Zelda: BOTW Switch Review
Product Provided by Nintendo
There is so much to explore in this game, so many spoilers I could let people onto but at the same time. I don’t think this is fair. If you came to this review expecting an overview on the good and bad, every fine detail then this isn’t for you. I don’t think I can justify critiquing this masterpiece so I'm going to get this out of the way now. 10/10, a masterpiece and true successor to Ocarina of Time, one of the greatest games ever made. Instead of a standard ‘review’ this is my review of why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is deserving of a perfect score and why it shows that Nintendo are the masters of game creation who present us with a new classic that brings the spirit and love of Zelda back to what it should be, a game about exploring, partaking in an adventure and testing the players wit and cunning to save Hyrule.
I want to start by saying the one thing I wish there was more of in the game. This is a personal opinion and just something I wish would have remained from the Zelda formula. I would have liked some inclusion of Temples, as well as the Mystic Beasts with chances to get more Items in the long run like a Hookshot, in no way, are Items limited but I would have still liked to be able to get permanent Items that had uses other than fighting in the game.
Now onto the good parts.
The sheer freedom of the adventure is astonishing when you first escape the tutorial island and gain the paraglider you are given complete freedom on where to go and what to do. You aren’t tied down to complete the main quest or follow a particular objective to unlock the world around you, it is your oyster and can even storm Ganon’s castle if you want from the very get go, though, probably not the best idea in the world. The game still follows the same formula, fight monsters, explore dungeons, find treasure and fight bosses but takes away the archaic formula to make it a completely free experience like no other.
The first time you step into the world the game is constantly letting you know that this is the world to explore, there can be secrets anywhere and everywhere to explore, go and find them. Everything is designed to encourage you to explore and rewards you for doing so. There is no guiding force, just you, going wherever you desire. The game is made so nothing feels tedious. Why there are no temples or bosses at the end as explained before, there are 100+ shrines to enter, with some to test your combat prowess while others test your wit and puzzle knowledge.
The Game and Its Mechanics.
The combat in the game has been both simplified and redefined. Offering an easier method of fighting head on but at the same time, the length of options on how to fight at your disposal are truly gratifying with special moves from previous games being pushed aside in favour of continuing this idea of freedom to do what you please, including combat. These fights reward you with new weapons to swap out your old/broken ones, always collecting a new arsenal with higher hitpoints as well as collecting parts of monsters killed to use in cooking, crafting or selling down the line.
The world is so dense that you never get bored finding new things, items, ingredients, the lot. All continuing to play on this idea that exploration equals rewards. The game gives you all the tools you need to explore with you able to climb on almost any surface and paraglide to any area with creates an addicting environment, cycling through the same pattern. You explore, then you discover, then you are rewarded then explore again in a constant gratifying loop.
There is an annoying drop in frame rate when too many particles are on the screen but nothing that deters from the adventure, annoying at best but isn’t something that happens too often. An open-world-game like this will always have its bugs but what makes the game so defining is everything else that filters out an annoyance, which can be easily overlooked. You can’t really go into negatives for this game without nitpicking or putting personal weight on it. Going into this games release I was sceptical seeing how overhyped Games such as No Man’s Sky, etc, were nothing as we anticipated which is why I'm thankful that the hype surrounds Breath of the Wild was not only justified but goes beyond.
The joy and pride you get from solving a puzzle or finding a secret by your own wit and cunning should not be spoiled by looking up a guide. I played this game for many days before it’s official release and had nowhere to turn to help so, when it came to find out those secrets, discovering things and overall getting to hit that “Eureka!” moment, it was elevating, a sense of pride and success washes over your body.
I feel in the past just the title of “Zelda” gives a game the review score before even playing it, people expect these games to get high scores because it is a Zelda and for this review, I review it on the premise of it being a game, a masterclass. Breath of the Wild is the best game in a decade to be released and works best on Nintendo Switch.
And that is why, BOTW, Is a masterpiece.