The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a 2017 action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch and Wii U consoles. Breath of the Wild is part of the Legend of Zelda franchise and is set at the end of the Zelda timeline; the player controls Link, who awakens from a hundred-year slumber to defeat Calamity Ganon and save the kingdom of Hyrule.
Similar to the original The Legend of Zelda (1986) game, players are given little instruction and can explore the open world freely. Tasks include collecting multipurpose items to aid in objectives or solving puzzles and side quests for rewards. The world is unstructured and designed to reward experimentation, and the story can be completed in a nonlinear fashion.
Development of Breath of the Wild lasted five years. Wanting to reinvent the series, Nintendo introduced elements such as a detailed physics engine, high-definition visuals, and voice acting. Monolith Soft, known for their work in the open-world Xenoblade Chronicles series, assisted in designing landscapes and topography. The game was originally planned for release in 2015 as a Wii U exclusive title but was delayed twice. Released on March 3, 2017, Breath of the Wild was a launch game for the Nintendo Switch and the final Nintendo-published game for the Wii U. Two downloadable content expansions were released later in 2017.
Breath of the Wild received acclaim for its open-ended gameplay and attention to detail and has been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. Critics called it a landmark in open-world design, although it received minor criticism for its technical performance at launch. It won numerous awards, including several game of the year honors. The game had sold nearly 24 million copies by 2021, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time. A sequel is in development for the Nintendo Switch, while a crossover with the Dynasty Warriors series, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, was released in 2020.