Or perhaps the more apt title is “love is letting your husband have first dibs on playing your favorite video game.”
In either case, the newest Legend of Zelda installment (and the newest Nintendo game console) are the newest additions to our household, and so far, we are enjoying both. It’s not what I was expecting.
Normally, I’m excited about any Zelda game. (Okay, for full disclosure, I really jumped on the bandwagon with Ocarina of Time. I played a little of Link to the Past before that, but even as an adult, I really struggle with top-down games. And platformers. 3D Zelda is more my pace.) As more news came out about this one, though, two things really worried me.
1. Voice Acting
In most games, it feels just fine. However, Zelda has always been more like a living fairy tale to me. Characters only communicate verbally through sighs, grunts, giggles, or in rare cases, babbling. The rest is text. There’s something charming about it. The series wouldn’t be the same if everyone actually spoke. And, as an introvert, I’m not entirely sure I want that many characters verbally talking at me since I love to start conversations with everybody.
2. Completely New Format
Ever since the groundbreaking Ocarina of Time, the games have all been fairly linear and followed a similar format. Sometimes you have options and there are plenty of sidequests, but for the most part, the story tells you where to go and what to do next. Breath of the Wild promised to be very different, with a more open world, some decidedly different dynamics, and — most daunting of all — it’s hard. Just in case I didn’t have enough trouble with those awful water temples…
By release day, I felt skeptical. Had they ruined my favorite game series?
The verdict so far: no.
Actually, far from it. The voice acting is minimal — restricted so far to a few cutscene-like moments. Otherwise, it’s the normal mix of sounds and text.
And in spite of the open world, there still is a path to follow. Sure, you could go do just about anything you wanted to, but you’re not completely left on your own to survive and figure it out. There’s even a new menu with different quests and what you’re supposed to do… something I wished there was long ago.
As for the difficulty, it’s a far more forgiving game than any of the others. Since I could fall off a cliff because I’m not used to climbing everything or could wander into a camp of moblins I’m not prepared for, the game seems to be constantly saving in the background and will respawn me not far from where I died. Even when I died five or six times trying to cross a river, the autosave was only steps from where I kept messing up, making it easy to try again. And again. And again.
And a fun side note: So far, my husband and I have had two very different experiences so far. I’ve encountered things he hasn’t seen (like keeses) and tried things he didn’t do (like hunting). So even when I do watch him play for a little while, I don’t feel like I’m cheating myself for later, and he doesn’t get bored watching me follow because there’s something new to see.
So even though I’m only five hours in (and waiting patiently for my next turn on), I like it. In spite of my fears, I think they may just have created the newest revolution in the Zelda series. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the game holds.
Do you play The Legend of Zelda games? What do you think of Breath of the Wild so far?