Let me start off by saying this…..WOW. This game is without a doubt one of the best games I have ever played. I could not put it down and it still took me 9 days to beat the story. This review will be in 5 segments. Story, Gameplay, Visuals, Music, and Length. I should note that I did play this on the Nintendo Switch so my concerns may be better or worse on the Wii U. Lets get started. Also, all of the screenshots shown in this review came from my own play through.
Now I can’t say for certain how well the story compares to other RPG/Action games but I can say without a doubt that Breath of the Wild has become my favorite story in a Zelda game, with second place being Skyward Sword. With both the cutscenes that you will come across as the move through the story and the memories of a life 100 years ago pre Calamity Ganon, you will find many cutscenes with a lot of voice acted dialogue in them. While I think most of the voice acting is phenomenal, I did have slight problems with some of the performances, most of which came from Zelda. I just do not believe that her voice actress was the most fit for the character but the problems happened very rarely and did not interfere with my enjoyment of the game. The story does it job and a I found myself being excited to find out what was going to happen next.
Forget what past Zelda games have taught you, this Zelda game plays nothing like them. All weapons you receive break, besides a couple small exceptions. The combat system is brilliant, while some may get annoyed with their weapons breaking all the time. I found the system to very special as it forced me to learn to fight well with weapons I would normally never wanna use. It showed me how fun it could be to try new things in the combat.
You will get lost in this world. One minute I was planning on progressing the story, and the next I was wandering around a snowy mountain shield surfing. The world itself is the ultimate distraction.
The game is exceptionally difficult. I died at least 100 times, but I rarely got angry as most deaths I felt were my fault. The game does a spectacular job at making me want to keep exploring. Speaking of exploring, you will come across many different locations, shrines, and people in the world. All of which I have had an amazing time talking to and exploring. As of writing this I have only done 54 Shrines, and with 120 in total I have a long way to go. I did find most of the dungeons to be a little underwhelming considering what types of dungeons we played in before. With only 4 Divine Beasts, they did have different mechanics in each dungeon but none of which were as fun as previous Zelda dungeons, But the amount of Shrines make up for them because I have had so much fun getting to them and solving all of the puzzles in them.
The game is beautiful. I have never seen such a pretty game in my life. Some may complain that it doesent look realistic but I must say that I love the choice of art direction. It really looks pretty, especially when you look out onto the world during a sunset on a mountain.
However I did run into many instances of frame drops. Most were minor and only slowed down while I was in a large battle or in a field with a lot of tall grass. But some froze my game, the game never crashed but I have 3-5 instances of it freezing for 2-3 seconds. I worry about how the Wii U version fares in this regard as I would have to assume it’s much worse.
Load times aren’t really visual base but I am gonna include them here anyway. The load times aren’t bad, with most being under 20 seconds and really aren’t that much of a burden. I didn’t see a problem with them, I just didn’t want to not bring them up.
The music is exceptional, it ties in perfectly with the situations you are in and just exploring the world. A lot of the time you explore the world there will just be ambient sounds but I never had a problem with that, especially when I would wander onto a stable location and that amazing music would come on and remind me that there was no music playing for the last 10 minutes. It truly fits in with the gameplay and I still cannot get the Guardian theme or Hyrule Castle theme out of my head. This may be the best music in the Zelda series. The music is on YouTube, I really recommend listening to it if you haven’t already.
This game is LONG. While length isn’t going to be a deciding point in my review score, I did want to bring up how large this game is and how little of it I actually completed. I would estimate that I played between 40-50 hours. In that time I got 99 out of the 900 Korok seeds (these are going to take forever to get all of.) 54 out of the 120 shrines, and only a small fraction of the 76 side quests. You will have a lot on your plate if you plan to 100 percent complete this game. I see myself having at least another 50 hours to explore the land of Hyrule before I complete the game.
This game is remarkable! While I did have a few small issues with the game, none of which negatively impacted my experience for more than a couple seconds at a time. This game has become my favorite Zelda game, and maybe even my favorite game of all time! This game made me buy the DLC pack before I even finished the game, and in most cases I hate DLC in single player games but I just cannot get enough of this game and am already throwing my money at Nintendo because I believe in this game that much. If you are a Zelda fan, chances are you already have the game. But if you have never played a Zelda game, or just didn’t like the older ones. I beg you, try this game out. It may make you love the Zelda series.
I award The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a 10/10 – Masterpiece
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