Over the last couple of years, I have discovered that I suffer from anxiety and depression. Now don’t worry, I am on medication and seeing a doctor to combat it all but sometimes it can get a little too much and I just want to escape this world for a while and think about something else. Enter The Legend Of Zelda Breath Of The Wild for Nintendo Switch.
This game came out just over 2 years ago now and I still remember it being released, how everyone was so excited to play it including myself. I am a huge fan of the Zelda series and have played nearly every main entry game that Nintendo have released. I find it’s complex story fascinating, the different art styles the artists use for each game are unique and awesome and the worlds we get to explore are breathtaking filled with secrets and lore to uncover. Back then though when Breath of the Wild released I couldn’t afford a Nintendo Switch so I had to wait but that didn’t take long. A couple of months later I finally got my hands on a Nintendo Switch with Breath of the Wild as my main game to play it on.
Before I tell you why this is my favourite game of all time, let me tell you a little bit about the game.
You awake from a long slumber in an ancient chamber by a voice you are unfamiliar with but as you the player may already know this is Zelda beckoning you. Your name is Link, a knight of Hyrule sworn to protect the princess at all costs, bearer of the Master sword which wields the power to seal away evil that corrupts the lands. As you wake up from your 100 year snooze, you are riddled with amnesia as Link doesn’t remember anything, you look around and notice something across the room, a glowing pedastal which is holding an item for you. You pick up a Sheikah slate which helps guide you across the world and gives you special abilities such as magnesis or stopping time on objects for a short period, it’s an invaluable tool and as you progress through the game, the more you come to understand what it is capable of. As you open the door to the outside world, you are asked the save Hyrule from the evil that plagues it from the mysterious voice (Princess Zelda), as you step outside you run towards the edge of the cliff to look over the massive open world that’s yours to explore. It sort of takes your breath away quite literally by how beautiful the view is!
This game is all about exploration, finding weapons, shields, food and more. As you run, jump, climb and glide your away across the vast lands of Hyrule, your objective becomes more and more clear, take down Calamity Ganon and save Princess Zelda in Hyrule castle where they reside. You go to seek out help from past friends such as Impa and Purah who aid you on your quest. Impa who resides in Kakariko village tells you what happened 100 years ago and asks you to free the four divine beasts from the clutches of Ganons servants who are scattered across Hyrule.
There is much to explore in this game that even over 250 hours in, I’m still uncovering new secrets and items that Link can use to become stronger towards the final battle against Calamity Ganon.
There is plenty to do in the game and so much to see, the map includes vast plains, snowy mountaintops, dense jungles, volcanic regions and sandy beaches all waiting to be explored by you! You can travel around with a trusty steed as well if need to get somewhere in a hurry. With so many side quests to complete, shrines to uncover, Korok seeds to find and gear to collect, you always feel like you are doing something relevant to help aid you in your adventure. The combat system is intuitive and unique, every weapon you acquire breaks when it is overused when fighting enemies or solving puzzles. The weaponry can range from mops and pot lids to swords, axes and bows. They can also have elemental bonuses such as fire and ice! It always feels fun and refreshing when you find a new awesome looking weapon and use it to beat down tough opponents.
You can technically beat this game without ever helping the Divine beasts too but that makes the end game boss much harder for those who seek a true challenge but I prefer the exploration and finding what Nintendo have hidden away in this game.
I have played Zelda games for a long time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, Skyward Sword, Ocarina of Time to name a few and they are all incredible experiences but Breath of the Wild holds a special place in my heart. I mentioned earlier that I suffer from anxiety and depression and have been dealing with it for a long time and continue to right now but the game helped me in a way I didn’t expect. I still remember starting Breath of the Wild for the first time and I don’t think I put it down for a good 6-8 hours, I was fully immersed into the game, I couldn’t pull my eyes away and I didn’t want to. I wanted to explore more and more, fight more enemies, find more shrines to increase my hearts and stamina, find new gear to take on tougher challenges. A few months passed and I was still playing it, but I realised that my depression had started to fade away, my anxiety felt calmer, I started to feel… happier. It makes me feel like coming back home from being away for so long.
Now I know it isn’t a good idea to ignore real life problems and I don’t but when it gets all too much I have to escape from my life and I choose to dive in to Breath of the Wild for a little while. It really helps me deal with stress and when I’m done playing I feel more relaxed and continue about my day. It’s my go to game when I feel exhausted from a long day and helps me unwind. I love listening to the gentle piano keys it plays as you run across the fields and climb tall mountains to find hidden Korok seeds or powerful weapons embedded into rocks. This is everything I wanted in a video game, a game where I can truly escape to and become a hero, save the princess and travel the lands long forgotten to time. The Zelda series has always made me feel like I’ve returned home when I spend time in their worlds.
I love the characters and all the lore in the Zelda games, they are rich with personality and all feel unique and different, I adore everything about them. They make the game feel more alive every time I play. I never expected a video game to help me overcome my mental health issues which is why the Zelda series is my most beloved franchise and Breath of the Wild being the number one game for me. I’ve had some dark times but being with my family, Isabel and my friends, I am overcoming my depression bit by bit with Zelda by my side wherever I go, I believe I can beat it. In some weird way, I see myself as Link, fighting to protect those I care about, getting lost in a corrupt world trying my best to fox everything. I like to feel like a hero sometimes.
I could keep going on about how much I love this game but I think I’ve chatted on long enough. I believe no game is a Masterpiece but this is damn close to what a perfected game is like. It’s a truly amazing experience that I can keeping reliving again and again and I eagerly await the next instalment in the Zelda series.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed my blog as I have been wanting to write about this for a long time, confidence is a tricky thing but I’m working on it.
Hope you all have a great day!