The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Game Review

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Game Review

Editors note: (This game was reviewed using the Nintendo Switch version.)

It needs to be said that I was never really a big Zelda fan. I have tried to be. I have played multiple games in the series, including Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess, but they never really stuck with me. I’ve never thought they were bad games by any stretch; I was just never able to get into the game play or plots of them.

Then Breath of the Wild came along…

By now many of you have most likely heard that Breath of the Wild is good. Not just good, but excellent. So I will give out my A+ rating now and get it out of the way so we can look at just why this game is as good as it is.

The first and biggest aspect that needs to be discussed of Breath of the Wild is its world.




Having played many open world games, I can safely say that (with the exception of MMO’s) this is the biggest world I have ever had the pleasure of exploring. Not only is this game world big, it’s dense. I have gone hours upon hours of exploring this game without touching the main plot.

What makes the exploration so great is the fact that you are given all of the tools you need to do so right at the beginning. In previous Zelda games you had to go to X temple to get Y gadget to open up Z path in order to progress. In Breath of the Wild, after finishing the first area which functions as a sort of tutorial, you can head straight to the final boss if you want to. This game is all about freedom, going and doing what you want to do in the way you want to do it.

Exploration is the game’s greatest strength, and the complete freedom you have to go where you want allows for some incredible moments to unfold organically. In one moment I was sneaking up on a sand walrus to get some meat to cook when I discovered you could actually ride them around the desert I was in, shortly afterwards I was sand surfing around the dunes before suddenly getting chased by a giant sandworm. There was nothing around to tell you that moments like these existed and further serve to make you feel like this is a living breathing world.

Freedom extends to the puzzles in the game as well. While there are ways that the designers had in mind for you to solve puzzles, often you can discover other ways to do so as well that they might not even have thought of. For instance, in one puzzle, you need to use a giant hammer to hit a ball against a giant button. The way to do this involves a control panel nearby. Failing to see that control panel, I instead used the time stop mechanic on the ball and hit it a bunch of times with explosives to build up its momentum. When I released the time stop, the ball shot out in the direction away from the explosions and hit the button. Maybe not most eloquent way to solve it, but it was solved nonetheless.

There are only four main temples to contend with this time around and without spoiling anything they are a treat. While not as big (internally) as I remember their predecessors to be, they are massive in size and just getting inside them is a puzzle in itself. The bosses in these temples range from easy to quite difficult yet there is no real order in which you are expected to tackle them in.

Scattered around the world as well are shrines, functioning as a mini temple of sorts, these often offer smaller puzzles that will often be seen later on in the bigger temples. Completing these shrines gives the players Spirit Orbs which, when you collect four of them, allows you to expand your health or stamina, increasing your ability to explore and survive in the wild.

Along with the shrines and temples that are all over Hyrule, are little creatures called Koroks. Finding these guys will reward Link with a Korok Seed which can be exchanged for greater inventory space for your melee weapons, bows, and shields. There are 900 Koroks total in the world, and can be found in a variety of circumstances from lifting rocks, to shooting targets in the air. Players will have to keep a sharp eye out in order to find them all!

With that all being said, Breath of the Wild is not a perfect game. The game does suffer from the occasional frame rate drop, though they happen rather infrequently. The weapon durability system is also a giant pain as most weapons you find will break after roughly 15-25 strikes with them. To be honest though, these issues are minor blemishes on what is an incredible feat of game design. If you’re like me, you will be enjoying the other aspects too much to really notice the occasional hiccup.

At the risk of overhyping the game, which has most likely happened already, I would say that Breath of the Wild has earned a place among what I consider to be some of the best games ever made. If this is the type of quality that we can continue to expect from Nintendo in its future first-party releases for the Nintendo Switch, then their future is bright indeed.