REVIEW – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is easily considerable to be one of the biggest in the series, and when I say big, I mean it. In every aspect.
It has been more than four years since we last played a Zelda game on the big console. Skyward Sword was an impressive achievement both visually and gameplay wise, but didn’t bring too much new to the table. It was your usual save everyone by doing the same things you did in previous Zelda games, such as going around, meeting new people and creatures, finding your way inside a dungeon, complete it and then get some items that will help you reach new areas. When it comes to the Breath of the Wild, you do all those things but in a very different way.
I don’t know what people expect when they learn about a new Nintendo Console. The last Console that brought impressive performance was the GameCube. Since then, we had the Wii and the Wii U that both of them were nowhere compared to the Playstation or the Xbox consoles. Some were annoyed by this, some didn’t really care, and it’s the experience that matters most.
Breath of the Wild looks amazing on both consoles but does play better on the Switch (when undocked). The graphics are similar to Skyward Sword, but there are a lot more things to see. Animations are pretty decent for a Zelda game, but nothing worth mentioning.
The colors and the design palettes are impressive. You always know what time of the day is even if you don’t look toward the sky, you always can tell what kind of a region you’re walking in as the graphical assets are very well placed and the overall level design supports the world in every single way.
Items, monsters, NPC’s, architecture, nature, all of them are extremely well done. Most of the times when you venture around aimlessly you are welcomed with several scenes that give you an “eye-candy” effect of lingering with.
Small performance issues
As stated above, if you play the game on your Wii U or the Switch while it’s docked, you will have some noticeable performance issues, especially when you enter large areas, or are in the middle of heavy combat. But when you play it on the Switch while on handheld mode, you won’t experience these problems.
The game crashed on me once, but I saw that people have different problems as well. Sometimes the free-aiming goes wild if I resume the game from Sleep Mode and I have to restart it to work, but this is also very rare.
Keep walking, Link!
You need to walk/run/climb and jump a lot. That’s like 90% of the actions you will do. Apart from this, you will be able to fight, to cook, to talk to people and so on.
Exploring the vast world of Breath of the Wild is not an easy task, and while most of the times you won’t find anything, the game will reward you with its little carefully hidden magical events. You just have to have the patience and will to explore to find them.
Climbing is a new mechanic who at first sounded weird, but after I’ve tried it, I understood how useful and fun it is. You can climb almost everything! I am not kidding. There are no boundaries; you can get anywhere you want. Some places will be easily reachable, and some will be a pain to get to.
Sprinting, swimming and climbing will use your Stamina, and if that gets depleted, some bad thing can happen. Thankfully the game gives you the chance to upgrade your Stamina, and my advice is to focus on that instead of other upgrades first.
Combat at first might seem a bit off as the enemies can be strong and they do a lot of damage. Later in the game, you will learn that there are more fighting techniques. One of the biggest additions to the games are the Weapons, Shields, Bows and Armors. Yeah, yeah, I know, they have been present in previous Zelda games, but not like this. Why? They will break after you use them. Yes, you hear me right, your Weapons, Shields, and Bows will break into tiny pieces.
The problem here is that you get to use your weapons only a few times before they break and then you need to choose another one from your inventory to continue the fight. Even your bow is going to break, which is, in my opinion, a little bit silly. There are some weapons that you will be able to repair but to get them you need to actually either find them or complete a harder quest.
Now that I mentioned Quest, you got your Main Quests and your Side Quests. You can choose to do them in any order you wish. Hell, you can ignore all of them and just walk to the Final Boss and win the game under one hour if you know how to do it. The Main Quests are not meant to advance the story, but they will eventually generate the help you need to beat the game. Side Quest helps you understand your surroundings and learn new mechanics, and Shrine Quests will challenge you to find a way to unearth a hidden Shrine.
A Shrine? Yes, they’re a mini-dungeons that most of the time are about solving complicated puzzles or fight strong monsters to learn the advanced combat. But there’s more! Each puzzle can be completed in multiple ways, and I think that is great! Furthermore, each Shrine contains one or more chests that usually award you with some special item or resource, and if you complete the puzzle, you will gain a Spirit Orb. Four Spirit Orbs will allow you to get either 1 Heart or 1 Stamina upgrade.
Calm down; these are not the dungeons! Those are a bit bigger and harder to complete, but they will come in an unusual form. But you will have your challenge and variety, I can promise.
What a wonderful world!
It’s huge. Extremely huge. I mean sometimes this bothers me, to be honest. I want to get from A to B, but meanwhile, I stumble upon something and completely sets me off from my initial goal. I think I did my first dungeon after around 12 hours of playing. I had the urge to explore everything I could. There’s much to see in this game. You got your Hidden Fairy Fountains, little villages, big towns, mysterious forests, and on and on and on. Every zone has hundreds of secrets; some are deadly, some are rewarding. I had to move around a lot to be able to find the necessary equipment to fight big, intimidating monsters.
And the secrets? There are so many things you can find that I can’t even start to list them!
All in all, this game is nothing like the previous Zelda games, and while I welcome the change, I think I would like the next Zelda game to be smaller. It’s an impressive game that you should play no matter what.
+ A huge, interesting world with lot to do and lots of secrets
+ You can climb everywhere, explore everything
+ Impressive graphical art
– Too big for its own good
– You’ll have to learn the game
– No audio for conversations
Publisher: Nintendo Entertainment System
Developer: Nintendo Entertainment System
Genre: Open world, RPG, adventure
Release date: March 3, 2017