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It’s crazy to think that the last time Nintendo released a console The Legend of Zelda game it was 2011 with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.  After The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was announced during the E3 2014 Nintendo Direct, fans of the series have been clamoring for any info on the game that at the time seemed way more ambitious than anything else on the Wii U.  Fast forward to E3 2016 where our own editor James stood in line for hours to play a demo version of the game and left with an incredibly positive impression.  A few short months later, developer Nintendo released a trailer for Breath of the Wild that set a surprisingly dark tone for the long running series cookie cutter story and the seemingly endless development cycle for Nintendo‘s most ambitious title to date was finally over.

After giving it a few weeks, we at TechRaptor decided to ask a few of our staff their initial thoughts on the game as well as sit down and discuss it on the video.  THIS IS NOT THE REVIEW of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild but a quick discussion on what we’ve experienced thus far, what we liked and disliked, and what we thought of Zelda becoming an open world game.

Will Cravens

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch (Mostly handheld mode)

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

The variety of mini dungeons because hey have so many different puzzles and the vastness of the world … Just last night I was exploring a town that reminded me of northern Europe.

3. What did you not like about the game?

It can take a while to get a horse to do what you want it to do.

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

It blends the creativity of conquering bases in Far Cry with the vastness of Skyrim, and the world feels lived in.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

Hard to say, I will speak more on this once I get into some of the dungeons.


Nick Maillet

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

It’s freaking huge, and the attention to detail is astounding. I didn’t think this game could possibly live up to its hype since Nintendo hasn’t really done anything on this scale before, but after spending the first few hours snowboarding on my shield heading east and being amazed at what was in store for me around every corner, I knew this would be something special.

3. What did you not like about the game?

The inventory management is pretty clunky.  While it’s easy to toss out my garbage weapons—I have enough skeleton hands to build a log cabin—you have to go into the menu and manually drop your bows and shields.  It’s definitely nitpicking but since this game feels so streamlined everywhere else, it’s weird that Nintendo didn’t address the inventory system in a more intuitive way.

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

There is no handholding in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. If I wanna go west I can; If I wanna go get killed in the castle on my first day, nothing’s stopping me.  The amount of freedom and map that isn’t covered in symbols with an arrow telling me which objective to do next is really refreshing.  Ubisoft take note!

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

This is the right direction for any action oriented open world adventure game. Period.


Connor Foss

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

What stuck out most to me is that the story is set, but how it’s told is entirely up to the player. You can collect memories or not and you can face dungeons in any order you please. Despite being the same story, everyone experiences it in their own unique way.

3. What did you not like about the game?

The one thing I think could use some improvement is the performance of the game when docked. Sometimes it dips (infrequently, but still), and one time it actually scared me because it froze for several seconds. Hopefully it can get patched, as undocked it has no such issues.

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

To me, this game does crafting, cooking, story progression and in some cases side quests leagues ahead of other open world games. It encourages and summarily rewards gamers for exploring. It gives hints for side quests but never outright tells you “go here, find the treasure here.” It respects the gamer enough to let them figure out poems and puzzles on their own before giving them the treasure they seek.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

I can see the open world design working great for the series, but I would like more traditional Zelda dungeons instead of the Divine Beasts in the future. They’re cool to solve like one giant puzzle room, but I still prefer the neat dungeons from earlier games. In terms of world design, however, open world done in this fashion would be great to see moving forward.


Joey Thurmond

1. What platform are you playing on?

Wii U.  Not buying a Switch just for this game if it performs decently on the console it was intended for.

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

The visual and aural atmosphere. The animation, physics, and “chemistry engine” make the world look and feel uncharacteristically alive. When I set a field of wheat ablaze that continued to spread and expand outward near the start, I knew I was playing an incredibly detailed game, and that’s not mentioning some of the AI’s shockingly advanced behavior! Also, the minimal usage of music constantly highlights the effort put into the beautiful environmental ambiance, an often ignored aspect of sound design.

3. What did you not like about the game?

I haven’t played enough to have any major criticisms, but the frame rate drops and 720p resolution are disappointing on Wii U, even if they’re expected. I’m still surprised it even exists for it!

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

The scale of the world and way missions are laid out before you. I mostly stick to a linear path with open world games while going on some detours, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is all about the latter. Considering the distance of main objectives and the various pathways you can go in to reach them, the game wholeheartedly and naturally encourages rampant curiosity in its level design. I’ve never felt so distracted in an open world game before without feeling like I need to get back on track.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

Considering the series has always been semi-open world, I think embracing it completely with survival elements, greater exploration, and less stress on getting from point A to point B is a natural evolution. It may seem like a radical departure, but this entry truly captures the “adventure” of The Legend of Zelda franchise without forgoing the types of puzzle-solving, combat, etc. it’s known for. Innovation at its finest.


Robert Grosso

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

The amount of detail in the game. It was breathtaking to see how everything, from every mountain to every river, was traversable in some form. It was exciting and daunting at the same time.

3. What did you not like about the game?

There is not much that I don’t like, honestly. If I had to pick something, it would be minor nitpicks really. The lack of map markers is a minor quibble and honestly not missed in my book, weapon degradation is a mixed reaction overall, and the small amount of enemies throughout are kind of upsetting; missing some iconic creatures like Poe and Iron Knuckles seems like a big miss to me.

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

Sheer size and detail, the world feels alive, has character and is lived in, more noticeably so than The Witcher and Elder Scrolls ever did, if you ask me. It changes as you progress through it.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

I think it’s following the franchise’s roots well. It is the continuation of Zelda in a lot of ways, and the open world aspect of it is a return to form to the original title after nearly 30 years. I hope it continues in some form or they take it a step further.


Andrew Stretch

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

The way that the world opens up and, while you might know where you need to go, getting there can be just as fun.

3. What did you not like about the game?

At first weapon durability and limited inventory really bothered me, but by the later game though it’s not a problem at all

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

Other open world games might have 30+ minute quests for a reward; the way Zelda is always rewarding you for defeating a camp, clearing a quest, or even noticing an oddly placed rock keeps you involved and looking for the next prize.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

This has been a great step away from tradition that we’ve seen in the making with games like The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. I hope we end up with more games like this, but Nintendo shouldn’t be afraid to go back to a tried and true formula.


Jeff Pannell

1. What platform are you playing on?

Nintendo Switch

2. After the first few hours of gameplay, what stuck out to you the most about this game?

I was immediately struck by the game’s willingness to just let the environment speak for itself. I wasn’t being hit over the head with a constant over world theme. Little guidance was given other than a gentle nudge in the right direction, and it felt fantastic to just dive in on exploration.

3. What did you not like about the game?

The inventory management or, rather, the constant need to manage it is a bit of a bummer. Same with the stamina system (even upgraded); it is annoying to be doomed to a “Game Over” prompt due to running out of stamina while climbing a rock-face, etc.

4. What does this game do better than other open world games?

It does an amazing job of both being a sandbox but feeling deliberate. This feels like an open world game that was iterated on over and over again until it felt “just right” in regards to a balance of player choice and offering something for the player to do in any direction no matter where they’re at in the world. Few open world games feel that way. Few truly feel lived in and not just running on a clockwork schedule.

5. Do you think this is the right direction for the franchise?

Without a doubt this is the right direction, as it feels as though Nintendo finally looked outside of its own work to draw inspiration. Few companies are at the summit of game design quite like Nintendo, and when they fire on all cylinders like this? It’s magical. This is the right step forward for the franchise.

Did we miss anything? Did you find anything crazy in Hyrule’s seeming endless sea of grass and things to break my good swords on?  If so let us know in the comments!

More About This Game

Nick Maillet

Video Lead

I used to be that band guy with super cool hair who lived and breathed breakdowns, now I work on TV shows as an colorist/editor. You can find me on twitter talking about my ever expanding collection of NES games and my love hate relationship with Tinder.