This review contains minor spoilers for the first hours of Breath of the Wild.
After years of waiting since its original announcement back in 2014 it finally arrived, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I got the game on release date for the newly released Nintendo Switch. I want to let you guys know what I think of the game. This review will contain minor spoilers for gameplay aspects. Story wise there will be minor spoilers for the beginning of the game. If you don’t want to know a single thing about the game, skip past the story section. Without further ado, this is my The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Review!
Breath of the Wild Story (First hours):
In the beginning, Link is awoken by a girls voice in a random cave in Hyrule. After he collects a few crucial items and his clothes he steps out of the cave and sees a huge world in front of him. The camera directly points to a figure in the distance which you have to run to. This man introduces you to the game and is referred to as “Old Man”. Sound familiar right? After Link is introduced to a few main gameplay mechanics being Sheika Towers and Sheika Shrines he sets out on a quest to collect 4 Shrines in order to get the Old Man’s Paraglider to glide off a high plateau into the rest of Hyrule. That’s when you really start your adventure in The Breath of the Wild. After collecting 4 Spirit Orbs, the prize for clearing a Shrine, he finds out who the Old Man really is and what really happened in Hyrule.
Let’s start with the controls, this game is not your typical Zelda game. Link has a jump button, something that has never been seen before in any Zelda installment. (With the exception of 2D side-scroller Zelda II.) Overall the controls haven’t changed too much, the only thing I can think of right now that really bothered me in the beginning of the game is that the sword button was swapped from B to Y.
Breath of the Wild has a huge overworld, not like your typical Zelda game as I’ve stated before. No, it’s even bigger than that. You can unlock pieces of this map by climbing Sheika Towers and letting your Sheika Slate collecting the data. In those areas, there are Sheika Shrines, mini-dungeons with a Spirit Orb at the end as a reward. 4 of those Spirit Orbs and you’ll be able to get a Heart Container or a Stamina upgrade.
This brings me to a next gameplay element that has been brought over from Skyward Sword, the stamina meter. Within Skyward Sword the stamina meter was hated gameplay element. But in this game with an open world this big and everything being climbable by Link it really fits well within Breath of the Wild.
There is so much to do in this overworld it’s literally insane. 120 Shrines to find, an immense amount of sidequests to do, 12 memories to find and 900 Korok Seeds to collect!
Something beautiful that this open world has is it’s non-linear everything can be done in any order you like. There’s no one stopping you from exploring.
The Legend of Zelda is known for its dungeons. This game changed that. It only has 4 dungeons which are so small that they can’t even be called Zelda dungeons. While I did miss these dungeons at first, but there is so much to do in the overworld that that, in my opinion, makes up for it.
Breath of the Wild came with some innovative new concepts. As you probably know in Ocarina of Time, Link is able to wear any of 3 tunics that all have their own special ability. Well in this game Link gets a whole wardrobe of different clothing. A lot of the different shirts and pants Link can wear have their own set of abilities or defensive power and every set of clothing can be upgraded to be even better. You’re basically able to customize your own Link
As well as the clothing mechanic they also came with a bit of an unexpected twist which I was kind of skeptical about, cooking. In order to make potions or elixirs to boost yourself or create certain dishes that will heal your hearts, you’ll have to cook certain materials gathered around the world. Even though I was skeptical it made for an amazing concept especially in this open world. Cooking was a lot of fun in this Zelda installment.
I feel like this game is a mix of several art styles used for previous Zelda games. The characters look not as realistic as for example a Twilight Princess. I would say the characters and mobs look like the ones in Skyward Sword, just a bit more cartoonish. But the world around you is as realistic as it gets. The world is so beautiful. Every time I get to a new area I find myself just looking at my surroundings and admiring them. Every time I get to a high point I’ll just look around and spot new places to go to. This game will astound you.
The music within this game is minimal. As I’ve stated before this is not your typical Zelda game. This goes for the music too. In previous titles, a lot of areas are memorable because of their awesome music or you’re even able to play your own music. This is totally absent in Breath of the Wild.
But music in this game is kind of absent and it does make areas less memorable. But this does fit the aesthetics of the game. It makes the huge world around you look calm and makes you want to relax and explore.
I also understand the decision by Nintendo, you’re so much in the overworld that it might get annoying if the music is too obvious. I do feel like they could’ve added it in certain towns and dungeons. To make them more memorable and really change the feel you have with an area.
Goods and bads:
- Huge overworld
- So much to do
- Great looks
- Great controls
- Overall great feel
- Great new gameplay improvements
- Less memorable locations
- Not too many dungeons
- Less memorable music
As you’re able to see in the part above I’ve got a few minor complaints. These complaints exist only because I played older Zelda games. This not being a typical Zelda game there are obviously some things that I’ll personally miss. But if I consider this a standalone game this game is literally flawless! And it’s worth every penny. If you aren’t able to afford a Nintendo Switch I’d still recommend the Wii U version. This game is that amazing! This has been worth all the wait and all the hype. It’ll probably take months to completely finish this game. It’s that big. The feeling you get while exploring is unexplainable. There is nothing more to say, just flawless gaming and just a great experience.