With such an expansive world as the one found in Breath of the Wild, there is bound to be treasures located around the world and one of the type of treasures that can be found or bought through vendors are the clothing and armor pieces that serve to enhance Link’s abilities and defense. Breath of the Wild is the first Legend of Zelda game to offer set bonuses on the armor sets equipped which means that when a full set of gear is worn, additional attributes are granted to Link’s abilities. What this allows for is a greater application of customization in how a player can approach a region or certain enemies. Depending on the different conditions present in a situation, the player has a choice through the armor they equip in how they wish to approach the scenario thereby adding to the player autonomy found in Breath of the Wild where the player feels they are the one pathing their own adventure.
For me personally, the armor set I find myself equipping the most as I adventure through Breath of the Wild is the Sheikah set. The Sheikah armor pieces enhances Link’s stealth ability which makes sneaking up on creatures and monsters much easier and when the full set is equipped after having each piece upgraded twice, Link gets the Night Speed bonus which means that at night Link’s run speed is increased. In addition to that, I am also extremely interested in the Sheikah culture and the mystery surrounding them. From the moment Sheik appeared in Ocarina of Time and I was able to equip the Mask of Truth to converse with the Gossip Stones, I have become enthralled by the Sheikah story and characters. I love being able to experience more of the Sheikah culture in Breath of the Wild and the Sheikah armor set looking badass only adds to my love for the outfit and the Sheikah.
Certain armor pieces are required when traversing through the extreme regions such as the volcanic, arctic, water, desert or thunderstorm regions. The resistances granted from those armor pieces allows Link to travel through the area without being hurt by the extreme conditions. The player can supplement their elemental resistance with food instead of the armor but the resistances granted by the food consumed only last temporarily. The easiest method to ensuring Link isn’t harmed by the elements is to wear the specific armor granting resistance to the element. Those elemental armor sets do grant an additional set bonus when the set has been upgraded twice and equipped further enhancing Link within that element. The one set that does grant Link an additional ability is the Zora armor which allows Link to swim up waterfalls when he is wearing the armor.
The armor pieces being upgradable allows the player to keep the armor they equip relevant throughout the game and usable against the tougher opponents found in the later regions explored. Upgrading the armor sets also keeps the adventure component of the game interesting as certain materials are needed for each armor upgrade and finding those materials requires the player to visit or revisit certain regions to acquire those items. Tracking down the Spirit Dragons can be arduous but how exciting it is when you locate one and position yourself in a way to acquire the Spirit Dragons horn, fang or claw shards. The process also rewards players for taking on difficult opponents they encounter when adventuring as later down the line the materials dropped from those creatures can become relevant to a armor piece upgrade – such as the Hinox, Lynel and Guardian material drops.
Outfits have become fantastical additions to games with players having choice in how their avatar looks. Be it a representation of their selves, an embodiment of their ideal hero or an expression of their love for a certain look, the ability to customize how your character looks adds to the enjoyment experience and interest the player has for the game. Gone are the days where players are restricted in choice. With the majority of games now offering such a feature, it is great to see The Legend of Zelda offering this feature as well and with no additional cost save for the DLC outfits/armor sets. Not only is this choice available with the armor but Breath of Wild also allows the player to choose what weapons they wish to adventure with among the various weapon types and elemental types. When player autonomy is done right, like it is in Breath of the Wild, the adventure experience is only enhanced and it is hard not to be overflowing with love for Breath of the Wild. I can’t wait to discover what other outfits they are out there as I adventure.