The world of Breath of the Wild is beautiful, boundless, and carefree, as long as you don’t run into any monsters. It’s no doubt the type of world that players dreamed of after all the other Zelda releases, but have you ever thought about how bad it really is? Think about The Ocarina of Time. When compared to Breath of the Wild, it is clear who the winner is, and it’s not the latest in the long line of Zelda titles. The Legend of Zelda needs to remain a linear game. Let’s go over its elements to show you why.
Despite what you may think, the gameplay of Breath of the Wild isn’t anything special. Upon its release, it was praised by lovers of the Zelda series as a breath of fresh air in a wild new world. So why is it so bad? For starters, where did the dungeons go? Last anyone checked, Zelda still had dungeons, but this game seriously lacks them. Breath of the Wild has other flaws, so let’s go over them one by one.
As stated previously, there are no dungeons! Nintendo set out to change the Zelda formula. They succeeded, but not for the better on this one. Each “dungeon” in the game are the sacred beasts, which is acceptable. What isn’t acceptable is how short and repetitive they are. Each sacred beast “dungeon” consists of moving around some objects and working your way to the top. Most players were able to complete them within a few minutes. What happened to the days when Zelda dungeons were large puzzles with intricate designs? If you compare the dungeons of Breath of the Wild to those found in Ocarina of Time or Twilight Princess, you can see a massive difference in complexity and ingenuity.
Zelda bosses have never been terribly difficult, but the ones found in Breath of the Wild are all the same. Did you ever notice that? Each sacred beast has a portion of Ganon on them that is considered the boss of that beast. This is fine until you realize that each boss feels exactly the same, with the exception of Thunderblight Ganon, who moves around with blinding speed. Even games like Call of Duty used different bosses in their zombie modes. Even bosses you find in the overworld are reused assets.
Rehash. Rehash again. Oh, and rehash it a third time just to be certain. All the elements of the world are reused. This happens in every video game, but more so in Breath of the Wild. Almost none of the monsters feel original, and overworld boss fights are repeated multiple times. How many times have you fought the Stone Talus’? If you beat them all, seven. That’s how many are in the game. One or two would be fine, but seven, that’s too much. The same goes for the Hinoxes. There are six in total if you beat them all. The same can be said about normal enemy types. Throughout your journey, you probably noticed more Bokoblins and Lizalfos then any other enemy. The only break in this cycle is the blood moon, but that happens too many times to really be fun.
Are you still convinced it’s good? Let’s take it a step further.
Legend of Zelda used to be linear. As you explore the world, you would uncover more of the story. A natural flow that allowed players to freely roam Hyrule while also progressing through the story. This time around, Nintendo took a more Dark Souls-like approach. They scattered the story around the map. It’s possible to admit this is how they needed to do it because of the open-world aspect. But when is it enough? Playing through the game, you may experience half of the story that is present. If you forego the grinding of shrines, ignore the memories, and ultimately run straight for each area, you will miss the story almost in its entirety.
Take a look back. Remember Ocarina of Time? What made the story good? More importantly, what made the world exciting? You could roam the Hyrulean fields and explore deep dungeons. The story was handed to you as a reward for completing the next task. The cutscenes were refreshing. Each linear open-world Zelda game has followed an effective formula that players have loved. It is respectable that Nintendo wanted to change the formula. Go big or go home.
How To Make It Better
Breath of the Wild 2 is set to release in the first half of next year, but there should be some major changes. First, they need to bring back the dungeons. The trailer showed Link within some catacombs, which brings hope. This could mean that Nintendo is planning on bringing back dungeons that will thrill the player and offer some sort of challenge outside of the sacred beasts. We can only remain hopeful. Second, they need diversity in the enemies you encounter. Whether that means increasing the number of enemies or adding more enemy types, there should be more that we encounter on our way to defeat the final boss. Third, they need to enhance the story elements. Breath of the Wild had a good story that you could uncover on your own if you put the effort in, but there needs to be more story presented.
Breath of the Wild 2 doesn’t need to become a linear open-world like its predecessors. Nintendo has an opportunity to bring the structure back to Hyrule by changing a few key aspects of their previous title. It might not be easy, and they may not please everyone, but something must be done.