It’s the highest rated game of all time. Reviews across the board are giving it perfect scores. I’ve honestly been dying to play it. My brother was kind enough to bring over his Nintendo Switch and copy of Breath of the Wild for me to check out. Last night I put in about 3 hours of play time and while I think it’s a step in the right direction for the Zelda series, and adds improvements to the gameplay, it really isn’t anything we haven’t seen before in other games.
Hyrule is gorgeous and it’s a sight to behold the first time you step out of the cave you wake up in. Within minutes you’re let out and you can go where you want, kind of. There’s a wall that surrounds where you are and has a huge drop off. Unless you have a paraglider you’re not going anywhere. Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to get the glider then you can go about your quest however you want. If you’re unprepared though you’re going to die, a lot. Everywhere I ventured these guardian creatures would target me with their laser beams and instantly kill me. I did end up parrying one of their laser attacks with a pot lid shield I had, which ended up obliterating the guardian and leaving me feeling proud and satisfied. It gives me the same satisfaction as overcoming a challenge in Dark Souls. I don’t think I’ve ever died this much in a Zelda game before. Wandering travelers will wave me over to say hi but end up being part of this clan that wants to kill me and then they one shot me as I’m trying to run away. You always have to keep on your toes, now I just don’t talk to anyone (can’t be too careful). The little sanctuaries I’ve visited have interesting puzzles and I can only assume they will get more complicated as the game goes on. The combat is great. It’s taken a bit of an adjustment to the fact that your weapons break. It adds to the adventure though. You’re literally scrounging for gear to make it in this world, which adds another layer of danger to the whole thing. My one major gripe is having to go into the menu screen and pausing the game to heal myself. After playing Horizon, which has everything in a nice little menu on your D-pad to cycle through, it seems a bit archaic to have to pause the game to heal myself. I don’t know why but it drives me insane.
The more time I spend with it, the more it grows on me. It just isn’t quite the mind blowing experience I was expecting to have. The world is massive in scale and there is tons to explore. It feels like an open world Zelda game should feel, which don’t get me wrong is awesome, but it doesn’t feel perfect. Yes I’m going to bring up the fact that I have to pause the game to heal in the middle of battle again, but goddamn! Back in the N64 days, I could just set up a quick link to items I wanted to use on my C -pad (even potions or faires to heal). The story is interesting and I would definitely like to invest myself in this world more. I know it’s been 6 years since the last Zelda game, I’m just trying to understand what all the fuss is about. – NVJ