Thursday, January 30, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 214 - Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most 6/10 games of all time. It just oozes with a-little-better-than-mediocre-energy, you know? The things it does well are spectacular, no doubt, but those few things don't make up for the overwhelming mediocrity of the rest of it. Strap in, friends, as this is going to be a bumpy ride. Read more and watch gameplay right here.

Breath of the Wild's biggest problem is that it's boring. Everyone says that exploration is the best part, but there is precious little in this version of Hyrule that is worth seeking out. The world is just too big and empty and full of freaking nothing but empty space. They could have made it half the size and the game would have benefited greatly. And, no, finding 900 stupid Koroks doesn't make the exploration satisfying.

Combat in BOTW is fantastic, honestly, but the weapon durability crap totally ruins it. I like that the combat is difficult and Dark Souls-ish a little bit, but when your weapons are constantly breaking during these intense battles it sucks all of the fun out of it. I don't even necessarily want them to get rid of weapon durability entirely, either. Basic-ass weapons you pick up from enemies breaking is fine, honestly, but there should also be mythical weapons scattered around in hard to reach areas or something that are powerful and don't break, too. You'd have to fight tooth and nail to earn them, but the reward would be worth it. 

BOTW just needs more permanent useful items in general. Hook shot. A real boomerang. Different boots. Those sorts of classic Zelda items that you can seek out and find to make the exploration more worthwhile. I don't want them to go back to the "Do the dungeons in a specific order because you need X item to access ..." like in past games - no, keep the open world, do anything you want vibe - but give us worthwhile loot that makes the game easier / better if you seek it out but isn't necessary to finish the game. 

Stamina sucks. The other thing that ruins exploration is that you can barely do anything without Link getting all tired like a baby idiot. This mechanic sucks. Assassin's Creed Odyssey got it right by just letting you freaking climb on everything and anything and do whatever you want. Also, rain making it harder to explore - in a world where it seems to rain every five minutes - really freaking sucks. The constant rain and worrying about lightning stuff is cool and "realistic", but it isn't fun. 

Give us actual dungeons. No, not the stupid stone animal whatever they were called things. Real, actual, dungeons with bosses and secrets all over the place. Let us access them in any order. Make them worthwhile to explore. 

The best part of Breath of the Wild was Hyrule Castle because it is the only part that actually felt like a real Zelda game. Make a whole game like that and I'll be super into it.

I've been sitting on this BOTW rant for almost three years now, so it feels good to finally get it off my chest. I played BOTW for about 60 hours or something, and would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it, but I also don't think it is even remotely close to the best game ever. There is just way too much wrong with it to be the best of anything. It is easy to fix, though, and while I have no expectations that Nintendo will magically make BOTW2 exactly how I want, I do think they will listen to at least some of the fan criticism and the next one will be better.