The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Adam Riley 06.02.2017 11

Review for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been the talk of the town ever since it was originally revealed for Wii U. It definitely looked like being the swansong of the experimental home console, and the early hands-on with the adventure was extraordinarily positive. Having been delayed somewhat, it was no surprise to hear that it was also coming to Nintendo Switch. It was more a matter of whether or not it would make launch. Well, it will, and Cubed3 got chance to dive into the vast world at the recent Nintendo Switch Premiere event.

Adam Riley - Operations Director

There is no confusion in Zelda games, and Breath of the Wild continues that theme. The series is meant to be accessible to all ages, drawing in casual gamers with the ease of controls, but having enough depth to catch the attention of the more hardcore out there. No lengthy tutorials are required, nor are any training sections required. This is a case of take control of Link and start adventuring, without any hassle.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch

Most of the demo at the Nintendo Switch Premiere was spent wandering around the gorgeous land, checking out if that mountain in the far distance was indeed reachable, as promised (it was). It was like going for a gentle meander through the countryside, and finding certain treasures along the way. Even without delving into dungeons, there is a certain something - an atmosphere that surrounds Breath of the Wild that lifts it above previous entries.

Jorge Ba-oh - Director/Founder

The game was met with an initial reluctance, a marmite reception to a shake-up in the 3D Legend of Zelda formula. The franchise's audience, who had cemented their love for the series with the SNES release, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and strengthened the appeal with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, were in two minds with the new concept. Some were on the fence with Breath of the Wild at first, as was the case personally in this instance, leaning towards an uncertainty of how the game would play out. The series, especially with the most recent instalments, was in dire need of a little shake-up, and Nintendo has decided to strip back conventions and take The Legend of Zelda back to its NES roots.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch

Upon holding the Wii U controller and diving into the game for the first time during a post-E3 event, it took literally seconds to become absorbed by this revitalised, yet oddly familiar, chunk of Hyrule. The concept channels the essence of the much missed exploration aspect to the series - prepare to be transfixed and converted. The landscape is as long as it is wide, expanding across a rich and trap-filled terrain that can, and definitely will, be explored. Past tales, including the likes of Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess had a vast world to cross, but they didn't quite hit the mark - these worlds felt barren.

Link's newest chapter has a landscape that feels alive, enriched with a wealth of environmental objects that can be tampered with, camps of baddies that aren't soulless avatars of destruction - they have lives. When being chased, viciously, into a river by rabid Moblins, these critters feel as if they are genuinely out for blood, with a vastly more fleshed out AI and a difficult learning curve to master.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch

Whip out an ocarina and warp six months into the future and Nintendo presented an opportunity to go hands-on with the Nintendo Switch version. It runs that bit better on the Switch controller, especially when slashing through thirsty Moblin foes on the TV. Grab the console and unleash it from its plastic shackle and Breath of the Wild runs just as smooth and simply pops whilst in handheld mode. Being able to, quite literally, slay enemies and rummage through Hyrule's secret dungeons whilst on the toilet or on a painful train journey is one exciting prospect indeed.

Screenshot for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a sight to behold. There are no more boundaries in the world, with adventurers able to take Link wherever they want. See it? You can reach it. This is looking to be the grandest Zelda outing yet, mixing in new elements to help it appeal more to a wider RPG-loving audience, whilst still catering to the more mainstream groups that adore the real-time action-based gameplay. There is a good reason why this is already selling out now pre-orders have started.






Action Adventure



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


My most anticipated game for about the last 4 years (or how long it's been since they first showed that reveal trailer). I can't believe there's only 24 days left now, I'm way too excited to play it, it's on my mind constantly and I keep watching that latest trailer over and over again.

I've been excited for a lot of games over the years, but the last time I felt this excited for a game was Super Mario Galaxy.

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

I've gradually lost interest in the series since Wind Waker to be honest. It was great revisiting Ocarina of Time on the 3DS, Twilight Princess felt like a great entry at the time but revisiting on the Wii U was dull for me. Something about Skyward Sword never really worked for me either, and despite the controls, it felt quite linear and didn't really feel very modern to me.
Along comes Breadth of the Wild. Since the first trailer, I've been dreaming about the possibilities. My only worry centres around the question of has this open-world modernisation happened a little too late? After all, this is one of the domineering genres about today, and I struggle to think of anything they could do that would be truly new, in general gaming terms. Sure they can put their slant on it, but unless they're hiding some major mechanics, everything I've seen is fairly standard for open-world games.
Disclaimer: I haven't seen a lot, as I'm trying not to spoil it for myself.
I have no doubt, however, that BotW will distinguish itself relative to the rest of the series very well, but I will admit there's a twinge of anxiety over what more impartial neutrals will think- who didn't necessarily grow up loving Zelda, but know the structure, ebb and flow of these experiences very well these days. I trust Nintendo to work their magic though, and by the sounds of the preview, it's going to be a hugely memorable one.
Is anyone picking it up on Wii U rather than the Switch? I'm very interested to know, and I'll be keeping a close eye on how well that version does. 

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Really fine points, Strat, which I happen to have very similar feelings about.

Zelda has definitely got staler over the past decade or so, and that really has been apparent in the last two 3D games - TP and Skyward. Wind Waker was the last great 3D entry. Couple this with the same thoughts I have as you about whether this open world format seems late to be hitting the series, and that there have been countless other games that have done the same things before, plus remember that this is Nintendo's first proper time doing an open world on this scale, and there is this feeling that it might not be all people are hyping it up to be.

I'm the same - I'm avoiding a lot of media and info about the game, and I might be premature in saying this, as there may be plenty in the overworld that will ensure BotW stands tall as its own great open world game. But have I seen anything that really sets it apart from others of its ilk? Not really.

But what does give me something to look forward to is that this is finally the way Zelda was supposed to always be. The very first game was exactly THIS game, but on a much smaller scale. It's strange it's taken Nintendo such an ungodly length of time to bring Zelda back into the true open world vein again. But the fact that it IS going back to that original vision gives me hope for a game that will feel like a proper adventure.

Am I excited? Course I am. Am I hyped tho? Not really. I don't think I get "hyped" for games any more. Well, perhaps the odd few now and then. And in fact, 3D Zelda is probably the only franchise I am guaranteed to spend stupid money for on day 1. I still would have paid £50-60 for this, but got a great <£40 deal recently. But I'm not sure there is anything I can get overly hyped for, other than maybe the FF7 Remake (which I'm sure my excitement for will rise once it starts coming together and if they do things right), and I was super looking forward to Mass Effect 4, but the reveals of it have been underwhelming. And since I've been disappointed on a few occasions before, I just try to make sure I don't get sucked into things as much now. If I start going nuts for this Zelda, I know I'll be disappointed in the end, so I'm curbing my expectations, especially when taking into account all of the above.

Plus, story is important to me, and I hope to god that it doesn't end up with us having to rescue Zelda. The trailer made me think we do, so that put a downer on things for me, but I'm hoping the full context isn't there. And I honestly do want FemLink, or playable Zelda, however you want to look at it. It won't hurt what I think of the game if not, but it's something that I would greatly appreciate.

I may have to take my blackout up a notch as launch approaches, because I don't want twitter and headline spoilers...

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

For me, I only got a very short time with it...but it came across as "Xenoblade with Link," pretty much, which bodes well for me since the recent Zeldas have got a bit stale, whereas I loved Xenoblade!

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I think what will help me is that I don't play TOO many open world games, so I hopefully shouldn't get really burnt out. I should try to steer clear of them till after Zelda tbh, but... I've still got FF15 to play through before then. I'll try to limit it to just that lol.

Can definitely see why some would feel a bit apprehensive to this Zelda tho. Open world, crafting, survival... It's all stuff that's been done so excessively to the point of tedium. The fact I don't play too many games with survival and crafting stuff is what probably helped me like the two Tomb Raider reboots more than others might, and should hopefully mean I'll be okay with this Zelda too. I just hope Nintendo's really looked at what's fun and works, and not tried to shoehorn things in because they are the "in" thing in gaming right now.

Anyway, don't want to sound negative. I'm optimistic about this and can't wait to get my hands on it. It can't be worse than Skyward Sword, and I'm paying less for BotW than I did SS at launch, so win-win!

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Soooo, this is not really a spoiler, it's just about the difficulty of the game. But putting it in a spoiler tag, just in case people don't want to know how hard it is.

From Polygon's preview (I didn't read the preview, I just saw this quote posted around. I don't want to spoil the game myself)

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

I've died a lot, already. There are fundamental changes to the normal Zelda style that some will love, and others will hate. I'm not a massive fan of cooking in other games, for instance, and there's a big emphasis on that here. Get the wrong combination of ingredients thrown into the pot? Sorry folks, go gather some more! That's the only down point for me - the rest is Zelda-meets-Xenoblade so far, and I love it.

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Hmm, going to be very curious how I get on with it! I didn't like Xenoblade and I'm not usually into challenging games like the Souls series. So yeah, hopefully I'll be able to enjoy it. xD It does worry me a bit, but since it's Zelda I can see myself persevering even if it is really hard.

For context, I can barely get past 3 screens in Zelda 1. Lol!

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Well, it's very open-ended, I'll say that. I just forced myself across an area I didn't think I'd be able to get across, just in time to squeeze into a dungeon and survive. I won't go into detail (embargo lifts later today for UK Press - Polygon in the US must have a different agreement), but it left me with a great sense of satisfaction. I'm really not a fan of the Souls games...and thankfully it's not anywhere near as hard as those. As for the broad, open world of Xeno, there are warp points in this, so it makes life a little easier for those that don't like endless wandering.

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Ah that's great to hear! If you mean it's like Xenoblade in terms of just world scale, that's awesome. I'm actually happy about that and it's good it has a fast travel system in place!

I guess I'll just have to wait and see how I get on with it next week! Smilie I'm super excited to play it. I really does look amazing. I will keeping away from your preview Adam, I've very much been keeping spoiler free since the Switch Presentation trailer and plan to stay that way till I play the game and beat it, if possible.

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

That's why I'm trying to be vague about things Smilie Don't want to spoil any surprises!

( Edited 13.07.2017 19:54 by Guest )

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

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