The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BOTW) is an absolute masterpiece and blessing from Nintendo. I logged over 350 hours on the game, equating to about 14.5 days. Yet, there are still more hours to come, as I am in the process of completing the game in Master Mode. 

The game introduced an open-world concept previously unknown to the Zelda series. In previous games, a pretty strict mission had to be followed throughout the game, but BOTW introduced a ton of side quests and opportunities to make Link, the playable character, stronger. 

BOTW is made for the Nintendo Switch, and the controls can be picked up pretty quickly and are easy to follow. I especially liked that when using the bow, players could use the Joy-Cons to look around simply by holding down the ZR trigger and using motion controls to aim, similar to a Wii remote. There is also the option to use the analog stick, but I prefer the motion controls. Besides the bow controls, the rest were very comprehensive and became instinctive after just a few minutes of gameplay. 

nindendo switch with a black background Photo by Matteo Grobberio on Unsplash The game introduced the ability to collect items like food, precious stones, bugs, lizards, and all sorts of things. For the first time, players could collect and cook food to regain health rather than relying on buying health potions or collecting life-restoring fairies. Many of the foods also come with special effects such as giving Link a stamina boost or increasing his defense.

A new feature was also spirit orbs, items that are a major factor in having a strong character. Spirit orbs are collected by completing puzzles and strength trials in shrines throughout the game. There are 120 shrines placed throughout the huge map. I was able to complete all of the trials of the shrines. Some of them were decently challenging, and occasionally the shrines themselves were pretty hard to find. 

The world of BOTW is huge and worth completely exploring. There are interesting items and quests in every nook and cranny of the map. It never gets boring either, as the beautiful graphics and scenery throughout the game are more than pleasing to the eyes. There are plenty of characters and creatures to interact with as well. 

The enemies in the game are a fair amount of toughness. I never had too much of a problem with any of the enemies I ran across, with the exception of Lynels, a centaur-like monster infamous for being one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, monsters in the game. The final boss, Calamity Ganon, was almost too easy for my taste. In previous Zelda games such as Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess, defeating the final boss took me a couple of tries. However, I defeated Calamity Ganon in one go-around with no real fear of my character dying. It is worth noting, however, that I had done everything in the game to become as strong as possible. 

Photo by Felipe Vieira on Unsplash

As I said earlier, I completed the game in the regular mode, and now am trying to beat it in Master Mode. In Master Mode, most enemies and bosses are powered up by one level, can detect Link's approach easier, and regain health over time. I’m looking forward to fighting Calamity Ganon again in this mode, and am hoping it will be a bit more of a challenge. So far, I have noticed an increase in the difficulty of the game, and it has been really fun. 

Overall, BOTW was a great game and I could probably ramble on for hours about how much I enjoyed playing it. There are so many more aspects of the game that play into why it’s so great, and that’s why it’s in my top five favorite video games. Hats off to Nintendo for this beautiful game, I can’t wait to see the next full game in the series.