The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Review

Written by: Karen Benitez

Games | Mar 8, 2017

Breath of the Wild Legend of Zelda Link Nintendo Nintendo Switch Zelda

Searching the deepest corners of my memory's attic, my first Zelda game was Majora's Mask, with A Link to the Past and The Four Swords following soon after. All of those games were fun despite the free-roam elements being limited to how far you've progressed through the game. Despite being able to run around and kill things, the games were still linear.

Breath of the Wild is different. The first five minutes start with a vague beginning (something almost reminiscent of Dark Souls), whereby you are thrown out into the wild to fend for your own. If you decide to stop staring at the world, you will have everything you will ever need to go through the game within three or so hours. This is a wild departure from every Zelda game before it.

This version of Hyrule is massive. The open world is as big as a Zelda game has ever gotten, and based on how people respond to this, I can imagine the next title featuring an even bigger setting.

It's not The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt big or Skyrim big, but it is big and teeming with life. The sky is rich and bright and the plains are filled with jumping frogs and fluttering butterflies.  There is just so much to explore and so much to see, providing a lot of opportunities for videogame photography.

Dungeons and shrines are scattered throughout Hyrule as well. Each one is very puzzle-based (as you might have guessed), and the puzzles are actually clever and fun, being almost based on real science and not the typical video game logic. You will be encountering a lot of these and spend up to 50 hours combing through every secret each place has to offer.

Combat has been tweaked. The first weapon I got was a woodcutter axe, followed by a sword from a Boblokin I just killed. Soon I picked up a shield, which deteriorated over time. Weapons are not permanent in this game. They break and force you to collect different weapons. This adds a fine edge, keeping things fresh and making sure that you're on your toes constantly. I find this mechanic much more interesting than finding a weapon that sticks with you long enough until you find a new one with better stats.

It's unfair to slap Dark Souls into every new game, but it is true - there are Dark Souls elements in the combat, albeit in a lighter way. The stamina wheel determines how long you can sprint and do certain attacks, like the spin slash. It is there to control a bit of your action and to keep you from getting bored while wandering around Hyrule, because after spending at least 60 hours, it does get a little boring. I've played Red Dead Redemption and Skyrim lots of times and the splendor of the visuals eventually faded. The same can happen in Breath of the Wild.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a marvel achievement from Nintendo. In a way, it breaks barriers. It introduces nothing groundbreaking in the gaming world, but Breath of the Wild gives us something fresh in a stale franchise and people who have never played a Zelda game before will definitely want to play this game.

The newest Zelda game is definitely wild. It soars beyond expectations with rich visuals, sounds, and hours of gameplay. If there is a real reason to acquire a Nintendo Switch now, it is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

About the author: Karen Benitez

Skater, musician, carpenter, gamer. Karen is interested in culture, science fiction, and Cthulhu. She participated in MMA bouts, got her ass kicked many times, and ended up with broken bones. Life is good.

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