[Review] The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Posted on March 2, 2017 by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Wii U
The one big thing that may take people aback that’s always been synonymous with Zelda are rupees – they’re not as much of a thing as they used to be for the Zelda series. They still exist, but the frequency at which you get them – such as breaking pots, boxes, slashing grass, and the usual way of acquiring them – is rare. You wake up with nothing, you remember nothing, you are nothing, and you must fight you way to Hyrule Castle and reclaim your title of the hero. This includes finding a way that works for you to manage your materials and equipment, and essentially putting your knowledge of economics to the test. The best way to attain rupees is to simply sell stuff that you find throughout your travels to merchants in villages, towns, and some that you’ll find walking around scattered throughout Hyrule. You could also choose to keep just about everything you find for other purposes. That’s the beauty of Breath of the Wild: it will always leave the choice up to you. It’s interesting, however, how you could practically go the entire game without having to find or spend a rupee. It wasn’t until quite a few hours into the game where I said to myself, “Wait, shouldn’t I have money by now for these shops around here?”
Adventuring through Hyrule has never felt more lively. You’ll see familiar faces, meet new ones, laugh, smile, cry, and feel a range of emotions as you journey with Link to take back Hyrule and bring it back to the peace and utopia it once was. The art direction of Breath of the Wild will remain timeless, much like the other Legend of Zelda titles have. Being able to play through a masterful creation – a painting come to life – will take your breath away time and time again. The score throughout, whether simply strolling through a field or taking on a vicious boss, is minimal yet catches your ear. It caresses your eardrums as the sounds and music of Hyrule go through your auditory cortex and send chills down your spine due to its soft beauty. I cannot express enough the attention to detail that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has in every category you put it under, and you not only see it and hear it, but you feel it.
Breath of the Wild resonates with the player, new or seasoned, young or old, and will remain a staple for what a truly complete, in-depth, and absorbing world can be. With the inclusion of voice acting now in a Zelda game – something many fans have been anticipating for for quite a while – it is the bow to the best gift you’ll receive this year, and for many many years to come. Every character comes to life even more so than prior installments thanks to the voices, and each voice fits perfectly to their respective character. Link may still not have a voice, and that’s just fine. It is the people around Link that make him who he is, and help further push the narrative in a direction that keeps you moving forward, curious to see what comes next in your quest to save Hyrule once more.
One of the rare issues I happened to come across is, in some cases, you will get frame drops. It’s nothing too heavy that becomes unplayable, but depending on the amount of vegetation you have on the screen, especially while fighting numerous enemies simultaneously, you’ll certainly notice the game become a bit sluggish. This isn’t a frequent occurrence, but you will catch it from time to time, especially if you’re playing for long periods as it will throw you off. I did have the rare, one-time occurrence of input lag and latency, despite the game running at a stable FPS, so this may have just been a hiccup with the Joy-Con and not with the game itself. Regardless, despite the occasional dip in frames, it only lasts for a second or so before you’re back on track.
All of the brand new mechanics introduced in Breath of the Wild, as well as some older ones that have been fine-tuned, may seem like it’s a lot to have in one game and may become overwhelming for some, but I cannot stress enough how truly comfortable and intuitive everything is at the end of the day. Though the game doesn’t hold your hand and you’re left to explore right from the beginning of the game, you also take it slowly, becoming familiar with the controls and the new systems they’ve implemented over time with relative ease. Dodging is easy. Targeting enemies is easy. Attacking is seamless. Breath of the Wild provides the most meaty Zelda to date, and despite all that it offers, it remains a game that is a surprisingly easy pick-me-up, incredibly comfortable, but most importantly: fun and easy to get the hang of.
Breath of the Wild sets a new standard for open world gaming, what it stands for, and what you can achieve all while building a gigantic sandbox without becoming overwhelming. For players that like to take things slow, the game will walk with you that way. For those that like to go in guns blazing (or arrows), Breath of the Wild will walk with you that way. The experience is meant for anyone and everyone and adapts to how you play. It can be difficult if you want it to be, but it can also be easy if you’d like. Explore, discover, and fall in love with the Zelda series all over again with Breath of the Wild’s ineffable universe of some of the most exotic, profound, and unbelievable moments you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has set a new standard for video games, and Nintendo should be proud of that. All this time that has been spent waiting from fans, and newcomers looking to adventure through Hyrule for the first time alike, I promise you, has been worth it.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a remarkable entry in the long-lasting, timeless, and continually influential series. Not only is the game a welcome of fresh air with all of its changes, but it’s the start of something new and exciting to expect from future entries. Everything Breath of the Wild achieves from its art direction, score, ambiance, and more is masterful and in a class of its own. Nintendo has outdone themselves this time with Breath of the Wild, and I truly believe that while titles such as Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask have long been fan favorites, we may be looking at a new number one contender. People will question what their favorite Zelda title is once they get their hands on Breath of the Wild, and for those picking this up playing Zelda for the first time, expect a rich, beautiful, evocative experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t just a work of art or a masterpiece because of its captivating and vibrant world of Hyrule – it’s magical.
Nintendo Switch hardware and copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild provided by Nintendo for the purposes of this review.