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First Impressions: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

by on March 7, 2017

The crew is ready to give you their first impressions of Breath of the Wild!  Check them out!




-end of review-

Just kidding, I promise I have some coherent things to say about this game. First of all…. Just wow.

This game is absolutely breathtaking. I am probably going to run out of memory with all the screenshots I’ve been taking of the amazing scenery. The weather was done beautifully as well. As irritating as it is to slip down a rock cliff in the rain, I can’t help but admire the rainstorm itself. Every strike of lightning is gorgeous. The sun shining on the tall green grass is just lovely. I’m stunned by the beauty of this game.

It doesn’t just look good though. It’s so much fun to play. In the past I haven’t been very interested in open-world type games, because they can’t keep my attention very well (I’m usually into more linear games). With Breath of the Wild, there’s so much to do that I don’t get bored. There’s also enough free space that I can run around and climb and explore without being bothered. The shrines and Korok puzzles and the dungeons are all so clever and well-planned. They’re just challenging enough to keep me interested without turning me away from being too hard. The game just seems like it’s thought through so well, I’m having a hard time finding something to complain about!

And can we talk about the story for a second? Don’t worry I’m not going to give anything away, but… oh man. There have been some great stories in past Zelda titles, but the storytelling mechanics at play here are truly genius. And the story itself is captivating and saddening and just really awesome.

Ryan – We finally got it.  A true open world Zelda game.  The map is insanely big and you can go in whichever direction you want.  While this breathes new life into the franchise (get it?  Breath of the Wild?  Breathes new life?  I’ll see myself out….), I found myself missing the exposition from previous entries in the franchise.  I love a great story, and it takes a bit of time getting the full story in Breath of the Wild.  I may not like this new approach, but kudos to Nintendo for taking a big complaint from the majority of gamers and addressing it.

That being said, the gameplay is phenomenal.  The controls are clean and responsive.  The additional challenges of the shrines and blood moon makes you strategize and plan more than I have ever planned in a Zelda game.  The best part is the fact that you have a ton of resources to help you plan.  I love being able to cook, create elixirs, and find resources to help me in my journey.  The combat is fantastic, although I wish they would change up the weapons mechanic so they don’t break after 10 hits.  I absolutely hate that aspect, but I understand why they included it.

We could also make an argument that this is one the best looking Zelda games in a long time.  That moment when you run out of the chamber and overlook all of Hyrule is absolutely breathtaking.  The little touches like grass and hair blowing in the wind and the fine detail of all the cities are incredible.

Is this game perfect?  I don’t think so.  But it’s pretty darn close.

Matthew – Zelda games are overrated. The original Legend of Zelda is iconic for sure, but it’s super boring to play now, as are most of the later games in the franchise. Later Zelda games (i.e. Twilight Princess, and any handheld Zelda)  were always a testament to how blind Nintendo was at developing a game and only  focusing on their niche audience. The “adventure game” Zelda has been trying to replicate has not worked since the n64 era.  Not once has a Zelda game tried to pull in a more mainstream crowd, until Breath of the Wild.

I have played to completion two Zelda games in my life, A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time. Those two games are near and dear to me, but by no means did I ever think they were great games. Never would have they been in my top ten. What I loved about those two games were the exploration, the wonderment that filled me as a child as I explored Hyrule. I would spend hours wandering around looking for things to smack with my sword, and I enjoyed the time spent in that world.

Video games nowadays are pretty straightforward, it’s difficult to have a sense of discovery in a digital world. But again Breath of the Wild nails this perfectly. Exploring this dystopian world as Link fills me with the sense of wonder that I haven’t felt with a video game since I sat cross legged in front of my grandma’s tv playing Ocarina. I’ll be honest, I have no clue what I’m doing in Breath of the Wild. I see a Shrine on the horizon, and I want to get to it because when you solve the Shrine puzzle you are rewarded with Spirit Orbs that you can use to upgrade your hearts or stamina wheel. So I’ll head out, but then stumble upon a Bokoblin camp that I just have to raid.

In closing, I’ve spent about 12 hours over the course of launch weekend playing Breath of the Wild. The game is fun, the graphics are beautiful, and the ability to take it anywhere on the Switch knocks it out of the park. From what I’ve played, Zelda is a perfect 10, and I haven’t even talked about the in game cooking! I can’t find a single thing wrong with the game, and this comes from a guy who dislikes Zelda games on principle.

Curt– In contrast to Matt, I’m a huge LoZ fan. I find the stories fascinating (even though they are nearly identical every single go around). Unfortunately,  I don’t have very much play time under my belt; but I can gush for a little bit and share my first impressions.

Like the rest of my colleagues I would also like to note the game’s beauty. I love this art direction (not trying to be realistic, but not cartoony either) a perfect balance that resembles professional and polished art.

The gameplay controls are great! But I am struggling the controls are dramatically different than previous LoZ, in a very good way. The game is much more skill based then the hack and slashes from previous titles. This makes gameplay much more difficult, which was very surprising. I have died way more in the first few hours of play than I was expecting and frankly I love it!

The RPG elements have been a fun add as well, the cooking, weapon durability, collecting orbs and leveling your skills, clothing, cold and heat management really brings the characters and world alive.

I’m reserving final judgment on this game until completion, but considering the world size, its beauty, and gameplay, it’s already off to a great start.

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We will have a full review as soon as we can.  In the meantime, leave a comment and tell us your first impressions of Breath of the Wild!

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