It’s finally here. The newest Zelda is out in the wild and is receiving some of the highest praise since Ocarina of Time. It still remains if the high critical praise will be mirrored once users have played through the game.
Of course, the newest Zelda has released alongside the highly anticipated Nintendo Switch. While the game also released on WiiU, its hard to overlook the excitement of playing on the brand new home/portable console.
I personally had Breath of the Wild preordered for Switch, but had not managed to find a Switch. However, after a failed attempt to find one at a brick and mortar store, Amazon Prime Now came through (more on that in a later post).
Here a few select clips to get your hype levels maximized:
Here is the Giant Bomb Quick Look of the game (sidenote: I highly suggest checking out their podcast the Giant Bombcast):
Finally, here is a graphical comparison of Switch v WiiU for those curious:
Per usual, here is the list of review outlets and scores, along with links and a snippet from the review (and as usual thanks to the curators at Reddit):
Destructoid – 10 / 10
This isn’t your typical boiler plate open world cash grab, rife with to-do lists and busywork. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an evolution of the formula for both eastern and western philosophies alike, and a new blueprint.
EGM – 9.5 / 10
While Breath of the Wild doesn’t follow the standard Zelda formula, it may be the quintessential example of the Zelda spirit. With a stunningly beautiful and interactive world, surprising difficulty, and a dizzying amount of riddles and puzzles, there’s no end to the secrets hidden in the vast land of Hyrule.
Eurogamer – Essential
Switch’s debut and Wii U’s demise are marked by a radical reinvention of The Legend of Zelda that will go down as an all-time great.
GameSpot – 10 / 10
No matter how gorgeous its environments are, how clever its enemies are, and how tricky its puzzles get, the fact that Breath of the Wild continues to surprise you with newfound rules and possibilities after dozens of hours is by far its most valuable quality. It’s a game that allows you to feel gradually more and more empowered yet simultaneously manages to retain a sense of challenge and mystery–which, together, creates a steady, consistent feeling of gratification throughout the entire experience. Breath of the Wild is a defining moment for The Legend of Zelda series, and the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created.
Giant Bomb – 5 / 5 stars
This sense of wonder is something that I haven’t felt so strongly since I played A Link to the Past when I was seven years old. Ocarina of Time was able to capture some of that same magic in my teenage years. Now that I’m in my thirties, I don’t think that I expected it to be possible for a game to make me feel like that again. I’ve been reviewing video games for twelve years now, and I’m used to describing games in a certain way. “This game controls well. This mechanic is innovative. The graphics are stunning. The skill tree feels limited.” That type of language doesn’t adequately convey how Breath of the Wild made me feel. Nintendo may have changed so many long-standing traditions of the Zelda franchise, but the spirit of discovery is as strong as it’s ever been no matter your age. I didn’t think I’d feel the Zelda magic this strongly ever again, but I couldn’t be happier to be proven wrong.
Guardian – 5 / 5 stars
The Nintendo Switch launch title takes the Zelda franchise to a whole new level, producing something even greater than the sum of its finely honed parts
Kotaku – Unscored
Triumphant. Groundbreaking. The pinnacle of Zelda.
Nintendo Life – 10 / 10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a landmark release for its franchise and Nintendo. It’s the first time that Nintendo has truly taken on the open-world genre in a current-generation sense; in arriving late to the party, though, it embraces some strengths from top-of-the-class games while also forging its own identity. This game is a revolution for the franchise, but the Legend of Zelda essence is still there – its soul remains.The end result, then, is a captivating experience. This will be in the running as the best game in the IP’s history, and it will likely be discussed as a leading contender in the broader open-world genre. Nintendo has bravely taken one of its biggest franchises in a new direction, and it’s delivered a triumph.
Polygon – 10 / 10
I guess, in the end, it’s not just that Breath of the Wild signals that Zelda has finally evolved and moved beyond the structure it’s leaned on for so long. It’s that the evolution in question has required Nintendo to finally treat its audience like intelligent people. That newfound respect has led to something big, and different, and exciting. But in an open world full of big changes, Breath of the Wild also almost always feels like a Zelda game — and establishes itself as the first current, vital-feeling Zelda in almost 20 years.
IGN – 10 / 10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is evocative, exhilarating, and a masterclass in open-world design.
Telegraph – 5 / 5 stars
These are just some of the reasons why, after several dozen hours of play and despite not yet seeing its quest to completion, I am convinced that it is one of the very finest video games ever made.
PCMag – 4.5 / 5 stars
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is massive, dense, and incredibly satisfying to explore. It suffers from a few frustrations, most notably the strange desaturation filter that pervades the graphics, but they’re all easily forgivable when held against the sheer scope and variety of what you can do in the game. This is the biggest and most impressive Zelda game we’ve seen yet, and after 30 hours in Hyrule I’m still finding new things. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild easily earns a PCMag Editors’ Choice.
Game Informer – 10 / 10
I was entranced by this version of Hyrule, and it surprised me at nearly every turn, from its wealth of discoveries to the way it shuns the established tropes of previous Zelda games. It represents a profound new direction for one of gaming’s best franchises and a new high point for open-world interactive experiences.
Ars Technica – Unscored
After spending a week utterly immersed in Nintendo’s open-world reimagining of the tried-and-true Zelda formula, it’s hard to return to the more formulaic entries of the franchise’s past. Breath of the Wild is an instant classic and a brave new direction for a series that has been stuck in some of its ways for far too long.
Time – 5 / 5
It’s like nothing else Nintendo has made, an experience so simultaneously prodigious and accomplished that it feels like a mind-blowing mic drop to the sort of “open world” games (Grand Theft Auto V, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, The Witcher 3) the industry seems bent on proliferating.
Mashable – Unscored
We’ve marched off to free Hyrule from Ganon’s clutches time and time again, but this is the first Zelda game in which you can really, truly lose yourself.
Daily Dot – 5 / 5
There is always something new to discover, but at your own pace. Somehow, the adventure never loses momentum over dozens of hours of exploration, the inspired design holds up, making for an unmistakable Zelda game that completely changes everything expected from the series.
Forbes – 10 / 10
It’s one of the best video games I’ve ever played, and is sure to keep you busy for many hours, days and weeks, exploring this vast, beautiful, unexpected world. I can’t speak to the Wii U version, but I’m sure either version will delight and inspire. Don’t miss this one, even if you’re not a fan of older Zelda games. New fans and old fans alike will find so much to love in this game.
After all this high praise, I cannot wait for my copy to arrive (suppose to be delivered tomorrow). I’ve been sitting with a Switch but no games for a week, so my hype levels are through the roof.
Have you picked up a Switch? Have you played the new Zelda? What are your thoughts? Comment below!