The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review by Tyson
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is being called one of the best game ever made. I honestly can’t agree with that statement but I did find Breath of the Wild to be a fun Zelda game with many frustrating bits.
Breath of the Wild story centers around a failed battle against Calamaty Ganon a hundred years ago. Thankfully Princess Zelda was able to use her powers to seal Ganon into Hyrule castle but sadly her powers are weakening while Ganons are growing stronger. It is now up to Link to awake from his hundred year slumber and stop Ganon. I found this story be decent but I really wish that we could have a Zelda game where we fight Ganon as he is trying to take over Hyrule rather then the aftermaft of his battle.
Where Breath of the Wild really differs from the other Zelda games is with its gameplay design. Breath of the Wild is now a full open world game rather then a semi open world game of previous Zelda games. This game gives you the freedom to do what you want in what order you want and I think that is pretty cool. If you want to you can go right to Hyrule castle and fight Ganon and even classic Zelda items like the Master Sword can be skipped over.
Exploring the land is also very different from previous Zelda games. You are no longer locked out of an area until you aquire a specific item or progress to a certain point in game the story. If you see something in the distance then you can go there. To help with exploring you will find various towers that will fill in the blank spots on the world map. Hidden around the enivronment are also shrines which are small puzzle rooms that once completed will earn you a Spirit Orb. These orbs can be used to give you more heart containers or more stamina that is used to climb, swim, run, and glide. I was amazed at how well the climbing system was in this game. Unlike a lot of other open world games nearly every wall or edge can be climbed. When you combine the climbing with the Paraglider, an item you get early in the game, this opens up the world exploration like no other Zelda game has done before.
While I found the exploration to be fun the combat ended up almost being game breaking frustrating for me. While I liked aspects of combat such as the many different weapons you can equip and the dodge and parry mechanics. What doesn’t work well for me is the weird design decisions like breakable weapons. There is nothing worse then having a sword break mid combat while you are surrounded by enemies. Many weapons also seem to break way to quick which sucks. Starting with such a small weapon inventory, which can be upgraded later in the game, sucked as well. I found combat to have some frustrating difficulty spikes as well. One boss took me several hours to beat while all the others were simple 1 or 2 attempts. I was even able to take Ganon down in one try. Something that I can’t ever remember happening in a Zelda game before. I also didn’t like how some enemies can or nearly will kill you with one attack. Losing something like a dozen hearts from one enemy attack is just insane and I hated how common this was throughout the game.
A Zelda game wouldn’t be a Zelda game without some dungeons to explore. Sadly Breath of the Wild is a bit disappointing here. While the 4 main dungeons are fun and I liked how each dungeon has some mechanic that modifies its layout but dungeons didn’t seem to be as epic as previous Zelda games.. I came away wanting more dungeons and sadly that seems like its going to be a DLC only option. Also disappointing is that your main puzzle solving tools such as your bombs are given to you right at the start of the game. You only get some magic abilities from completing the 4 main dungeons. I would have loved to get some new gear after beating a dungeon like in previous Zelda games. Even classic Zelda gear like the Hookshot is absent in this game.
Thankfully there is aslo some different side systems in the game. The cooking and elixir system is fun. I liked how you can make various elixirs or food that can give you certian buffs like increased defense or cold resistance. The games stamina system is one that I could do without though. I hated how actions like climbing or swimming is limited by how much stamina you have. There is also many different side quests you can do but sadly your reward is mostly rupees which is disappointing but the rare rewards like getting your own house is pretty cool.
Like many Nintendo games of the last decade Breath of the Wild lets you use different kind of control setups with the game. You can use the Joy-Cons or go with a more classic control setup with the Pro Controller. The game also uses the button layout pretty well. You have a button to quickly change your weapon or bring up the map for example. In the end I had no problems with the games controls.
The one word I use to describe the look of this game is amazing. There is a lot of detail to the world and its characters. I liked how far the draw distance was and various effects like rain, lightning, water, and fire really amazed me. The only real downside to the graphics was the rare framerate drop or the rare one second long freeze I got here and there.
This is another area of the game that amazed me. I liked the music throughout the game and how it would change while fighting enemies. Having some characters in the world playing classic Zelda tunes on their accordions was neat. I was amazed at the amount of voice work for the game but I did find it weird that many characters would have long spoken dialog for a story plot but then no other voice over besides the “hey” or “hi” for everythhing else. I came away really liking the english accent for Princess Zelda. I also had no problems with Link being a silent protagonist as well.