can clearly say, in all sincerity, that the Open World of this Zelda (and its engine) is the one that offers the most interactions and possibilities of all the Open Worlds today. Every tree, every blade of grass, every body of water, etc. everything is usable, manipulable, transformable, etc. You can set the entire Hyrule Plain on fire if you feel like it, you can create ice blocks on any water surface in the game, you can melt snow and ice on top of a mountain you can completely raze a forest, you can climb absolutely any mountain, swim in any body of water, fly anywhere, even from the highest peak. There is no invisible wall at any time or place. You can even jump right into the volcano if you like. Of course, you will die if you do, but there's nothing stopping you from doing it. ?

Apart from that, there is a multitude of things and small details in this huge world. Are you on a bridge and stepping onto the ledge as a guard passes by? He will beg you not to jump and try to convince you that life is worth living! Yes, yes, it's true ! ? NPCs as well as enemies will react and live differently depending on whether it is day or night, but also depending on the time of day and night. Sometimes they'll be wandering around all day, sometimes they'll just go sit on the bench, sometimes chat with another NPC, etc. If it rains, the NPCs run to take shelter and some moan, others will moan when the weather is nice (well yes, there are people who like the rain too!).

The world is also your ally. You can play loggers there, in order to cut down a tree and use it as a bridge to cross over a fault, for example. Or melt ice to clear a passage or take shelter in a small cave. You can even spy on conversations between NPCs.

Man facing nature ... Two blows of the ax are enough.


… So who is the boss? I'll know all their nasty secrets!


In short you will understand, the world ofHyrule is teeming with details, possibilities, life, and more. Even after sixty hours of playing, I am discovering new things.

During the adventure, we have many possibilities and we will meet many people. One of the most important possibilities is the capture and horse training to make him his faithful steed. These have unique strengths and weaknesses. Of course, as soon as you capture one, it will not become your friend immediately, it will have to be trained. Each time he rebels, he will have to be corrected and if he does the right thing, give him a little caress so that he understands that it is good!

Horses aren't the only mounts available, you can also grab a deer, or even a bear! Unfortunately, only horses can be trained and kept.

My current faithful steed! Feel the soul of Ashitaka ... My very first hobby ...


Let's also talk quickly fights. As you may have guessed from reading the previous paragraphs, the game has become much more technical and tactical! I also found him a very strong resemblance to Dark Souls in the way of fighting. Forget about games where fighting comes down to simply having a powerful weapon coupled with some nagging to ensure you win. Here, it will be necessary to have a attention at all times, because the slightest mistake can be fatal, even against a lambda enemy. Not only the enemies can hurt a lot, but the scenery as well. An enemy can give you a kick or a shield blow to push you into the void, or even send you flying several tens of meters or against a wall / tree / rock, which will cause you very big damage. . Dodges, parries, counters, etc. will be the basis of the fights. Think about the right time to attack, wait for an opening, etc. Especially that the equipment has durability, so you don't have to type anytime or anyhow. Club an enemy's shield and your sword will eventually break very quickly. Strike when the enemy has lost their shield or no longer protects to hurt them very much and do very little damage to your weapon.

 

Graphics, soundtrack and optimization

Let's start with graphics. The game, without being ugly, is not in the "standards" of the current triple A. The game is also initially developed on Wii U and was only to be released on the latter, a console of the same generation as the PS3 / Xbox 360. However, on the side of the artistic direction, the game is simply sublime. Places, characters, enemies, settings, etc. Moreover, at many times I have had the impression of walking in one of the famous and world-famous, imaginary worlds of the productions of Hayao Miyazaki, of the style "Spirited Away", "Princess Mononoke", "The Howl's Moving Castle", "The Castle in the Sky" and so on.

Beauty embodied I feel very small ... I feel very small ... bis


I feel very small… bis bis. A horseback ride in the light of the setting sun ... Feel the soul of Ashitaka ...


On the side of optimization, I have the game only on switch and I haven't encountered any big problems. Granted, there are sometimes (very rarely) drops in framerate, but it never bothered me or stopped me from playing. Also, in about sixty hours of play, I must have only had about ten and they only happened in dock mode. Nintendo itself said that the game was absolutely not planned on Switch (another Zelda only on Switch being already in preparation) and therefore, does not fully use the capabilities of the console and is only 'a simple porting decided and carried out only a few months ago, which could explain the small current optimization concerns.

With regard to the soundtrack, it is not only well managed, but also pleasant to listen to and beautiful. During the exploration phases, there is no music that turns in a loop and that's good, because after an hour of hearing the same music, it would very quickly become extremely painful. Instead, we regularly have small notes of music and sheet music lasting a few seconds which add to the atmosphere of the place where we are. Of course, in dungeons, shrines, during battles, in town, etc. there is music that fits the situation perfectly.

About the dubbing, the game is (unfortunately) not entirely dubbed, it concerns only the main frame. The acting is excellent and, above all, the voices fit the characters perfectly. We find a mature voice for a certain old man, a feminine and soft voice for the very young princess, or the voice of a “Robert, 40-year-old trucker” for the mass of nagging muscle. ? Seriously, we find professional and very famous voice actors such as Adeline Chetail in the role of Princess Zelda, Gérard Dessalles in the role of the old man, Sulvain Lemarié in the role of the mojo tree, Jérémie Covillaul, Bruno Méyère, Caroline Mozzone, Hervé Grull, Benoît DuPac, Donald Reignoux or Brigitte Aubry in other important roles. They are found in large licenses such as Final Fantasy XV, Witcher 3, Resident Evil, Horizon Zero Dawn, Assassin's Creed, Diablo, Skyrim, Borderlands, etc. In short, very great professionals who, together, have dubbed several thousand roles in thousands of films, video games, cartoons, etc. !

 

Conclusion

There is so much to say about this game ... But if I didn't hold back I would write a 50 page outline! The game is a real success for me, both as a Zelda, but also as a game in its own right and it deserves all the praise from all the press around the world! It's a safe bet that it lays the foundations for what a true Open World should be and what future games of this type should be like, as Ocarina Of Time was in its time, which laid the foundations. the foundations of 3D adventure games and the premises of the Open Worlds, which are still used in all games today. This Zelda is inspired by many existing Open Worlds, extracting the best and sublimating it, while adding its own codes. And we get a scripted Open World, alive and with thousands of possibilities and interactions as we have all dreamed of for years!

I currently have about sixty hours of play on it and I am very far from having finished it. I have currently only completed 21,05% of the content (percentage that appears after defeating the end boss). Which at least promises 200 hours of play even more for those who, like me, love finish the games 100%.

  • Simply fabulous Open World.
  • Huge possibilities and interactions.
  • Tactical and technical combat.
  • Huge lifespan.
  • Some slowdowns sometimes, even if they are rare and not too annoying.
  • A scenario that can seem disjointed and empty if we do not discover it in its entirety.


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