Breath of the Wild has been out for two weeks. Many of us have had the time of our lives exploring Hyrule, finding every shrine and getting to know the most diverse cast of characters the series has ever had to offer. General consensus seems to be that this is the first game since Ocarina of Time to really offer the "wow" factor; a reinvention of what makes the series what it is while still retaining key elements of what makes a Zelda game a Zelda game.
After spending two weeks in GAF's seventy bajillion Zelda threads and watching various gaming outlets go over the game with a fine tooth and comb, I can pretty much definitively state that the majority opinion seems to be the following:
+Exploration is unrivaled
+Sense of freedom is truly remarkable, not only in where you can go but in how you can interact with the world
+Character design and interaction (quality) is quite good
+Side quests are well implemented and quite possibly the best in the series
+Open world is done in a way that avoids Ubisoft "checklist" pitfalls; this is something games have been trying to do for a long time
+Hyrule feels like a living, breathing world
It's a mindblowing game. But I've also noticed that the same general complaints seem to come up:
-Story and characters, while interesting, is sparsely told and fairly underwhelming (quantity)
-Lack of traditional dungeons is sorely missed
-Number of main quest dungeons is too few
-There is very little enemy variation
-It rains too much
-Music is not as prevalent or memorable outside of a few key tracks
-Bosses are extremely easy and offer little variation in design
And then, depending on who you ask:
*These are Amiibo tunics. You can't get these in-game.
+/-Lack of traditional Zelda elements such as the Triforce, tunic, and mandatory Master Sword are gone
It's clear that the team struggled with a way to provide a truly open ended experience without taking away key Zelda elements, and in most ways, they succeeded - but in others, they fell short.
Personally, I think BotW provides the perfect template for a better game. I want to see Zelda continue in this open ended direction while patching up the problems seen in this game. I still want to see a vast, explorable world that we can explore as we choose, but I'd prefer a bit more direction at times. BotW has vestiges of this in the quests leading up to the divine beasts - I want more of that, in storylines that lead up to the themed dungeons the series is known for. I'd like to see shrines return in a smaller capacity - less shrines, more big dungeons. BotW's "open-ness" is great, but goes a bit too far - I think the team could hit a nicer balance. Make the weather more varied and rain less punishing, and add a few new enemy types into the game. We only saw a small number of classic enemies in BotW, so they have a large repertoire to work with.
Basically, if they Majora's Mask this game, take the basics and make a new world/dungeons/cast out of it, I'd be happy. I don't want to see them return to the Ocarina formula of dungeon -> new tool -> boss -> overworld -> rinse/repeat again, because I think they've found something better.
What about you? Do you like the progressive design of BotW? How much of it do you think should stick? How many "classic" Zelda elements do you want to see return?