Disclaimer: The following impressions are based off of two nearly hour-long demos with Nintendo at E3 2016. Due to the nature of the event, I did not have time to watch the full Treehouse event that Nintendo streamed throughout the day. I am not completely sure what was and was not shown off to the public as a result.
Did the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blow your mind a little bit last week? If so, you are not alone. Those that were fortunate enough to try out the game at either E3 or at the Nintendo World Store will agree, dropping down into the world of Hyrule is nothing short of overwhelming. With very little direction on what to do or where to go, the game allows to player to make their own way in the game. Perhaps the player will find a Shrine, one of the game’s mini-dungeons, and will have to come back later because they do not yet have the required item to complete it. Maybe the player will encounter an enemy that is far too challenging to defeat at Link’s current level. The player may even get lost wondering aimlessly around the gigantic world.
Yes, the newest Zelda title is a bit mind-blowing, but the game will not be for everyone. There are those types of gamers that like a clear objective, that like to run from point “A” to point “B”. There are gamers that do not like to wander aimlessly looking for the next objective. There are also those types of gamers that will go crazy looking in every nook and cranny.
Unfortunately, Breath of the Wild will not be for all of +them.
There were times during the demo when I was trying to reach a location not too far from me. Unfortunately, due to Link’s stamina meter, I could not run very fast to reach this point. Running from one side of the demo’s map to the other sometimes felt like there was less to do that I hoped. There were a lot of empty spaces in between enemy camps and caves which may turn gamers off. Although this would make sense in the real world, an in-game world must keep players engaged. Hopefully, after getting Epona, traveling will be a lot quicker — and convenient warp points surely make back-tracking a lot easier. However, impatient gamers with a need for constant gratification may not find this type of gameplay very appealing.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild blew me away this year, and I have written extensively on why I personally loved playing the game so much. However, as someone who must cover both the good and the bad in a title, I would be remiss if I did not mention the game’s drawbacks as well. Millions of gamers will surely adore running through the land of Hyrule, finding all sorts of discoveries, new weapons, and unique dungeons. However, many gamers will find themselves lost in the game, frustrated with its nonlinear structure and lack of guidance. Those gamers may have to look elsewhere than Breath of the Wild.