The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild Review

Last Updated on by Nicholas Frost

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a great open-world game on Wii U and Nintendo Switch. It was released in March 2017.

You thought Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was epic? This game changes the threshold of gaming from the outset. In Breath of the Wild, the patterns have changed, and rules have been broken. In fact, rules are almost non-existent.

The world of Zelda is called Hyrule, a place where science and nature carry the day. You will experience the perfect duplication of nature that comes with electrifying moments that could never spark in the past Zelda games. Here, when you hear a sudden thunderstorm, it is time to shed your metal armor to avoid the wrath of lightning that through your conductive weapons.

Hyrule has changed. As you sweat in the sweltering heat, deplete your energy on steep mountains or wield a battle-worn weapon, you will realize that your surrounding is your friend or enemy.

What would you do if you were breathing in the wild? What are you imagining? Your imagination is valid here. It is crucial for survival, puzzle-solving, and amusing experiments.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Recap

About 30 years ago, Legend of Zelda creators thought of the possibility of exploring a limitless world. The technology then was limited, and we had to create this world in our minds from mere suggestions. That original game may be old-fashioned now, but it set the foundation.

In 2017, the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild did not only suggest a vast wilderness, but it also provided it. Without warning, traditions followed religiously in the past were dropped. This, I feel, is what Zelda makers had in mind three decades ago. How will they top this one in the follow-up?

Are you spontaneous and adventurous? The game is not about what you can’t do anymore but more about what you can do. When the Hyrule expanse unfolds as soon as you leave the cave, it continually gets ways to pique your interest. From its outset, you get the sense that this is a step above for the celebrated Nintendo sequel.

Enigmatic landmarks, cryptic hidden puzzles and enemy camps with a generous supply of weapons and treasure dot the vast landscape. More notable is the fact that you can veer off to explore these things and still maintain your overarching pursuit.

The way different components in Breath of the Wild merge gracefully to create an intricate survival game is remarkable. Even after 50 hours, you will still be awed by the sheer number of elegant mysteries and complex puzzles that you can track down.

The scope of this quest is astonishing. Hyrule takes center stage in this game. Its beauty and vastness apart, the varied set of situations from vast grasslands to rugged high-altitude mountains draws you in. Breath of the Wild is intuitive, and your ingenuity will be crucial here.

Creativity, caution, and resourcefulness are essential in your effort to survive. When you start, the only weapon you have is your shield. Food, potions, weapons, and friends (think dogs and horses) are sourced from the wild. These substances also react to magnetic forces or fire, as you would expect in nature. There are also many objects that you can collect in your travels, from minerals to fruits. Find a fire, and you’ve got yourself a sweet snack or a powerful potion.

Death awaits you in Breath of the Wild. It is hard to anticipate for it the first time. The cruel hand of your foes, a miscalculation, or a tumble down the mountain will make you reconsider nearly everything you know from the earlier Zelda games. Still, Breath of the wild retains the thrill and suspense throughout your journey.

You can get fruits from trees, set grass on fire, and experiment with different recipes. Hell, you can even fry your disarmed enemy by throwing your sword before them and let the lightning do the rest.

However, Link has to contend with physical limits and unpredictable weather. Warmer clothes help him to battle the cold, and fireproof gear saves him from volcanic ash when the Death Mountain beckons.

The game’s open-world wild is easily the best among its contemporaries. You can move in any direction, scale mountains, or visit villages in your quest. In older Zelda games, your gear determined your progress. Not in Breath of the Wild. The variety of weapons you will encounter as you progress is astounding. Do not get attached to any weapons because, in this game, they are perishable. However, for every weapon destroyed by your stronger opponent, you get a better one from the enemies you defeat.

Quick reactions will save you here. Enemies in Breath of the Wild are sharp, and sometimes the shield defense becomes useless. Study the different fighting styles of the combatants. Simpler enemies can be overcome with the shield. However, for the meaner ones, you must learn to dodge their hits. Ducking freezes them momentarily, allowing a player to unleash a series of attacks on their defenseless side. These moves are essential, and they require razor-sharp execution. The more you face unpredictable foes, the better you get.

There is no guideline for most of the journey. For example, you find out for yourself that the combatants’ arrows that strike your wooden shield are added to your arsenal. Or that you should keep the fire away from your enemy’s wooden weapons. Anything wooden is a fire waiting to happen, and anything metal turns you into the lightning’s target practice.

Most games lay out all the steps for you, but this game is a gem. It gives you room to try something no reviewer or friend has tried.

The side quests on your way to defeat Ganon may embolden you, but do not be fooled. Even when you have the ability to defeat the villain, there are still formidable enemies and intricate strategies to learn.

The awe of discovery and potential danger gives this game an edge like no other. The paraglider will gift you the rare chance to scan the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild map. It is also a faster transport across lakes from mountains. Get few precious moments to ponder your next move or search for new locations and clues as you glide on the sky. The bird’s eye view also offers a vantage point in terms of assessment. It is a chance to plan and go in with the right gear.

Your shield can also be used as a snowboard to provide a gleeful descent down the mountains. Is there anything stirring like chilly droplets hitting your face as you race downhill against the wind?

The more you increase Link’s skills and energy meter, the better you will fare in extreme conditions. Increased expertise should not lull you. You are never invincible. Hyrule always finds a way to remind you how unforgiving nature can be. Rain and thunderstorms will wear you down. And while you drain, earth elements are seeking to kill you.

The day and night cycle is another element you have to master. At night monsters emerge from the ground. You also find bugs, plants, and people waiting for you to give you the secrets that they hold.

And who doesn’t love magic? There are magical skills called runes that are available to Link. They can be used creatively to have an advantage in battles or in decrypting puzzles. Use magic to freeze enemies for an instant. Freezing an object makes it absorb energy as it lays dormant. When it unfreezes, all the accumulated energy explodes and woe unto the nearby enemies. It is also useful when moving large obstacles.

Puzzles get you through in the dungeons. Your battle skills are still useful but not as frequently as in the wild. The goal is to outwit the dungeon so that it can change into a shape that will allow you access to crucial areas. This is a fantastic shift from the older Zelda dungeons.

The four main dungeons may be thrilling, but the 100 mini-dungeons sprinkled across Hyrule are electrifying. They test the limits of Link’s magical abilities. Your test your wits to the maximum, but it is still a reprieve from the harsh wild and a chance to test your puzzle-solving skills.

You will figure out what to do, no doubt. But will you be able to execute your plan with precision? Some of these puzzles are easy to solve. Other puzzles need a multi-layered approach.

This Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review is incomplete without mentioning the rural ambiance that gives the towns and beaches in Hyrule a hospitable aura. Hikers, who will put a smile on your face with their witty quips, dot the trails. You might even find a side-quest from them. Indulge with them since is the much-awaited relief from the struggle to survive. These pleasant diversions sometimes offer memorable events away from the main mission.

In real life, few things match the upsurge in vitality a hike in the wild gives you. You even feel the modern life burdens leaving your mind with each step you take deeper into the wild. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gameplay gives you this sense of boldness and tranquillity as you explore the wild and the Shrines.

Everything seems to be purposely included to heighten your senses. The dancing of the blades of grass as you roam through, the timely piano notes, and the sense of an impending discovery is enough to leave anyone with childlike glee.

Breath of the Wild is built around the premise of exploration and innovation. Toy around with gravity, inertia, and the laws of physics in your quest to outwit the wild and puzzles. There are instances when you feel you have gone astray from the mission. Don’t.

18 Factors that Make an Open-World Game Stand Out (Updated List)

Every gamer wants a larger-than-life game. There several tips that can be useful when buying one. Here is the list.

  1. Constant Challenge.
  2. Gripping Storyline.
  3. Flexibility.
  4. Immediate and Practical Results.
  5. Blend of Fun and Realism.
  6. Great controls.
  7. First-rate theme and visuals.
  8. Good sound and music.
  9. Great gameplay.
  10. Solid level advancement.
  11. Memorable characters.
  12. Distinctiveness.
  13. Great multiplayer.
  14. Decent applications of details.
  15. Epic boss battles.
  16. User Experience.
  17. Minimal glitches.
  18. Excellent reviews.
  19. Long Story Mode.

How Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Fares in Terms of the Factors

1. Constant Challenge

Breath in the world is the epitome of a challenging game. Link starts his journey with nothing but a branch to defeat his enemies. Nothing is handed to you, and here nature can be as generous as it can be demanding.

The continuous tests and experimentation make you think and rethink your strategies.

Oh, what about the art of cooking? Tasty meals are in the offing, and Link needs your culinary skills to renew his stamina. Food is a comparatively small feature, but you feel like every piece of this game was made to make you feel alive.

Every action has a reaction that obeys the laws of nature. The game is a test of your brawn and brain, and everything builds up for the final epic moment.

2. Gripping Storyline

The storyline is another forte where Breath of the Wild flourishes. The premise of the game remains the same. However, the enveloping storyline as you journey towards the final epic moment is spellbinding.

The game is captivating from the moment Link is woken up by a familiar voice in the Shrine of Resurrection. It is a place of mystery with its deep symbols and astounding futuristic technology. In this game, Link wakes up with no recollection. When he gets out of the Shrine of Resurrection into the expanse, your quest begins, but he is as clueless as you are.

3. Flexibility

Rigidity is the enemy of fun, and this game takes a simple approach to how you learn to play.

Breath of the Wild is non-linear, giving players the choice to move in any direction. The only rule here is that if logic dictates it, it will work. You don’t need Zora Slippers to swim, Power Gloves to lift boulders, or Hookshot to cross gaps.

It is the place where the amusing or the outright outrageous works. It is a level of independence you don’t see in any game. And it elevates the game considerably.

4. Immediate and Practical Results

Every action in this game has a direct result. You have to come up with practical solutions every time. The Edin region, for example, is home to the Death Mountain, which gives off burning volcanic ash. Several strategies can get you through. You can prepare food and potions that turn Link into a fireproof being. Another option is to find a non-player character (NPC) to give you fire-resistant gear. The Gorons can also sell fire-resistant gear to you when you reach their village. Alternatively, you can avoid Death Mountain altogether.

Things like learning to locate Sheikah Towers are rewarding because they help you in getting more info on the map and in finding shrines. Shrines are mini-puzzles that have an object. Earn four of these objects, and you get to upgrade your abilities.

5. A mix of Fun and Realism

It is difficult for game developers to find the right balance between the two.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is enjoyable and lifelike at the same time. I loved the perishable weapons though some reviews have rated this as a negative. Short-lived armor, to me, was the embodiment of exploration.

Not knowing the durability of a weapon kept me on edge-in a good way. And naturally, there are better weapons to be found as you progress.

Link’s vulnerability is also another perfect blend of fun and realism.

6. Controls

Breath of the Wild has a broader set of inputs than previous Zelda games. You start with more straightforward controls, then the complexity of these controls increases gradually. Adapting may take time, but once you master them, you will smash enemies with ease.

One additional control that catches the eye is the quick ability to switch weapons. You can change from arrows, spear, shields, swords, and rune powers without going to the Menu. I feel that this aspect of the gameplay even made up for the perishability of weapons.

7. Theme and Visuals

Various themes come about in the game. The central idea is to free the Divine Beasts that had been defeated by Ganon 100 years earlier when Link was put to sleep. This time you are not preventing a hostile takeover; you are looking to take the world back.

The game’s graphics are what the gamers will be seeing throughout, and the visuals should be striking. The Breath of the World visuals is extraordinary.

8. Music and Sound

The music and piano tones resonate well with the surroundings to intensify your anticipation. These sound effects made the virtual characters and the wild more lifelike and realistic. Music evokes emotion, and this series made good use of that.

Not all the tones in Breath of the World are memorable, but they still arouse emotions throughout the game. The sound effects in this release, however, did not reach the levels that previous Zelda games had set.

9. Great Gameplay

Now here is a factor that makes this game surpass other games in the genre and the previous Zelda versions. It has superb gameplay, and there is no single moment of boredom. When offline, you find yourself counting the hours until you can play again.

As I have mentioned earlier in this Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review, the game hands you the reins. You have to steer your game however you like. It may seem odd at first, but you are soon immersed in the new Zelda world completely.

You even control how you make friends. For example, you have to make the horse or the dog your companion. The wild horses here (found around Lake Hylia, Hebra Mountains, or Dueling Peak) are lifelike and have different temperaments and strengths depending on the breed. You will have to learn how to train them. The dogs also need to be bribed.

Have fun on this one.

10. Solid Level Progression

A game that takes you in circles or keeps on the same level or scenario for too long is monotonous. How do creators balance the need for a challenge, which is inherent in people, and the level of difficulty? It is tricky. Make a game too easy, and people will lose interest.

Make it unsolvable, and the same happens.

Breath in the Wild has the right balance in this regard. You will find some complex puzzles, no doubt, but they can be decrypted, sometimes by the most straightforward logic.

In your travels, you may encounter a shrine with a small maze. The maze contains a small ball that you have to move out of the maze into a close funnel. Use the motions controls and let gravity pull the ball across each passageway. The ball falls off so many times that you want to quit.

Then you realize the ball falls from a chamber above to replace the one you dropped. An ingenious alternative way to get the ball would be to flip the maze upside down. The flat surface holds the ball. You then tilt the surface toward the funnel and voila! You have progressed.

11. Memorable Characters and Locations

Characters, both major and minor, have to be likable and notable to grab a gamer’s attention. Zelda, Link, the enemy bosses, and the townsfolk are quite striking in this regard. You do not have to remember the names of every person or group of people you meet. However, when a friend describes a scenario to you even after years, you will pinpoint it.

The locations you uncover as you travel are as memorable as the events that happen. You will not forget the Lost Woods, Tingel Island, Ankala Citadel Ruins, or the Great Plateau soon.

You are also unlikely to forget a ride you hitched on a bear or a catapult you built to propel yourself across a barrier. What about throwing a cuckoo at your enemies, and having the flock of angry birds helps you? You will surely create your moment.

12. Distinctiveness

Breath of the World came up with a distinct concept both from their older versions and from other games in the genre. That is impressive. The concept of open-world gaming is not unique to this game, but it revolutionized and personalized it to fit the game. Most reviewers unanimously agree that this is ground-breaking. It sets the bar very high for the next sequel.

Originality is also evident in the storyline and the incorporation of the laws of nature. The game gives you the feeling that you are inventing something grand.

13. Great Multiplayer

This game franchise is a single-player adventure. There is no aspect of the game that requires two players. It misses out on this factor, but it still holds its credence. Fans have, however, modded Breath of the World into a two-player game on a PC Wii U emulator known as CEMU.

14. Excellent Application of Details

I have mentioned this earlier in this Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review.

Small actions sometimes elicit significant results. Even the food you cook matters. Different foods are meant to replenish or enhance various aspects of Link’s body. The same goes for potions.

Have I mentioned the wild, the mountains, the towns, and the animals? I can go on and on.

In the game, you purchase the goods you want from a store. Buying products and gear is a move away from the Menu selection, and it is a great move. You also get real-life interaction with the attendant.

15. Classic Boss Battles

The Zelda sequel is known for tense boss battles against stronger forces. Breath of the Wild gives you a taste of this when you meet the rock monster called Steppe Laus early on. It won’t be an easy battle.

More bosses are waiting, and the good thing is that if you can’t beat them, you can always run away. You can then return when you are a battle-hardened warrior.

Nintendo has stuck to its family-oriented ratings by avoiding profanity, gore, violence, and nudity. Children as young as seven can play.

16. Minimal Glitches

The game gives a streamlined experience throughout the game. You rarely experience sudden interruptions. The in-game camera can have issues at times. The in-game camera is attained in one of the shrines as a reward. Link uses it to take and save photos.

17. Innovative User Experience

The subtlety with which different components are introduced as you play is methodical, but you will never even notice. From the start, tiny details are added. They will give you an idea of what to do when you meet an obstacle.

User experience is there, but it just feels as though you are inventing it.

18. Outstanding Ratings

The internet overflows with Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild reviews. Renowned reviewers like GameSpot, IGN, Reddit, GamesRadar, and Metacritic have given the game positive acclaims. It must be a marvelous game, indeed.

What You Won’t Enjoy

Some aspects could be improved. However, I should note that these cons are negligible. They do not take away the beauty of this game.

1. Graphics

You will find that some characters are not very attractive. It isn’t a big issue, but when you look at the detailed world around, you feel they should have put that effort into the characters too.

2. Simplistic Big Bosses

The fights with the big bosses seem simple, especially after the fierce wild. The first two fights can be hard, but you get good at it, and the rest look simple.

There is also little variation among the enemies. They change the locations amazingly, but the enemies do not change much.

3. Mechanics and System

The Shrine Locator can be a little loud.

What You Will Enjoy

The pros that I have mentioned in this Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review can fill a book. Breath of the Wild combines simplicity and complexity in a way few have done before. The skills needed to survive in the game seem easy, but they are still challenging.

1. The World of Breath of the Wild

There is infinite beauty in Hyrule. The aura and serenity of every place you visit are enchanting. The landscape from high points draws you in. You do not have to be a fan of open-world gaming to love this game. I have mentioned so many things that you can do in the game that I feel adding one more will spoil the fun for you.

2. The Detailed World

The creators made the game so detailed that you feel you are a part of it. You can deduce the culture and lifestyle of villages, towns, beaches, or abandoned places. These places ooze the personality and architecture of non-playable characters (NPCs).

There are also small snippets of history, which, when combined, will give the history of a location or of Hyrule itself. The game designers also put excellent detail on the animals and weather elements. The animals react as they would in the wild, and it feels lifelike.

3. Puzzles

There are many quests, and each of them is fun.

4. Mechanics and Structure

Lovers of stealth will have a field day here. It will take a few deaths to learn the basics, but once you do, you can go through a whole village without being noticed. You will also enjoy sword fights. You feel that you are a part of it. There are rewards for excellent ducking, and the game allows you to advance your swordsmanship.

FINAL VERDICT

You have already sensed the conclusion from the tone of this Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review. The game is astounding from the bigger picture to the smallest of details. You can even buy Nintendo Switch to play this game.

The Breath of the Wild awards speaks volumes about the game.

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