The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | The poetry of Nintendo comes to life
Type of game
Games are a trigger for adults to again become primitive, primal, as a way of thinking and remembering. An adult is a child who has more ethics and morals, that’s all. When I am a child, creating, I am not creating a game. I am in the game. The game is not for children, it is for me. It is for an adult who still has a character of a child.Shigeru Miyamoto, Next Generation Magazine, February 1995
These lines, which are now more than twenty years old, come from Shigeru Miyamoto, the mastermind behind the titles that have made the history of Nintendo and of the entire gaming industry. It is also the philosophy that guides Kyoto’s production company since the beginning, that now take life like never before. This is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Breath of a new life
With very high ratings both on the critical and public side, this title has long been considered if not one of the best videogames ever made, surely one of the top Nintendo titles.
Furthermore, this is the last title of the revolutionary video game series The Legend of Zelda, and also the first title of this franchise to reveal itself to the public in a completely new gameplay formula. However, the narrative of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is very simple. It follows the journey of Link, the protagonist, as he awakens from a century-long sleep and sets out to defeat the evil Calamity Ganon, who has conquered the land of Hyrule.
From the beginning of the game, it is clear that Link’s journey is not going to be an easy one. He begins his path as a blank slate, with no memory of his past or knowledge of the world around him. As he progresses through the game, he learns new skills, acquires new tools, and faces increasingly difficult challenges. This growth is reflected in the player’s experience, as he becomes more skilled at navigating the game world and tackling its obstacles.
Breath of discovery
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an adventure where the suspension of disbelief returns to that of a child, where even a simple courtyard can be a planet to explore. This game encloses all the Nintendo poetics. The open-world environment is totally open to the complete exploration of the player.
In the space between the first minutes of the game, in which there is a minimal tutorial part, until the player has completely dominated the entire open world, is hidden the true essence of this video game: pure adventure.
It is precisely when the player is not yet familiar with the dynamics and mechanics of the game that this title gives the best of itself. The authors force the player to cope with himself to survive, admire each new mechanical discovery and contemplate the wonderful landscapes treated in every detail.
Breath of new wonders
Exploration is the true core of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a game that values player agency, discovery, and creativity. The player is free to explore the vast open world of Hyrule at his own pace. The level design fosters a sense of discovery and wonder, and encourages experimentation and creativity. It also allows players to engage with its rich narrative and lore more meaningfully.
Moreover, the open-ended nature of the game’s world nudges players to experiment with different approaches to problem-solving. They have to be creative in their use of the game’s mechanics and systems. This can lead to unexpected solutions to challenges, and can make the experience of playing the game feel more personal and rewarding.
In addition, the game is purely immersive. The care with which every corner, every single crevice can hide who knows what secret or who knows what narrative mystery means that nothing is left to chance. Everything is intentional: the authorship constantly accompanies the player in search of wonder.
Finally, the care and dedication that Nintendo has devoted to this title have set a new standard for video games. The sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, will come in May 2023. In a few more months we will discover in what new form the poetics of Nintendo will come to life.