If you think Nintendo isn’t needed in the Video Game Industry and needs to go the route of Sony, Microsoft, and western third party, then you might want to get a hold of The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. Better yet, you may want to get a Nintendo System and one of their games in the past 31 years. Ok, maybe that’s a bit much but I’ll explain why. In this time of gaming, every platform and hand held device is winning. Whether its the functionality, the games, or genre that appeals to you, gaming in 2017 has been astounding.
Starting with Resident Evil VII feeling balance, suspenseful, and enjoyable, it bought a freshness the series needed. The view point (specially for those who played it in VR) gives it the immersion of being weary and afraid of the A.I. The spirit of the RE games have been missing and Capcom gladly recognized that and strip the western, cover based, cut scene movie action and went to the ambient horror. The chasing, closed quarters, limited weapons and supplies, crafting in real time, and the gross yet fitting environment for its setting.
Horizon Zero Dawn, while gorgeous, brings discrimination and race diversity to the forefront. Unlike Mafia III, there’s a deeper disgust for Aloy, yet the with proven abilities, she is given the option to change people’s belief. It’s nothing new but to actually see a abundance of African Americans and Orientals in a foreign land, it changes the dynamic of it being mostly Caucasian based action. The game play isn’t new but for a Sony game itself, it great to focus less on action and graphics (though that’s what marketing is for)
Then The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild came along. It has done more than just give the series the freshness many have welcome and needed but has change Open World design. It provide a true Open World that gives the player freedom. No hand holding or long tutorials. You get to die and live at your own hand. You get to explore and create your story like no one else in any order you prefer. You determine when you get strong and how you do it. It builds your intelligence by allowing how you perform your solutions to the puzzles. The most important part about the game is that there isn’t no judgement. Your freedom comes with conclusions based on you.
In Open World games, there still some limits placed and though you can drive anywhere, you limited to shopping or causing destruction. Only two things with maybe a mini game to break the monotony of the game play and level lay out. In Breath Of The Wild, you aren’t limit to small discoveries. There’s a reward or quest that may be major to you that you can come back. It feels simple yet wonderful to find a weapon or recipe or side quest or challenge. Riding or killing horses for meat. Seeing the physics work and how players are allowed to break the game by being allowed to break it. Sometimes, players insert codes or mod the game to make them break the game. Not in BOTW. You set it up, time it right, and see the results of your plan.
I think a lot of players may compare other Open World game to BOTW because this freshness has spoiled our expectations. Fans are conjuring thoughts where the series can go with this design for the future series and if this design can work for other games. Will Rockstar take note of this? Who knows but for right now, we’re enjoying or have enjoyed this fresh freedom.