Zelda has always been good, but Breath of the Wild is the first Zelda since Ocarina of Time that deserves the title of great. Despite the theme being largely about wilderness, there’s a lot more in the way of towns than any past Zelda game. People are all over the wilderness as well, roads are filled with travelers.
Unlike previous 3D Zelda games, this one is primarily focused on the above world, not skulking through long-ass dungeons with puzzle after puzzle after puzzle. The Shrines, Dungeons, and everything are smaller, but more numerous, altogether don’t have such an oppressive pacing as past Zelda games. The Shrines are closer in length to a Link to the Past dungeon, and generally more fun to complete because they promote emergent gameplay allowing for creative solutions.
There’s a lot to do above ground. While past 3D Zelda games have made the world as basically an elaborate obstacle course of fetch quests long assed dungeons, Breath of the Wild is made to feel like the main game is the overworks (rather than the dungeons). You can feel like you’re living and making lots of progress on the surface - while Shrines instead feel like little dips. Yes there are the bigger dungeons in the game, but there are only 5 of them (4 + 1 final) - they have a lot more story behind them than dungeons in past Zelda games, and everything is optional; also instead of being cramped together in one long stream, they could be a dozen or more hours apart each, but if you wanted, you could basically do them all back to back. The game is designed to distract the hell out of you though; WAY too much temptation to do other things rather than doing all the dungeons back to back.
Bottom line is, since the N64 I have found Zelda games to be difficult to finish because of linearity and the dungeon stuff, I find it gets boring. Basically, I run out of steam by dungeon 4 or 5. Breath of the Wild still felt exciting and fresh even 100 hours later.
For the record, I am mostly an RPG guy.Last edited by Jumpin - on 15 December 2017
I describe myself as a little dose of toxic masculinity.