Review Roundup: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the highest rated games of all time
Hope you're ready for March 3rd.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been brewing for a long, long time. For a while, we thought it would never even release. But tomorrow, we will all finally have the chance to play it. But will it be good? Yeah, it's going to be incredible according to some press who have played dozens if not hundreds of hours of the highly anticipated game.
The Legend of Zelda series is no stranger to high scores but it is a surprise to see Breath of the Wild as the 4th highest rated game on Metacritic. The game currently sits at an average score of 98/100 on Metacritic with over 50 positive reviews and 0 negative reviews. Below, you'll find some excerpts from reviews from some of the major websites.
Note: All of these come from the Nintendo Switch version, but it'll likely closely reflect the Wii U version.
is a masterclass in open-world design and a watershed game that reinvents a 30-year-old franchise. It presents a wonderful sandbox full of mystery, dangling dozens upon dozens of tantalizing things in front of you that just beg to be explored. I’ve had so many adventures in Breath of the Wild, and each one has a unique story behind what led me to them, making them stories on top of stories. And even after I’ve spent more than 50 hours searching the far reaches of Hyrule, I still manage to come across things I haven’t seen before. I’ll easily spend 50 to 100 more trying to track down its fascinating moments.
Every night, I sat on the couch and played until I genuinely couldn’t stay awake any longer. Every morning, I couldn’t get out of bed and turn on the Switch fast enough. Near the end, I found myself getting sad as I climbed the final towers and saw the map fill in. This Hyrule gave me such a profound sense of discovery, and I never wanted the mysteries to end. Even now, I have no idea of the purpose of numerous things that I saw. Ganon may be dead and I watched the credits roll, but I want to keep jumping back in until I’ve seen everything there is to see.
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.
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.
Breath of the Wild is an achievement in the design of a living world. Hyrule is massive, with multiple environmental systems layered on top of a grand adventure. The only technical issue I encountered was one related to the framerate when fighting multiple enemies in busy forests. Despite the massive scope of the game, Breath of the Wild retains Nintendo’s knack for polish without any major technical hiccups to disrupt the experience. 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.
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.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild releases March 3rd on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.