Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Not Impressed


Question: Is anyone else kinda let down by Nintendos new Zelda?


This is something that’s been bugging me since E3. After seeing this game steal the show for so many journalists and E3 attendees, I have to speak up, I have to say my peace, and explain why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild failed to impress me on nearly every front.

First off, I’ll be quick in telling you where I’m coming from. I consider myself a Zelda fan. I started playing the series on the N64 with Ocarina of Time and have since gone out of my way to play every game in the series. The design of these games in both gameplay and story telling has always been superb. I can still remember being most impressed with Hyrule field. Today it looks like an early, crude attempt at an open-world. That’s exactly what it is, but at the time it captured our imaginations. What if the world could get bigger, more detailed, more realistic? It truly was the start of a industry-wide shift in how game development was approached. In so many ways, Zelda was the first Elder Scrolls, first GTA, first Assassin’s Creed and that brings the biggest reason why Breath of the Wild failed to impress me with its E3 demo.

Link Cooking Now we’re cookin!

Don’t get me wrong, the game itself is impressive. The world looks utterly huge and while the art-style didn’t do it for me personally, that’s a completely subjective element, and you can’t deny how realized the world has become. The problem I’m having, is the fact that there isnt too much we haven’t already seen in terms of gameplay mechanics and design. It seems like what has most people excited is really only new to the Zelda series. That’s what ultimately had this feeling wash over me, the feeling that Breath of the Wild maybe late to it’s own party.

Alot of the “mind blowing” things people talk about coming out of E3, are things we’ve seen done (if not done better) in other modern action/adventure games. The attention to detail is something we saw in the polish of GTAV, and the open-world directionless exploration is an experience you could get out of The Elder Scrolls. It’s practically that series signature element. Don’t forget that the climbing that feels like a take off of Assassin’s Creed with the gliding off cliff sides looking almost ripped directly from the Arkham games. It doesnt help that the appeal of Breath of the Wild as a whole begins to pale when you consider GTAV is still going strong and only getting more affordable to pick up, and remasters of the best Arkham and Elder Scrolls games are on the way.

Skyrim SE1 and lookin’ good!

I’m not saying there is nothing new or unique coming out of Breath of the Wild, but the concept of an open-world action/adventure game was pioneered by this series in the 80s. Since then, many other developers have taken inspiration from those elements of exploration and added upon them. Now, it seems the opposite is happening. It looks like Nintendo is looking to every successful open-world in the industry for inspiration. It’s almost startling to see a Zelda game borrowing so many elements from games that one could argue, did true open-worlds better.

Anyway, that’s my take on Breath of the Wild. When you consider what’s there, this new Zelda title already feels like the closest thing to a full 3D realization of the original game we’ve ever seen. Open-world, dungeons, unique items, puzzles, etc. It’s Zelda. For me, it’s hard to tell what’s driving such excitement over this game short of nostalgia, and the Wii U owners finally getting a killer-app. This take on Hyrule doesn’t fail to look like a world one would like to get lost in, but is there really anything in this new world we haven’t already seen before?

Breath of teh Wild Master Sword Like, really!?

When people talk about why they are excited for this game, once you take the whole “It’s Zelda!” nostalgia factor out of the mix, what you see is excitement over this kind of amalgamation of pretty much every successful open-world game to come out in the last decade. That is what people seem to be excited about on the surface and frankly, it doesn’t impress. It pretty much looks like more Zelda. Like Skyward Sword but in a bigger world. Times have changed and while the Legend of Zelda series has always brought new and interesting things to it’s titles, if not its whole genre. By today’s standards, Breath of the Wild feels like it plays it a little too safe in all the wrong places. So far…

At the very least, it will be interesting to see how Breath of the Wild will be remembered when compared to other successful games in it’s genre. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild comes out Spring 2017.

Written by: BladeRunner07

  • jmmreivew

    You have been spending too much time with Noxa Blade I hear he isn’t impressed either.
    I am really excited but I agree when you said it is the “killer-app” which is a little late in the game if you ask me considering the NX is just around the corner!

    Why and I excited? Finally I get to play a Zelda that isn’t about a boat/wolf/dragon. I hope this will be the modern day Ocarina of Time and making the game open world with an open story was a risk, I don’t feel like they are playing it safe.

    • MGNoxa

      I’m a poison that must be cleansed or all of your Nintendo joy will wither and die.

    • Blade Runner 07

      The promise of a gimmick-free Zelda game is intriguing for sure.

      I think this will be the modern day Legend of Zelda. As in the first NES game, but that remains to be seen, and any argument there would be foolish considering OOT was essentially ALttP and that game was essentially a heavily refined and fleshed out version of the original game. So I would call this par for the course if it wasn’t for all the elements borrowed from other games.

      You are right in that they arnt playing it safe in relation to what they have done before, but I think the point of this article is to express my bewilderment at how a this game can swoop in and take “Best in Show”. They are doing a bunch of “different” things we’ve all seen before, but they are doing it in Zelda this time, and that makes it better somehow.

      Still, if all this is is Zelder Scrolls II: Hylian Creed than it should be a day-one buy for anyone that currently owns a Wii U. As for everyone else, it’s hard to say. If you have a last or current generation Xbox/PS, there are similar experiences on those consoles, and a library of great games that dwarfs what Nintendo has on it’s home console.

      Like so many, I want to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild too. True to it’s killer-app legacy, it will likely cost me over $400 to do that, and I hope it’s worth it. Until then, we have a handful of great open-world games similar to this one, and 25 years worth of Zelda to play. Have fun.

      • jmmreivew

        So the reason I would say Zelda: Breath of the Wild got “Best in Show” is because it was a bad show. Zelda won by default and it doesn’t reflect on how good the game is, it reflects on how bad E3 was this year. Out of interest what did you think was better?

        I thought you had a Wii U? If you don’t it isn’t fair to say is Zelda will cost $400 becasue you dont have a Wii U/NX no game is ever worth the console price. I bought an Xbox One so I could play Rare Replay on day one but I didn’t think of it as paying £320 for Rare Replay becasue I knew I would play other games on the console too.

        • Blade Runner 07

          Yeah, I can see your point. E3 was lacking. It’s just off-putting that Nintendo can swoop in with one game (ONE GAME) that displays all the tropes of a modern open-world action adventure, and steal the show. It doesn’t feel deserved. But I know for alot of websites “Best of E3” is more of a popularity contest than anything. I could write a whole article about that. To each his own.

          There is no doubt in my mind that Breath of the Wild will sell more Wii U’s than anything to ever hit the platform. Ever. I’m talking by a very large margin too. The numbers don’t lie. The Wii U has sold horribly compared to XONE/PS4. This game is not just the only chance at changing that, but it’s likely the Wii U’s last. I think alot of people share the opinion that it’s essentially a Wii HD. I know the fans can tell the difference between Brawl and SSBU like night and day, but the slightly more casual player is seeing more exciting and innovative things elsewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if damn near the majority of people playing Breath of the Wild on launch week, bought a $300 console to play it.

          It maybe a matter of personal opinion whether or not Zelda and a handful of other games is worth the asking price. This is likely the Wii U’s swan song title as well. Breath of the Wild isnt out yet, and have yet to play any of the Wii U’s biggest titles for any length to judge. I can only call out what I see on the surface.

          • jmmreivew

            Well I really hope you are right and this is the Wii U’s swan song, at least I can justify buying it in the first place! xD

  • MGNoxa

    Yep, pretty much agree with everything. I want to be excited but I can’t get excited. Twilight Princess had me scouring the internet, watching videos, just looking for everything I could get my hands on while I waited for the Wii. Skyward Sword had me visiting gaming sites and YouTube during my free time at college. Breath of the Wild had me skip through some footage and leave unimpressed.

    • Jordan Moore

      Yay!!! , I’m not the only one who feels this way. I love some of the things they made in this game but everything else feels unoriginal to me, It feels washed out compared to the other entries in the series and at least they tried to bring they’re own unique feel to those games but this new installment just feels bland and out of place.


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