This is the Nintendo we want to see going forward with the Nintendo Switch. Let’s not beat around the bush, The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is an absolute masterpiece and probably the most impressive game Nintendo has released in years. Nintendo used to be a pioneer in gaming, they used to pave the way for many fantastic games we know and love today. They haven’t done that in YEARS. Sure, the Wii sold well, and the Nintendo 3DS makes them money as well, but when’s the last time Nintendo really created something revolutionary? Exactly. But, it’s safe to say with Breath of the Wild they have created a new precedent for open world games.
This game is a return to form for the franchise. It’s a modern take on the first Zelda game but does away with many of the tropes and staples from the subsequent ones. It definitely keeps a lot of “Zelda things” but it broke tons of traditions, giving the game the fresh new makeover it so desperately needed. This game doesn’t hold your hand at all. From the moment you start, it gives you the necessary tools you’ll need to solve every puzzle and overcome any obstacle. You just have to be creative enough. This game is what I like to call the ultimate “there’s no bad idea game”. If you have an idea, you can probably do it provided you execute it properly. The magic of this game is that there’s no right way to do anything. Also Link is Spider-Man and can climb like...anything.
If you see a camp of baddies, there’s tons of ways to approach the problem. You can run in guns blazing, use stealth to pick them off one by one, fight from a distance and lots of other combination of things I haven’t even mentioned. Weapons in the game will break after extended use, this is the mechanic that most people seem to be divided on but, I think it works. If you master the combat you can maximize the usage of your weapons and some of them last really long. There’s tons of variety in weaponry as well: tridents, spears, swords, clubs, lances and even claymores. Each weapon has its advantages and disadvantages. Everyone is going to have a preference. One handed swords are weaker but you can wield your shield at the same time and perfectly balance defense with offense. While claymores are huge and require two hands to wield, they boast great offensive power, but are slow and you can get hit easier.
On top of using different bows, weapons and shields for different reasons, you also have gear, clothing that thrive in different situations. Some will increase your stealth, defense, make you fireproof or even keep you warm in the cold. And there’s ways to upgrade them. You can use the ingredients you find in the wild to cook food for similar reasons like stamina boosting elixirs and food that replenish your Hearts of course. There’s just so much customization and inventory management but it never feels overwhelming. However, I do feel like you spend too much time having to pause the game to switch gear and use items. It can be annoying having to constantly pause to eat food, or switch arrow types, it interrupts gameplay flow.
As far as story and characters go I think the game does a good job. Listen, Nintendo will never ever create a Zelda character as endearing, deep and amazing as Midna, but they’ve done a good job with this game. I do think some of the main characters needed a bit more fleshing out but you can get the gist of who they are from the little we get. Princess Zelda in this game is the most interesting of the characters but I won’t spoil why. The story is pretty good as well, I don’t think it’s the best story but it’s definitely told very well. The cutscenes are beautiful and full of emotion, you really get immersed when you see them and start to piece the story together. What I found cool was since you can essentially unlock and find the cutscenes in any order, they had to make sense no matter which order you see them in, and the game does a good job of that. Every cutscene makes sense no matter when you end up seeing it; it’s not confusing at all.
The graphics for this game are solid; nothing mind blowing on a graphical scale but the art direction the game took is stunning. It’s aesthetically pleasing to look at and the characters are incredibly beautiful. There are unfortunately occasional framerate dips when a lot is happening on the screen and the textures for some things in the game are not so clean up close. Probably so that the game wouldn't need to load when while you traveled to different areas. However overall, I think the game looks great for the most part.
I’m about 136 hours into Breath of the Wild and I’m still finding cool things you can do and places I haven’t been to yet. If you were worried about things to do in this game, fear not, there are tons of things to do. There are 120 Sheikah Shrines which are these mini dungeons with puzzles to solve. Completing one will net you a Spirit Orb and you need four to increase your Hearts or Stamina. While there are in a sense, four more, traditional Zeldadungeons, these mini dungeons are what you'll be inside of often and they are spread over the huge map. They are super fun to find and play in. There’s no right way to solve these puzzles and hearing how people did them differently is interesting. There’s 900 Korok Seeds (yes 900) and 76 Side Quests. Not to mention Main Quests, so trust me, there is a lot to do.
The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest video game experiences I have had in a long time. It’s the best Zelda game to date (yes, it’s better than Ocarina of Time, get over it) and if you have a Switch or WiiU you have to play this. Or whenever you decide to get a Switch, this game is a must play. There’s no other open world game that as truly free as this game: you can do anything, go anywhere, at any time and the game does not limit you or hold your hand. There's so much in this review I have not mentioned as so not to rob you of an incredible gaming experience. I’m excited to see how other companies respond to this game and the future of open world games is looking bright.
I give Breath of the Wild a 9.6/10
Written By: Nya Hemmingz
Twitter Handle: @LolitaZenpie