Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Nintendo's open-world masterpiece mixes elements of the old and the new to make an unforgettable experience


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Definitely the most deserved award given to any video game since The Game Awards’ existence in 2014 was given to Nintendo for the 2017 Game Of The Year award for their action/adventure masterpiece, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For being the 19th installment in the TLoZ series, this game is nearly flawless.

This combination of old Zelda elements mixed with brand new ones which conform perfectly is exactly how a sequel to any game should be made.”

You’re exposed to the open world immediately as one of the most famous gaming characters ever, Link.

After learning your role in the story and given a paraglider, you’re finally able to leave the Great Plateau to explore an absolutely gigantic map, which is larger than notorious The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Almost every landform is climbable, and countless hours of exploration isn’t even enough to uncover all of BotW’s mysteries.

The core of BotW’s gameplay that makes it such an enjoyable experience is its sense of pure freedom.

Nothing holds you back from exploring the entire map before you’re even able to complete one story mission. The main story has no bars to hold you back either. Sure, the map will tell you where you need to go, but it won’t restrict you. Not all, but so many other open-world games will restrict your ability to go anywhere you want because of the mission you need to complete. Isn’t that the point of open-world games? To make you feel free to do whatever you want? Too many games nowadays restrict you, and will actually reset you back on the main path if you wander off too far.

Another aspect that Nintendo nailed in BotW is its sheer lifelike environment.

There is a day-and-night cycle that basically determines how everything in the world interacts. Monsters will spawn at night, and a wide variety of wildlife animals roam around during the day. Traveling NPCs frequently stop by at inns without a clear pattern. Villagers in the quaint towns can also be found in different locations depending on the time of day. Sometimes in the weather cycle, thunderstorms occur. If you’re equipped with metal weapons, then you’re guaranteed to be struck by lightning unless you equip different ones. These are just a few of the tons of surprisingly realistic events that transpire while on your adventure.

BotW is quite different compared to its predecessors. It still has its usual Zelda elements, such as puzzles, sword and bow combat, and dungeons, but they also added so many new features you’d be surprised it’s even a Zelda game. There are shrines, which are essentially mini-dungeons. Runes are a new feature but don’t differ much from past gadgets found in previous Zelda’s. They are your main items for helping you solve the game’s many mind-boggling puzzles.

This combination of old Zelda elements mixed with brand new ones which conform perfectly is exactly how a sequel to any game should be made. Breath of the Wild’s realistic wildlife environment blends well with its stunning art style to make an addicting and adventurous experience.