Game Review: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)
Due to the pandemic causing me to have plenty of spare time, I have picked up several video games and have been playing them for the past few months. I will be covering these games fully throughout the next month or two and giving my full thoughts on here.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an open-world action-adventure game set in the world of Hyrule as part of the main TLoZ franchise. Released in 2017 for both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, it is the last game to release on the Wii U and has become one of the biggest games for the Nintendo Switch. Since the original release, there have been two expansion packs as well as an announcement for a sequel, which is expected to be released on the Nintendo Switch sometime in the near future. This game takes place one hundred years after the defeat of Calamity Ganon, with hero Link’s mission to defeat him once and for all, saving Zelda in the process.
Despite the open-world nature of the game, there is a heavy focus on the main storyline and how to progress throughout the game. With the many characters you interact with, the gorgeous cut scenes you encounter throughout your journey, and how natural the progression feels from start to finish, it is a game that will leave you hooked. Out of all of the Nintendo first-party franchises, The Legend of Zelda has the most narrative-focus of them all, and I am glad to say that the story from start to finish is captivating and leaves you feeling satisfied and eager to learn more.
Being an open-world game, there is a lot of extra content to keep you going past the main story. With 120 shrines, 90 side missions, and twelve memories to capture across this stunning world, there is easily over a hundred hours of gameplay to be had with this game. The side missions also provide extra background on the story and characters, as well as plenty of rewards from improving your weapons, earning in-game currency as well as improving your stats to become as powerful as you can. Each mission feels rewarding and comes in many formats, not repeating the same task or puzzle over and over again.
This game makes use of the Nintendo Switch’s different functions and allows for players to play the game in numerous ways. There were several puzzles that required motion control to complete the puzzle, and yet it never felt overused or done for gimmicks. In fact, I actually found myself using the motion controls to aim when using the bow and arrow as it came more naturally to me, however, the analog stick is also an option if that is your preferred method. The controls felt very smooth and the combat system is excellent, but I have always liked the combat style in this franchise.
I found that for the most part, Breath of the Wild struck a nice balance in terms of the difficulty. I was impressed by how the game handles the tutorial, giving you the basic concepts of how certain things such as the runes, climate of the world, and the enemies you would come across. Once you move on from the tutorial, I found that the difficulty level was just right for any casual player, no matter what age you are. The one issue where I found the difficulty to ramp up was with when fighting Thunderblight Ganon in Divine Beast Vah Naboris, taking me many attempts to finally defeat him in contrast to how simple the other bosses are.
Each main game in The Legend of Zelda franchise is easily recognised by the visual style as well as the music that accompanies it. Above any other Nintendo franchise, the music in this franchise is always stunning to listen and Breath of the Wild is no exception. The game also makes use of the HD graphics on the Nintendo Switch, as the stunning visuals bring the world to life. The colours are incredibly vibrant, bringing a fun animation style into what is otherwise quite a dark game tonally and narrative-wise. It helps you easily get sucked into the game and want to spend hours walking around, which is what I end up doing.
I have put over 80 hours into the game already in the span of two months and I have only completed 20% of the missions and shrines in the game. The fact that I am still logging on almost daily to complete missions and secondary quests after completing the main story shows the variety of content that is available and the amount of playability there is with this one game. Whilst I would still say that Wind Waker is my favourite game in the Zelda franchise, Breath of the Wild is still a stunning game and you have plenty of time to get a hand on it before the sequel comes out sometime in the near future.
Have you had a chance to play Breath of the Wild yet? What is your favourite film in the Zelda franchise? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section and let’s have a discussion.