Imagine you’re an iconic hero woken from a century-long slumber. You’ve served your kingdom well; saved its princess and people from incomprehensible dangers. Your life is constantly in peril staving off the horrors that would otherwise plague your home. You do this with little thanks and few rewards, but this is your life. You are Link, savior of Hyrule!
You are now tasked, yet again, to save all of Hyrule from the evil grasp of Calamity Ganon and his infected machines that plague the kingdom. Only you have the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to live up to legend and restore Hyrule to its former glory and, of course, save Princess Zelda.
But the world is different now, more than ever.
The wilds are vast and overgrown, swallowing once brilliant and bustling cities. New towns, dozens and dozens of shrines, and a whole lot of open land are now yours to explore as you seek powerful new weapons and learn incredible skills to aid you on your quest.
Surviving in the wild is more dangerous than you remember, so dangerous that you must sacrifice precious time saving the world in order to hunt for your next meal and cook it on an open flame. Seriously, you’ve never enjoyed cooking so much. There’s so many recipes and so many things to kill and eat that more time is spent uncovering recipes than slaying Bokoblins. They just come back anyways, so, what’s the harm in having a good meal?
Everywhere you turn there are new skills to be learned. See that typical campsite with the fire? Why not swing your two-handed axe and set the area ablaze with a little wind gust?
Choke up on your grip, slugger, that Bokoblin’s looking to pitch a no hitter, why not swing with all your might and take him out?
From petting dogs, chasing wild horses, and solving the tiniest of natural puzzles that Koroks leave behind, there is certainly plenty for a young-ish hero to do in Hyrule.
Heck! You can even pull a Legolas and shield-surf down any sloped surface! Seriously! It’s EPIC! You need to try it—
Oh. Oh dear.
Your shield broke. You die from major blunt trauma. The kingdom remains poisoned and broken under Calamity Ganon’s rule.
Your shield broke!
Yes. It’s perhaps the most frustrating, most infuriating, and most annoying aspect of this beautiful open-world adventure game. Here you are, a hero tried and true, accustomed to a few reliable weapons and shields to carry you through combat… But that soldier’s sword you picked up from the ground shatters after 10 blows against any surface leaving you to constantly stuff your inventory with useless weapons such as a pitchfork, mop, limbs from your skeletal enemies…
You are now forced to carry four shields, five bows, and at least seven other weapons on you at all times. Hardly an acceptable load when you’re trying to climb hundreds of feet up a cliff-side.
Call me bitter, but this is one mechanic I’d love to see vanish from the game. Durability consequences are great when they’re utilized properly, especially in games like Skyrim and World of Warcraft where you have the opportunity to repair or construct new weapons and rely on them for many, many, many hours of gameplay at a time. Nothing is more infuriating than dying mid-battle because three of your swords broke and your crappy Bokoshield is crushed.
While you may certainly upgrade your weapons or find some of the more iconic gear throughout the game, they are still limited by cool downs or durability problems rendering them unreliable.
So to you, dear adventure, remain cautious and ever vigilant in your adventuring attempts to save the Princess and the kingdom. Your weapons are unsuitable for long-term exploration.
Bring duct tape.