Breath Of The Mild
- Game Title: Zelda Breath Of The Wild
- Release date: March 3rd, 2017
- Available on Nintendo Switch, WiiU. Reviewed on Switch
Breath of the wild wastes no time attempting to suck you into its world with gorgeous visuals and music. But don’t be fooled it doesn’t matter how beautiful the icing is that you put on a cake if the cake itself is stale. The phrase Jack of all trades master of none is the best way I can describe Zelda Breath Of The Wild. It tries so many different things but none of them are ever fully developed. It feels as though Nintendo just took a bunch of ideas for different smartphone games and compiled them into a $60 AAA game that tries to be so many things that it lacks its own identity.
Upon starting the game and awaking from your 100-year slumber you will most likely try to start up the main quest. However, in order to do so, you must first complete a side quest for an old man who tells you that you must complete a task for him so that he will give you the means of transportation that you need to explore this world. After completing it he tells me that he wants me to do more for him in exchange for a para-glider and the game forces you to obey if you want to traverse the world. At this point less than 1 hour into the game, it already felt extremely flawed. In a game like Skyrim if someone tries to screw you over you can fight them and change the course of the game. Sure they might not like you but that’s the point of an open-world game, making every decision feel like your own. If I was Link I would have said: “screw you old man give me the Para-glider or I’ll stomp your ass into the ground.”
A true open-world game would let you make decisions that affect people’s perception of you and make the game easier or harder depending on your choices. Sure some people in the game might not like you if you don’t help them, but I can’t think of a time when not helping someone lead to a moment in the story where that person wants revenge or tries to make your life difficult. When I think of the term “next-gen Zelda” I thought that Nintendo would finally give you choices that stuck with you and made you contemplate the morality of the situation. Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a situation where you had to lie to someone or betray someone who trusted you to get what you wanted, and then choosing to do so made them detest you throughout the rest of the game?
Or how about giving you the option to not kill certain enemies, and bosses and those same enemies and bosses end up helping you against the game’s final boss. Or maybe have like a twist ending where the good guys were secretly the bad guys all along, and you were being manipulated into serving them. Or maybe instead of being constantly hailed a hero you are treated as a vileness outcast because of something you may or may not have done before your 100-year coma. Or maybe even play as the villain for once and you have to choose to follow your destiny to be evil or break free from that mold and help people. Then at the end of the game, you realize that Destiny is whatever you make of it and no predetermined course of action defines you.
Something like that would add a little more oomph to the story. What I’m trying to say is that your actions and you wanting to do the right thing makes you a hero, not some stupid prophecy. But hey it’s not the story right it’s gameplay that matters, and boy does Zelda Breath Of The Wild have a lot of it. And somehow Nintendo managed to make the gameplay both too primitive and too complicated at the same time. One of the games features is letting you cut down trees with weapons for wood. When I stumbled across an enemy standing on top of a makeshift wooden ramp I thought to myself that I would be able to cut the thin wooden beams holding it up but when I tried it wouldn’t work. So you’re telling me that Link is strong enough to cut down a massive oak tree with just 2 swings of an ax but a makeshift ramp that is clumsily put together with thin wooden support beams can’t be cut down. “Next Gen” my ass. Also, why does swimming slowly cause you to lose stamina? Just like in Skyward Sword you have a stamina bar and it depletes quickly. I knew that swimming fast would probably cause it to diminish, but when I was just casually swimming slowly it went down. And when I just stood still in the water the stamina would not regenerate. And if that’s not bad enough when you are swimming and run out of stamina instead of just restarting you near the body of water, you lose health. Even when the water was only a few feet deep Link still drowned.
How is link such a pansy that he drowns in water no deeper than a kiddy pool? So Link drowns in 2 meters of water yet he is strong enough to climb mountains with his bare hands, and traverse dangerous environments like Lava with ease. There’s also a weapon upgrade system that I rarely ever used because weapons are so plentiful that it’s easier to just use the weapons that you pick up rather than spending dozens of hours to find the right materials to upgrade them. Finally, the combat sucks ass. It was extremely difficult to target a specific enemy when there were lots of them, and the new weapon throwing mechanic gave my fingers carpal tunnel syndrome. You have to hold down R1 on the controller to aim where you want to throw your weapon and release it to throw your weapon. If you want to cancel the throw you have to press R2. However, with my big sausage fingers, this became difficult.
Every time I accidentally pushed R1 I had to move my index finger to the top left of the button while using my middle finger to press R2. Why couldn’t you just aim with R1 and throw with R2? I strongly recommend that if you play this game you use a pro controller. And finally, whenever you are fighting a giant enemy instead of becoming translucent the enemy becomes invisible so you can’t see where they are half the time. Games like dark souls make it so when your fighting a giant enemy they become translucent, so why couldn’t this Zelda game do the same.
If there is one thing I cannot praise this game enough though it’s the incredible amount of options you have to traverse it. From Snowboarding to paragliding to rock climbing, to water skiing, there is such a large plethora of gadgets and items you can use in ways you typically wouldn’t in any other game show that at the very least Nintendo is able to keep that creative spark of theirs alive. It’s just a shame that they couldn’t have put that spark to better use.
I cannot believe all the people who are giving this game perfect scores. 10 out of 10 my ass. Nintendo should be ashamed of themselves for making WiiU owners wait an extra 2 years so that they could change everything to make it compatible with the switch. Overall I thought the game’s open-world was fun to traverse, but the combat, Stamina system, and weapon degradation mechanic were all mediocre at best.
Breath Of The Mild