It’s just the little things that drive Breath of the Wild.
Apologies to Alice Cooper for butchering his lyrics but lovely as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is, it’s the little touches that really make Link’s latest outing special. The game contains so many features which, while totally unnecessary, are a delight to discover.
Here are five of our favourites.
You can use your shield as a surfboard
In case you’ve missed it, you can shield surf by equipping a shield, holding down ZL, tapping X to jump and then hitting A before Link lands. Hyrule’s hero will then leap onto his shield and, provided you’re standing on uneven ground, surf down the slope. What’s the point? There isn’t one and that’s what makes it so wonderful.
Shield Surfing is Nintendo in a nutshell; like many of Nintendo’s innovations, it exists only because it’s fun. It certainly adds nothing to the storyline, in fact we daresay that Hyrule’s inhabitants raise an eyebrow when they see their saviour sliding past on his upside-down shield. It’s also a shortcut to ruining your shield, turning your prized possession into something that wouldn’t stop a mildly-irritated bee. But belting down hills is such an unmitigated joy that you really won’t care.
You can use your Sheikah powers anywhere, anytime
The game features 120 largely-optional shrines which, more often than not, require you to use your special Sheikah powers to solve puzzles. Many games bestow strange and unusual powers upon you but limit when and where you can use them – Breath of the Wild, not so much.
You can, for example, create massive glowing blue bombs anywhere and detonate them at will. This ability isn’t actually all that useful compared to your regular non-magical arsenal but, as is often the case with Breath of the Wild, having the choice to do so counts for a great deal.