The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most recent new Zelda game. It feels very unique as opposed to older Zelda games, which, while good in their own right, often followed a dull and very similar pattern. Breath of the Wild, or BOTW, changes this up, giving players the freedom to explore the world and complete tasks in any order that they see fit, or even skip tasks completely. In fact, the only required areas are the tutorial and final boss, the massive world filled with main quests, side quests, enemies to fight and collectibles to find are all optional. Of course, going straight to the final boss after the tutorial would be very hard, because BOTW is a hard game. Due to its open nature, it rarely holds your hand, and the many realistic weather systems and enemies can end your life at any moment. You would also miss out on the story if you skipped to the final boss. While simple, the game’s story does have a good plot revolving around your defeat 100 years ago, and it also features full voice-acted cut scenes.
The game looks and sounds stunning. The graphics are a cartoony, Ghibli-like style with flat cel-shading, and it looks fantastic. Everything has just the right amount of realism, but maintains a cartoony appeal. The only negative of the graphics is that the colors can feel a bit washed, most noticeably in the Switch’s handheld mode. The music is also stunning, with upbeat action themes to add tension when fighting enemies, to simple, dynamic soundtracks playing while you ride your horse through the gorgeous world. The most important part of the game, however, is of course the gameplay, and BOTW soars on that front. The game is unbelievably massive, and it has so much to do, many enemies to fight and weapons to collect. Weapons only have so much durability, which can be frustrating, but it forces you to use your weapons smartly, and use the game's impressive physics system and cool abilities to find more creative approaches
to killing enemies. There are tons of quests to complete, with fun side quests like helping steal a magical helm from a hideout of banana-loving enemy ninjas, and building a town from the ground up.
The main draw of the game is the exploration, and considering you can go anywhere and do anything, the game is incredibly fun to explore in. There are tons of stunning areas, like a massive volcano and a lush rainforest, and it can be fun looking for things such as a remote stable for your horse, or one of the many shrines, small dungeon-like puzzle rooms that test your puzzle skills in a fun way. There are also a variety of ways to get around the world, from riding ahorse, to surfing on your shield, gliding off a cliff, or even using the robust physics system to launch yourself hundreds of feet on a rock, or building a flying machine and flying over Hyrule on two minecarts magnetic together.
All in all, BOTW is an incredible game, stunning artistically and gameplay-wise, with near endless things to do that will keep you finding secrets thousands of hours into the game. Or, if you want, you could just go straight to the final boss from the start, it's your choice. The only downside is that sometimes it can feel like too much, as if there are too many things to do, and with an absurdly large overworld, some areas are bound to feel empty. The main story is also great, having you help people from all of the main races of Hyrule in order to take down Ganon from massive, mechanical beasts. The few negatives are not enough to subtract from the game, and everything considered, BOTW is a 5 out of 5 game that is a must buy for any fans of the Zelda series, or any fans of adventure games at all.