It’s been a little over a month since I received my Nintendo Switch and Legend of Zelda Breathe of the Wild. I decided to give a quick update now that the honeymoon phase is over. After the entire gaming universe has gone crazy, how has the game lived up to the hype? How do I feel about the newest addition to the Zelda franchise?
I love it. I am a Legend of Zelda fan on portable and console, but I lean towards the console variety. Overall, Breath of the Wild was shockingly fresh and surprisingly engrossing on a level that I haven’t felt before. I am also writing this after beating the main campaign but still haven’t 100% completed the game, and I am not sure I ever will.
I say maybe never will because this game is colossal. This is an open world game that truly believes that if you can see it, you can touch it. If you want to try it, you can. The game seriously has multiple ways to do every task in the game. It also has hundreds of side-quests, 120 shrines containing unique puzzles & challenges, 900 Korok seeds that allow you to upgrade you inventory, 4 main dungeons, and a final castle that would make Bowser blush.
Those are just the rewardable tasks. There is also a photo log that you can fill with pictures of every boss, creature, plant, animal, and weapon in the game. If you want to complete the game, you better pull up a chair and relax. It will take a long time and that’s a good thing. This is a truly open-ended game where no two people will have the same experience and it was designed with that in mind.
My favorite thing about the game is that you truly feel like the player grows as time goes on. For the first time in a Zelda game, you don’t get weapons in dungeons that sequence lock the game to beat bosses. You have all the items you need to beat any boss or bad guy from the first moments after the tutorial. However, you will get beaten, burned, frozen, electrocuted, and blasted to smithereens if you as the player don’t become smarter and learn to think on your feet.
Breath of the Wild definitely is the hardest Zelda I’ve played since the first Zelda. The enemy artificial intelligence isn’t on the level of human players but it is smart. Enemies, after being attacked with bombs one time, will run away from bombs if you lay them again. Some creatures will chase you for miles, throw rocks or even other enemies at you if they don’t have a weapon. As time goes on, you learn patterns and habits of enemies, and even pick up awesome masks that allow you to masquerade as your favorite enemy to sneak around undetected.
Outside of that, the story is simple, but very endearing. I almost wished there was more just so I could learn more about the characters. Every villager, enemy, and location has a backstory that fleshes out Hyrule in ways it has never been before. There are also small islands, locations, and occurrences that show that Nintendo wanted to bring the childhood wonderment back to gaming. I honestly like to wander the game just to see what beautiful sight or funny interaction I can spy.
My only negatives had to do with the fact that I wish there were a little more guidance/explanation of some stuff. The descriptions or effects of items/foods were not detailed enough. A recipe book would have been nice for foods after I cooked them and a completion percentage would have been great to let me know how I was doing. Overall, I won’t complain because right up until the final boss, I learned something new about the mechanics of the game I didn’t expect. Breath of the Wild astonishes me at every turn with something new just waiting for me to find.
In short, Breath of the Wild delivers on being a brand new experience for a franchise that is rated as one of the best video game series of all time. I am happy with the wait for this installment and definitely think it is Top 3 Legend of Zelda games of all time, but only time will tell. I am also excited for what they will do in the future with the series but it can only get more refined and even more surprising. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a mandatory purchase of any Zelda, Nintendo, or adventure video game fan. It is that good.