We have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will finally release! Welcome to the review thread for this exceptional game.
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METACRITIC (98 from 63 reviews) | OPENCRITIC (98 from 53 reviews)
- IGN | 10/10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 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.
- Eurogamer | Essential
All that has been either swept aside or remade from first principles. It's hard to overstate the courage and conviction with which producer Eiji Aonuma, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and their team have rewritten their own work, and the size of the risk Nintendo has taken with a beloved property. Breath of the Wild isn't just the most radical departure from the Zelda tradition in its 30-year history, it's the first Nintendo game that feels like it was made in a world where Half-Life 2, Halo, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Skyrim happened. It's inspired by those greats and others, but it doesn't ape them any more than it rests on its own laurels. And if we're talking inspirations, we have to recognise one game above all others, an uncompromising adventure from 1986 that dared to take gaming off the rails, that put a whole world beyond the TV screen and invited the player to explore it: the original Legend of Zelda.
- GameInformer | 10/10
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.
- GameSpot | 10/10
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.
- Kotaku | Open-world perfection
And as you talk about Breath of the Wild with your friends, there's one word that will rarely if ever come up: ”can't." Stories about the new Zelda will instead revolve around what you can do. How you climbed all the way to the top of the Temple of Time just for kicks, or how you parachuted down to the lowest point of Hyrule to see what kind of secrets you'd find there. How you found a brilliant method to brute-force your way through the freezing, snowy mountains, or how you set a forest on fire just to see if you could.
Or, how you tried something as ridiculous as flipping over a maze so you wouldn't have to solve it, and the game somehow let you finish the puzzle anyway. Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game to date, and it accomplishes that simply by saying yes.
- GiantBomb | 5/5
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.
- Press Start | 10/10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will go down as one of the best launch titles of all time. Yes, technically it's a Wii U game that was ported over to the Nintendo Switch, but Nintendo made the right decision in holding this game back. It perfectly compliments the Nintendo Switch and highlights why it has the potential to be such a great console. Many have doubted Nintendo's ability to bring this series into the modern gaming age, but they've done that and taken it one step further in creating one of the best open-world action-adventure games ever made.
- Stevivor | 10/10
Breath of the Wild is The Legend of Zelda game I didn't know I always wanted until I starting playing. It's a disservice to simply label it spectacular, and ”must buy" as a Switch launch title is merely a formality. Nintendo promised a lot and left us hanging delay after delay, culminating in a cross-gen switch, but it's delivered in every sense of the word. Breath of the Wild is the best in a series that's almost never disappointed.
- GamesRadar | 5/5
The series has always had something of a fairytale quality to it - its grand landscapes and worlds suggestive of so much more. The sight of dawn over a shimmering lake. The rolling plains of Hyrule Field stretched out beneath you. It speaks to our imaginations, calling us on to adventure. What a familiar feeling to look across Hyrule Field at Death Mountain, wondering what it would be like to climb it. What a profound thrill to make that journey in its entirety. It has taken 18 years, but Nintendo has done it again: this is the adventure game to beat.
- Wccftech | 9.8/10
Minor technical problems aside, this is one of gaming's greatest and most storied series returning with something we've never seen before. Breaking all the conventions of the series, and even a few general gaming conventions, Breath of the Wild is essential for any self-respecting gamer. A new bar has been set in open world gaming.
- GameCentral for Metro | 10/10
In Short: The best Zelda there's ever been, and very possibly the best video game ever made.
- Trusted Reviews | 5/5
If there's a better game out there than Breath of the Wild, I haven't played it. Nintendo has created, for me, the greatest game of all time. It's everything I want from a game and one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
With the incredible variety of gameplay on offer, it's understandable why Nintendo cleared the Switch launch schedule for Zelda. There's a good chance you'll be absorbed in everything it has to offer all the way up until the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
For me, there isn't a better experience to be found on the Switch or anywhere else.
- USGamer | 5/5
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an amazing game. As someone who loves open-world games, this is one of the best out there. As someone who enjoys the Zelda series, I honestly think I can say the same thing again. Nintendo has brought together a number of different ideas and mechanics, but integrated them into something that stands on its own. It's the kind of game where I don't want Nintendo to do something completely different for the next Zelda. I want more of this.
- NintendoLife | 10/10
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a landmark release for its franchise and Nintendo. It's the first time that Nintendo has truly taken on the open-world genre in a current-generation sense; in arriving late to the party, though, it embraces some strengths from top-of-the-class games while also forging its own identity. This game is a revolution for the franchise, but the Legend of Zelda essence is still there - its soul remains.
The end result, then, is a captivating experience. This will be in the running as the best game in the IP's history, and it will likely be discussed as a leading contender in the broader open-world genre. Nintendo has bravely taken one of its biggest franchises in a new direction, and it's delivered a triumph.
- Destructoid | 10/10
This isn't your typical boiler plate open world cash grab, rife with to-do lists and busywork. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an evolution of the formula for both eastern and western philosophies alike, and a new blueprint.
- Polygon | 10/10
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.
- Nintendo Insider | 10/10
It was said that Nintendo Switch has inherited DNA from each of the many hardware systems that Nintendo has released. In a similar sense Breath of the Wild, while successfully breaking from many long-held conventions, is still built around familiar ideals that saw everyone fall in love with the series in the first place.
- VentureBeat | 100/100
Zelda's problems are tiny, and they look even smaller next to the its gigantic accomplishments. Nintendo has made a special video game in Breath of the Wild. As the name suggests, it is a breathing wilderness that Nintendo brought to life by abandoning the structured, predictable Zelda formula. At the same time, it feels like the ultimate culmination of the ideas we encountered in the first Zelda in 1987. And I think the result of all of its interlocking systems is a game that wants to slam you with moments of epiphanies. For me, my experience with Link's Awakening was about getting that one major flash of insight and then using that to understand the rest of the game and then the rest of the Zelda series. For Breath of the Wild, Nintendo made a game that could replicate that moment over and over.
- The Guardian | 5/5
But the shrine is a fast travel point, offering you the ability to divert from the trek and easily resume it at a later date. And now you've got a hundred rupees, you can entice a Great Fairy out of her hiding place. So you head over there, and chat to her, discovering that she'll enhance your armour. But you need a few more Hightail Lizards to do so – and so you put the trip to Zora's Domain on hold again, just for a few more minutes ...
You look up, and it's five hours later, and you don't care.
- TIME | 5/5
Though in the end, most of what drives Breath of Wild to soar the highest this series ever has, comes down to quintessential Nintendo: daring to zig where others zag, crafting a sublime experience that's also a virtuoso commentary on the yin-yang of freedom and constraint. That an odyssey this beguiling and capacious happens to also be playable on planes, trains and, yes, the toilet, is almost beside the point.
- Cubed3 | 10/10
Nintendo has outdone itself with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - absolutely sublime work.
- IBTimes UK | 5/5
In reinvigorating the Zelda series, Nintendo has rediscovered what gave it life all those years ago, capturing a spirit of adventure that flows through Breath of the Wild like the breeze on Hyrule's fields. Link and Princess Zelda's battle to save Hyrule and vanquish evil has rarely felt like such a personal journey, thanks to a masterful game defined by its peerless, charming and truly beautiful setting. A masterpiece.
- WIRED | No score
I haven't finished Breath of the Wild yet. It's scale is unprecedented for a Zelda game, and it encourages you to move slowly. I want to honor that. And while I fear that the sheer breadth of the experience might ultimately push some players away, I'm relishing my time spent in this hushed, half-dead Hyrule. After thirty years of The Legend of Zelda, I'm delighted that the series has finally lost its way again.
- God is a Geek | 10/10
I do not say this lightly: Breath of the Wild is an absolute masterpiece, and may well be the best The Legend of Zelda game ever made. Having grown up playing those first games as a child on a system I remember fondly, it feels extra special to be playing a new Zelda on a new console; that I can't deny, and there are flaws (it's not perfect), but otherwise, this is everything I wanted it to be and more. I won't forget Breath of the Wild for a long time, because it's a memorable, beautiful, stunner of a game.
- AppTrigger | 10/10
The Nintendo Switch, for its launch day flaws, bursts out of the starting gate with a title like Breath of the Wild, to say nothing of the Wii U version. It's beautiful, emotional, full of surprises and nostalgia, and just flat-out enjoyable to play at every moment. While I have played open world titles before, Breath of the Wild gave me a new sense of control over how my adventure played out, offering me a steady flow of chosen objectives and paths to them without overwhelming me with unnecessary information or bogging me down in sidequests. Mechanically sound, aesthetically pleasing (often breathtaking), challenging but rewarding, Breath of the Wild is a joyous journey you won't want to put down, just so you can see what's on the other side of each new hill.
- We got this covered | 4.5 Stars
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a landmark achievement for both the Zelda franchise and Nintendo as a whole. It's a brave new step into uncharted territory that continues to offer surprises and challenges long into its massive running time. I can't overstate how great it is to see the Big N taking risks again — though the vast majority of them do pay off, I have to admit I felt a good deal of affection even when the chances they took fell flat. This is an adventure that people will be talking about for a long time to come, and let's hope that encourages the beloved Japanese developer to keep trying new things as it moves into a new generation of interactive entertainment.
- WWG | 10/10
As I stepped into Hyrule field, swept as it was with great strokes of green and brown that signal the coming of spring, the moment occurred. It was like magic. In the real world my window was open since we had been enjoying an unseasonably warm night in Tennessee, and a steady breeze brought in the sweet fragrance of rain in the air. On my screen, as the sun dipped below some of Hyrule's grander mountain peaks, there came suddenly a great wind that swept through the fields causing all of the tall grass to lean and whisper. As if eager to join in the natural chorus, a few meditative chords spilled gently from a piano like water from a fount.
I took a deep breath in, and I smelled the air around me. For a moment the outside world and Hyrule came very close, one bleeding into the other like shades of color on an artist's palette. I was completely immersed, and the experience resonated deeply in a soul spot that I hadn't felt fully present since I was a kid. I was free and on an adventure.