Let me start this by saying I don’t write reviews, the last (and only) review I ever wrote was back in 2014 for Mario Kart 8. It’s not even on this site anymore. But, when a game has been this incredible an experience I just can’t justify not writing about it. This really isn’t so much a review as just some thoughts on what I’ve experienced so far playing the game.
Oh, and what an experience it’s been so far. I say so far, because as of me starting to write this I STILL haven’t beaten it. I’ve put over 100 hours in the game, and have yet to complete the first dungeon I went to, or even start the others. I’ve been having so much fun just exploring the massive world that I just haven’t gotten back to it to take on the boss. This game is an absolute masterpiece that deserves all the praise it has gotten.
Yes, it’s that good.
To get it out of the way, I’ve been playing the Wii U version (don’t have my Switch yet, I won’t go into it so don’t ask), and yes it definitely has some performance issues. No one should try to deny that, it’s simply the truth. But, that doesn’t change the fact that the game itself is absolutely amazing. This game is DEFINITELY pushing the Wii U as hard as it can. As for the Switch version, it’s likely that’s mostly due to lack of optimization as they only started working on it LAST YEAR. The system is clearly capable of running it, and I’m sure when they start working on a ground-up Zelda game it won’t have those issues. The game is also gorgeous and the art style works SO well with Zelda.
I saw some random person on Twitter trying to dismiss the excitement for this game, basically saying “you just climb mountains why are people so excited?”
A ridiculous statement, because this game is SO much more than just “climbing mountains.” It’s the lively villages, the sense of exploration, how you get distracted every second by something else in the distance or on a mountain. The world isn’t just empty space, there’s almost ALWAYS something to find. A shrine, an enemy camp, an NPC strolling along, treasure.
This is what open-world games are supposed to be.
When Nintendo talked about redefining the “conventions of Zelda” they weren’t lying. This game truly does exactly that. When you start the game, you’re not forced to sit through tons of tutorials, the game lets you go and learn it on your own. That’s what the Great Plateau is, you get introduced to the combat, climbing, Shrines, Sheikah Towers and cooking system, all as you play and explore on your own. I uploaded a nearly three hour long video of just the Great Plateau to Youtube, and some people have spent even longer just exploring it. You don’t have to though, you can just get the Shrines done and head out as quickly as you want.
The way you interact with the world and everything in it has never been done in a Zelda game before, the way they’ve implemented the physics engine is so awesome. The ability Runes you get for the Sheikah Slate are some of my favorite abilities ever in a Zelda game, and the way you can use them to mess around with enemies and the environment can lead to hours of just fooling around and having fun.
The enemies, oh man, are they great. If you’ve only seen the Bokoblins on the Great Plateau you haven’t seen ANYTHING. I’m on my second row of hearts and there are enemies that can one shot me if I’m not prepared. Even the most powerful variations of the Bokoblins can absolutely destroy you if you’re not careful. Sometimes when I’m exploring, I’ll just hang around watching a camp of Bokoblins and seeing what they do. Moblins will throw Bokoblins at you, you can get a Stone Talus and Guardian to fight each other. You can sneak up on a Sleeping Hinox and swipe their treasure. There’s so much stuff you can do, and I haven’t done even close to all of it yet!
So far, this is probably the best game I’ve ever played in my entire life. I’ve been playing games since the NES days in the 80s, I don’t think I’ve ever had the kind of fun I’ve had with Breath of the Wild. That’s not hyperbole. That’s not “blind fanboyism” or whatever moronic word people will throw out.
It’s my actual, honest, real god damn opinion.
This game is freaking incredible and nothing anyone says will change that for me.