Snapshots – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Modern consoles have little capture buttons that allow you to take screenshots and videos of the games you play. I like to press these capture buttons A LOT. Even more so when a game has a photo mode to enhance the screenshots you can take.

Here is my journey through The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. WARNING ALL THE SPOILERS LAY AHEAD.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Concise Analysis


Key Facts

  • Platform – Nintendo Switch
  • Genre – Open World RPG
  • Playtime – 70+ Hours
  • “Beaten?” – Enough for me (Main quest and lots of side quests completed)
  • Date Beaten – 10th October 2017
  • Platinum Trophy Unlock – N/A

The really good stuff

  • Takes the Zelda formula and reinvents it for modern open world gaming and also manages to reinvent open world gaming in the process.
  • Has a truly open world, apart from at the very extremes of the world map everything you can see can be accessed in some way.
  • Great ways to travel around the world that all work together. Being able to climb on almost all surfaces is very freeing.
  • Weapon breaking means you are constantly cycling your inventory having to change your tactics accordingly.
  • The world design is spot on there is so many great things to see and do. The game is full of surprises. Lots of strong visual landmarks guide the player through the environment and lead them off the critical path.
  • The story is what the player makes of it. The main thread is presented in a simple manner but the player’s personal journey adds to and enhances it.
  • The different environment types have their unique challenges to overcome and memorable characters. Each area of the map has its own feel and all of them lived in vibe.
  • This is a game that manages to keep throwing surprises at you. You’ll have a an idea to try reaching somewhere on the map or try combining a weird combination of systems and the game rewards you accordingly. 

Possible improvements

  • Enemy variety becomes an issue around the halfway mark. There are a lot of enemies but most are just recoloured tougher versions of monsters you’ve already encountered, many, many, times.
  • Felt like there could have been more giant monsters especially ones tied to areas like the sand whale/shark things in the desert. Tying these into some sort of hunting system across the game would incentivise seeking them out a bit more too.
  • There is a weird inverse difficulty curve to the game. At first it is an almost Dark Souls/Bloodborne cycle of learning through death but by the end game when you have fully equipped yourself most encounters are a cakewalk.
  • Tutorials and tips feel like they always come too late or after the player has figured out a system during the course of play. Many are also missable, learning to cook properly was a google job for me because I hadn’t come across the right book in the right shack to learn how to do it in game.
  • The dungeons are tightly designed puzzles but they felt empty and lacking in character especially when compared to ones in previous Zelda games.
  • While the shrines are a welcome distraction that make up for the more streamlined dungeons the do get a tad repetitive after a while. Especially the combat trial ones….

What is the core of the game?

  • Redefining the Zelda experience for a new era.
  • Have a strong set of systems that are interconnected and work with/against each other based on the players actions and responses.
  • Leave the player to set their own goals within the framework of the game and encourage them to deviate from the path and really explore the game world.

What did the game mean to me?

  • This was a beautiful game to have the pleasure of enjoying. It does so much right that it totally outweighs any shortcomings the game has for me. It is hard to put into words how invested I got in this game’s world, story and characters.

Key Takeaway

  • Sometimes throwing away an established formula and building a new one from the core tenants of a franchise can really pay off. 
  • Also if something looks slightly out of place there is probably a Korok hiding under it.

Rating

5 out of 5