Nintendo really outdid themselves this time. They've created one of the best games this year, and possibly the best Zelda game of all time.
I've been in somewhat of a gaming rut for the past two years since the release of Bloodborne. Looking up an item description, reading a lore theory or continuing one of my many playthroughs has become a weekly ritual for me. It's my favourite video game of all time, which has almost been detrimental to my ability to play other games. Other games have been released that I've been looking forward to, but none of them have left such a lasting impressing until now.
As much as it pains me to write this; Breath of the Wild really is the breath of fresh air that I've needed. After obsessing over a dark gothic horror game in Bloodborne for two years, the vast open world of Hyrule is a sight for sore eyes.
The art style is very reminiscent of a Ghibli film, with vibrant colours and windswept landscapes. I can't help but compare it to Ni no Kuni (my favourite game of 2013 purely because of the aesthetics), these games both share that wistfully scenic vibe which I absolutely love.
I didn't spend much time reading about Breath of the Wild prior to release, only absorbing bits and piece of information through the Giant Bombcast. "See that mountain? You can go there" - an overused phrase surrounding the game which didn't fill me with a ton of confidence, but I knew I would be there day one regardless.
Turns out, Breath of the Wild has some of the best open world design I've ever seen. Being able to traverse any obstacle is incredibly satisfying. Where most games corral you in a specific direction with a bunch of waist high walls, Breath of the Wild encourages you to climb anything and everything which gives it an unparalleled feeling of freedom. And if you do decide to go to that mountain, you better plan your route by scoping out some ledges beforehand or brew some stamina elixirs for the long climb.
Combat can be pretty brutal when you are just starting out with only three hearts, but as you complete shrines and gain heart containers it gets much easier. I'm at a point in the end game now with fully upgraded Ancient armour and high level weapons that allow me to steamroll through any enemy, including Lynels which are a ton of fun to hunt down and fight.
After defeating Calamity Ganon and completing all 120 shrines, all I want to do is run around Hyrule searching for Korok Seeds and find cool places that I may have missed.
It's a beautiful game that I love to spend time exploring.