The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is as much about throwing unconventional systems of inconvenience at its players as it is about open world exploring.
There are two major ones that have left me the most frustrated, though one I’m willing to overlook given its upside. That one is weapon durability. The crap you find breaks all the time, and it can be pretty obnoxious to juggle the poor inventory system with constantly shattering swords, bows and shields.
However, I’m okay with this as it encourages weapon variety and improvisation. It’s frustrating, but it works over time. Weapons get stronger and more durable, and I love that I’ve been forced to get creative with the environment when the going gets tough.
That challenge isn’t for everyone, though. I get the folks who think Nintendo went too far with weapon shattering, but I’m totally cool with it. It’s a mechanic with trade-offs, and I find the perks outweigh my frustration.
Let’s talk about the rain, though
Nothing in this game is as frustrating for me as when the rain system meets the climbing system. The two are so terribly at odds with one another that it’s nearly impossible to accomplish a given task when they happen at once.
If it rains, Link cannot climb for more than, perhaps, five grabs. He will skid down the side of the mountain. This makes climbing in the rain nearly impossible, and, if you’ve played this game, you know that there’s a whole lot of climbing to be done.
It’s pretty much a constant problem. If you want to get anywhere in Breath of the Wild, you’ll need to climb. The problem is that the rain comes and goes so often, that you’ll likely be hit by a downpour on every major trip you make.
Rain actually prevents travel. I had to stop climbing halfway up a trek to the top of Dueling Peaks during a storm. I didn’t want to glide down and start again, I didn’t have the gear to build a fire (which I’m not even sure would have worked in the rain) and I didn’t want to risk climbing and falling. I was stuck for the five or so minutes of in-game time doing literally nothing.
I’m all for mechanics that make gameplay harder and push me to try new things. Rain, though, is random. It can’t be planned for, and there’s no solution to it.
Why not offer a Climbing Gear set that nullifies the rain effect on mountains. Spoiler warning: Zora’s Domain would be the exception here. Perhaps Nintendo could have made Prince Sidon tell Link the downpour from the Divine Beast was too much for even the best climbing gear. Just a thought. End of spoiler.
I’m loving this game. A lot. I love the weather system, too. I even dig that I have to strip away metal gear during lightning storms. Heck, I wound up tossing a sparking metal sword at a group of enemies in order to cause lightning to strike them for big damage. It was awesome.
This rain and climbing problem is way more inconvenient, and I don’t like it at all.