Posted on October 03 2017 by Alexis Anderson
With plenty of time having passed since the highly anticipated release of Breath of the Wild in March, some have begun to look at the game more critically. Without rose-colored glasses tinted by six years of hype, does the game really hold up when compared to others in the series? Simon Miller of YouTube’s The Miller Report would argue it does not. While he appreciated the innovative aspects of the game, he felt it lacked the heavy-hitting moments that endeared him to the series.
Miller goes about his critique of Breath of the Wild in a really respectful manner. He acknowledges the work that went into the game and gives it credit for having charm, then explains his issues with it from a very personal perspective. He prefaces that he’s never had a problem with the Zelda formula because it was so well-woven and gave the series a unique tone, one which he welcomed whenever a new installment was released. He liked the progression style of going dungeon-to-dungeon, and never felt that he was making meaningful progress in Breath of the Wild. Its lack of critical story moments (like pulling the Master Sword and jumping seven years into the future in Ocarina of Time) contributed to this listlessness, as the game instead had a series of small reveals that didn’t have any overall impact on him.
Essentially, it just didn’t feel like a Zelda game and was missing some of his favorite elements from the series. I tend to agree with him. The gameplay was enjoyable in its own right, but it was such a departure from the formula and had so barebones a story that to me it felt like a different game just sporting Zelda visuals. The detailed story progression present in most linear Zelda games is what motivates me when I play and produces memorable moments and characters; this just didn’t come across in Breath of the Wild. But the gameplay was fun and players were given some much needed freedoms, so hopefully a better commingling of open-air and linear styles will land the next main series title into the sweet spot.
What do you all think? Was Breath of the Wild too much of a departure from the formula, or should open-air become the series standard? Share your thoughts in the comments!