Review: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

WARNING: SLIGHT SPOILERS!

With Nintendo’s newest system already off the shelves and people fighting and scalping to get it, I was fortunate enough to get a copy of this game and I couldn’t be happier.

It’s been a long time coming but sit back, relax, and take a deep breath.

Breath of the Wild, that is…

Story

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild doesn’t stray far from the other games in the franchise. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Go Save Zelda and/or Hyrule.

The story starts off with you waking up in some pool after a one-hundred-year nap. Getting your ass kicked by Ganon kinda puts some strain on the body or at least that’s what you hear when you wake up.

Without giving too much of the story away, Zelda, Link, and the other Champions tried to stop the onslaught of Ganon, Calamity Ganon to be exact, with some special machines called Divine Beasts but Mr. Big Man on Hyrule was having none of that and turned their toys against them, killing the Champions. Zelda finally received the power she’d been praying for for almost her whole life, sealed Ganon away, temporarily,  in Hyrule Castle and had the Sheikah tribe take Link to have a nice long nap unlike the dirt nap that Ganon was going to give him.

Gameplay

The gameplay can best be described as fluid and open ended with there never being only one way to solve every puzzle.

Most of the game’s puzzles will be encountered in these hidden and not so hidden locations called Shrines. These are scattered throughout the map and are a testament of how much time went into this game. Every shrine that I’ve completed never made me feel stupid when I did get stumped (and that happened quite a bit) but instead made me feel determined to complete it, even if I had to leave and come back because I thought of an easier way.

Another important point is that the game doesn’t hold your hand at all. You are dropped into the world and given the bare minimum items to survive and expected to work with that to get what you need. The game will tell you where you need to go sometimes but after that it isn’t going to lead you there. You want better weapons? Find them. You need to climb a snowy mountain but the cold weather hurts you? Then make some elixirs to prevent that. Don’t know how to make them? Then I guess it’s time to some experimentation.

Do what you what you need to do and, more importantly, how you want to do it.

Replay Value

The game never runs out of things for you to do. A friend of mine coined this term for the game and considering my percentage when I beat Ganon, he’s got me saying it too; “The Game of Forever”.

For example, you finally emptied that monster camp that has those two shiny chests you pinned from a distance and collected all their loot. Then, as time moves on, the moon changes a blood red color and Zelda tells you that this moon brings back ALL of the monsters you’ve just killed. If you’re lucky, they’ll respawn right in front you.

Upon writing this review, I only have 87 out of the 900 Korok seeds, 80 of the Shrines completed, 6 different armor sets, 50 out of 76 side quests completed, and I only have 25.69% percent of the game completed.

Yeah…unless most of the percentage is with those stupid seeds, I’ve got a long way to go.

Let’s not forget that DLC is still coming for this game later!

Graphics

Everyone has mentioned how beautiful this game is and I’ll have to agree. Whether it’s handheld or docked, the level of detail in the game is amazing. From the fire effects coming off your sword, the shadow coming off Link from the sun and moon, the movement of the grass in the wind, to the lasers shot from the Guardians, everything is clear and crisp.

Even looking down your scope to pin new locations, what’s far away is blurry and what you can see up close is detailed well like the wear and tear on your shield when it’s on your back.

I do want to point that I did have a few moments of dropped frames when fighting Guardians. There wasn’t much delay but it’s worth noting that the game wasn’t flawless. It’s the first game of its kind on new technology. I won’t hold this against them.

The Breakdown

There is no conceivable way to put everything that Breath of the Wild is into an article that you’d actually read. The game holds it’s “10/10” and “5/5” reviews it’s earned. I know that I’ll be playing this game for a long time, just like Nintendo wants while I wait for my other Switch titles. This game set the bar for 2017 and other games have big shoes to fill. I want more games like this, re-defining what it means to be “open-world”. Maybe I’ll get to 35% when the DLC comes out…

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – “You’ll be playing this game forever….”

 

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