Zelda goes open world in sublime fashion. This the game the Switch needed.
These feel like nitpicking in the face of everything else the game offers though. Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, producer Eiji Aonuma, and their team at Nintendo, have redefined what a Zelda game is, from the ground up. Breath of the Wild is a masterpiece.
If there’s a better game out there than Breath of the Wild, I haven’t played it. Nintendo has created, for me, the greatest game of all time. It’s everything I want from a game and one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.
It's a game that allows you to feel gradually more and more empowered yet simultaneously manages to retain a sense of challenge and mystery--which, together, creates a steady, consistent feeling of gratification throughout the entire experience. Breath of the Wild is a defining moment for The Legend of Zelda series, and the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created.
And that is Breath of the Wild all over. I went back to transport that flame before finishing this review, you know. What I expected to be a brief milk run turned into a gauntlet against a troop of rangy Moblins, a battle with the elements and even included a neat variation on the classic Zelda fire-arrow puzzle. How apt. Brilliance found in every corner.
The most freeform Zelda yet, without sacrificing the charm, fun or quality you expect from the series. Nintendo’s finest work since Super Mario Galaxy.
It's inspired by those greats and others, but it doesn't ape them any more than it rests on its own laurels. And if we're talking inspirations, we have to recognise one game above all others, an uncompromising adventure from 1986 that dared to take gaming off the rails, that put a whole world beyond the TV screen and invited the player to explore it: the original Legend of Zelda.
Though in the end, most of what drives Breath of Wild to soar the highest this series ever has, comes down to essential Nintendo principles: recasting familiar notions of play in subtle, subversive and accordingly tectonic ways. That an odyssey this beguiling and capacious happens to also be playable on planes, trains and, yes, the toilet, is beside the point.
Breath of the Wild takes this idea, cuts out the fluff, and expands upon it. It pulls ideas from other games, like crafting or survival, yet makes them feel perfectly at home in its beloved universe. It’s exactly the Zelda game I’ve been waiting for.