It’s finally here, folks. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally a reality, and oh boy, it was worth the wait.
Breath of the Wild is the boldest Zelda title so far. After more than 30 years, Nintendo has finally decided to change quite a few elements of the gameplay, while still maintaining a familiar atmosphere for fans of the series.
The biggest addition in BOTW, and arguably its main star, is the open world. Wow. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the biggest, most interesting and most entertaining open world I have ever seen in a videogame. Its size is ridiculous, the amount of sidequests will ensure that you’ll always have something to do. The best thing about this open world is literally getting lost in its vastness and discovering secrets and treasures by chance. Try to play this game without using a guide, jump into it knowing as little as possible and you’ll have a blast discovering things by yourself, however you like and whenever you feel like doing it. Breath of the Wild‘s freedom of exploration is downright amazing.
The combat has also been revamped. While much simpler when compared to previous entries like Twilight Princess, it also offers a whole new level of challenge, as enemies are much more intelligent and dangerous than any other Zelda game so far. Even the weakest of enemies, like Bokoblins and Octoroks, can easily kill you if you keep your guard down. Your weapons have limited durability as well, so you’ll constantly need to find new swords and shields. This is, by far, the hardest and most challenging Zelda game ever released.
The level of detail in Breath of the Wild is jaw-dropping. Holding metal weapons during a thunderstorm makes you susceptible to being struck by lightning. Enemies can use bonfires to light up their own arrows and throw them at you. Link reacts to temperature variations. Various types of herbs and food can be found throughout the world and can be combined and cooked in a nearly infinite amount of ways.
It is truly impressive that a game of such magnitude is available for the Wii U. Breath of the Wild punishes the little console’s outdated hardware to its limits. Due to this, the game features a quite inconsistent framerate. Whenever there are too many elements onscreen, be it lots of enemies, tall grass, or anytime you’re in a village, the game’s framerate will drop to the mid-teens. Thankfully not a single framerate drop was noticed during crucial moments in the game, nor were the drops responsible for cheap deaths.
And while on topic of the game’s flaws, I’d like to point out that even though the game’s soundtrack is indeed very good, it is quite underwhelming when compared to other entries in the Zelda series. The voice acting, a new addition to the series, is also okay at best.
While I had to point out those flaws in the game, the fact those were the only problems found thoughout the dozens of hours (and counting!) of gameplay show how good the game truly is.
After countless hours playing Breath of the Wild, I am still far from being tired with it. There’s always something new to discover, miles upon miles of new areas to unfold, new shrines, challenges, you name it.
This is the, no pun intended, breath of fresh air the series needed. It might not be a completely perfect game, but it is still a magnificent achievement in video gaming, and well worth the long wait. So far, the best game of 2017.
And I haven’t even talked about the game’s story. It’s better if you jump right into knowing as little as possible. Have fun!
Also available on: Nintendo Switch