As Tears of the Kingdom approaches, it’s still not cool to hate on Breath of the Wild

EVERY TIME we log into Twitter, there’s always someone with the “hot opinion” that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t as good as everyone says it is.

It sold around 28 million copies at the end of last year and is one of the highest rated games of all time.

Six years later it's still fantastic.


Six years later it’s still fantastic.Credit: Nintendo

Those stats don’t really matter, though, because even if it only sold 28,000 copies, it would still be a really, really good game.

With Tears of the Kingdom fast approaching, it seems this conversation is more rampant than ever.

However, most of these arguments feel disingenuous. Do all these people think BOTW is bad, or are they just trying to be edgy and contrarian?

There are general complaints. People say the world is empty, has no story and lacks dungeon designs.

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There are some valid points here, and while we don’t agree, we can understand the issues people are facing.

A common complaint keeps popping up and shows that the people playing don’t have a sense of game design.

This is weapon mining. People don’t like Link’s weapons breaking over time.

We understand it can be daunting when a powerful weapon you’ve been searching for shatters into pieces, but it’s important to look at the bigger picture.

When you’re rewarded with a powerful weapon, it doesn’t matter how many swords you have up your sleeve, the prize doesn’t feel as big when you know it’s fleeting.

The thing is, right around the corner there will be another weapon more powerful than before.

There’s no need to stockpile and protect your best gear because soon something will come to eclipse it.

This is what happens in most RPGs as you move from one area to another, each weapon you get is bigger and better than before.

With Degradation, you don’t have to wait for a store to dispose of all your useless weapons, they just magically disappear.

There are problems with that. Many of the enemies have to be humanoid in order for them to deliver weapons to steal.

This means there’s less variety compared to other Zelda games, but combat has been expanded to make up for it.

If you’re really stuck, remember that Link gets infinite bombs before exiting the Great Plateau.

These can be used to blow weapons out of enemy hands and turn the tide of battle.

With each breaking weapon the tension increases and the sweeter the satisfaction when it finally succeeds.

Combat in Zelda games used to be more of a puzzle-solving exercise than a skill.

You’ll find the right combination of dodges, parries, and blocks before attempting the kill.

These bosses might feel more memorable, but once you’ve figured out the trick, there’s not much to offer for repeat playthroughs.

In general, the puzzles in BOTW are much more limited than in previous games. Because BOTW is more open, more dynamic and this is where moments and memories are created.

The downside to this is that the story feels disjointed and essentially five of them have to follow along.

It’s hard to find an engaging story told in fragments, but the real story is the journey and traversing the open world.

The Divine Beasts are the largest dungeons and offer something new for Zelda players, but if you want a more traditional experience you can always try one of the many shrines.

The exploration that makes traditional shrines so enjoyable is found here in the overworld. Let’s face it, not all of Zelda’s previous dungeons were great.

Fans complained that the reward for collecting all the Korok seeds is a shiny turd, but if we forget the poop, the reward is figuring out how to get it.

Every mountain you climb or every puzzle you solve is a reward in itself. You can trade them for inventory space, but really it’s all about satisfying your curiosity.

BOTW lets you be the narrator of your own story. Its true rewards come from the sense of satisfaction you gain.

Where you go and what you do is entirely up to you, with few landmarks to guide you.

Six years later, there are few games that capture the same sentiment as BOTW, and if TOTK is half as creative, it will still be game of the year.

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Written by Dave Aubrey and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.

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