|Amazon (customer reviews)||n/a|
Zelda is one of the best loved gaming franchises in the world and new iterations in the series inevitably excite gamers, especially when launching alongside brand new hardware. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the flagship launch title for Nintendo’s innovative new Switch console, though it is also available on existing console the Wii U. The game premiered at last year’s E3 expo where a playable demo impressed gamers and critics alike.
Does The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild live up to the hype? Let’s take a look at some of the major reviews of the Nintendo Switch version of the game to find out.
Review aggregator Metacritic currently list The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with an exceptionally high metascore of 98 out of 100. At the time of writing this is based on 61 individual reviews. Tellingly, Metacritic class all 61 reviews as “positive,” with none falling into the less generous categories of “mixed” or “negative,” indicating that The Legend of Zelda: BoW won unanimous praise from Metacritic’s reviewers. The users’ rating of the game on Metacritic though is less impressive, accounting 7.8/10 at the time of this writing based on 469 ratings.
The Telegraph: “One of the finest video games ever made”
The Guardian were one of a number of reviewers to award The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a perfect score of 5 stars out of 5. One of the things that pleased them most about the new Zelda was its relevance, the fact that it “marries the best bits of the franchise’s long history with the best bits of the rest of the gaming world.” Open-world games that afford players greater freedom than traditional level-based designs have exploded in popularity in recent years and The Legend of Zelda: BoW joins the trend, allowing hero Link to walk, run, ride on horseback and even paraglide around a vast open world “scattered with quests to complete, people to meet and monsters to defeat.” The Legend of Zelda: BoW’s “core gameplay loop” was as good as anything in the history of the series, for the Guardian, who found the game hugely entertaining and noted no major drawbacks.
Polygon:”Breath of the Wild is the most vital Zelda has felt in decades.”
Polygon also awarded The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a perfect score: 10 out of 10. They reserved particular praise for the graphics, calling the game “a frequently stunning, consistently striking visual achievement,” that was complimented by great music. Polygon also praised Nintendo for stepping away from some of the elements of the series that had become predictable and sterile. Rather than requiring the player to laboriously level up equipment and abilities to tackle higher bosses, “every mission-critical tool and item in Breath of the Wild is obtained within the first hour or two of play.” The lack of hand-holding from Nintendo made for the toughest Zelda game in memory, but, crucially, the carefully designed mechanics of the game helped the player “teach” themselves, allowing them “a feeling of achievement in figuring things out that didn’t just seem like guesswork” and a greater sense of immersion in the game.
Gamespot: “A breathtaking masterpiece.”
Gamespot joined those singing the praises of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by awarding it a perfect score of 10 out of 10. Unlike other reviewers they managed to find a drawback to the game – “occasional framerate issues” – but this was more than compensated for by a beautiful open world, demanding but rewarding combat, atmospheric music and, perhaps most crucially, the game’s perpetual ability to surprise and delight the player. The Legend of Zelda: BoW was, for Gamespot, at once a “return to form and a leap into uncharted territory…and the most impressive game Nintendo has ever created.”
IGN also awarded The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 10 out of 10 and called it “a masterclass in open world design.” The reviewer noted that they’d already spent 50 hours playing Zelda and would “easily” play another 50-100 hours. The game’s ability to provide engrossing stories and adventures was at the heart of its success, the IGN reviewer felt, noting that each adventure in the Kingdom of Hyrule “has a unique story behind what led me to them, making them stories on top of stories.” All in all, the gameplay experience was “exhilarating.”
IGN:”The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is evocative, exhilarating, and a masterclass in open-world design.”
The critical reception of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been overwhelmingly positive, with many critics labeling the games as a masterpiece. Reviewers have lined up to award the game perfect scores and to praise its modernisation of a franchise that has always been popular and well received but appears to have reached new levels of storytelling, depth and immersion. The reviews suggest that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a must play video game, perhaps the greatest open-world experience ever created, and a worthy flagship for the launch of the Nintendo Switch.