Much of the initial success of the Nintendo Switch would depend on how well The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild performs on the market. Nintendo has been putting most of its cards in the game, which is arguably the biggest Zelda title to ever be released. Releasing for both the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild could easily be one of the best games of the year, and from what could be inferred from early impressions, it is perfectly capable of catapulting the Nintendo Switch to the bestsellers’ list.
Early reviews of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have started getting released, with prominent gamers and longtime fans of the franchise giving their initial impressions of the powerhouse title. Here are some of the most notable impressions that early reviewers have stated about Breath of the Wild.
Peter Brown of Gamespot asserts that Breath of the Wild could easily be a contender for the title of best Zelda game of all time. Considering that the long-running franchise has powerhouse titles such as Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker under its belt, this statement is very significant. One thing that Brown noted in his initial impression of the game is just how stunning the Nintendo Switch title really is, from its landscape to the meticulous design of the enemies and creatures that players encounter.
One thing that Brown did note, however, is that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, wastes no time holding the player’s hands when introducing the game. Previous Zelda games have developed a reputation for being far too heavy on the tutorials. Not so in Breath of the Wild. In the Nintendo Switch/Wii U title, players are immediately immersed in the game’s vast open world, and gamers could only learn the title’s mechanics by doing.
This particular point was emphasized further by Andrew Webster of The Verge, who remarked that Breath of the Wild offers around as many tutorials as the original Zelda game of 1986 — that is, there is almost none. Webster further stated that in a lot of ways, the new Zelda title feels a lot like the original 1986 game, with its open world and emphasis on experimentation and exploration. The only difference, of course, is its grand scale.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a massive game, and it is just about as expansive as the best open world games in the business, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and GTA 5. Of course, the traditional tropes of the franchise are still there, such as a silent protagonist, a princess named Zelda, and a great evil that players needs to vanquish. What really sets Breath of the Wild apart, however, is its intricacy and attention to every detail.
Stephen Totilo of Kotaku explains this further, stating that every single aspect of Link’s stats in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild could be affected by the player’s choices. In the game, players would need to balance Link’s stamina with every physical activity they choose to do with the character, such as climbing walls or crossing over snowy mountains. Gamers who choose to ignore this would most likely have their characters die due to cold, exhaustion, or drowning. Even weapons, usually taken from enemies, have a lifespan, with many breaking during battle if not properly maintained.
Totilo even noted that cooking, a fairly basic, seemingly unimportant aspect of the game, plays a huge part in keeping Link alive. For example, having Link consume a meal made with spicy ingredients would allow the character to last longer in areas where the temperature is freezing. Simply put, every single detail of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild experience is simply stunning, from its intricate health system, to the significance of each task that players need to perform in order to keep their characters and equipment in top shape.
Overall, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game that might very well be awarded a perfect 10 from numerous reviewers. Initial impressions of the game are no less than stellar, and those are just for the title’s first few hours of gameplay. From what could be determined so far, it appears that Nintendo has struck gold with its Zelda franchise once more, as the title has every bit of potential to make it the best entry in the franchise since the original game came out more than 30 years ago.
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