Once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole… can you ever go back?

No one would deny that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a smashing success. It’s one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time. It’s Nintendo’s fastest selling stand alone launch title ever. And it completely flipped the switch on the series in a way not seen since Ocarina of Time almost twenty years earlier. Breath of the Wild is certainly a landmark achievement for Nintendo, and for video games in general.

It should come as no surprise then, much like the following Zelda titles took Ocarina of Time’s foundation and built on it, Nintendo is eyeing Breath of the Wild to be its blueprint for all future entries into the series. Speaking with Famitsu recently, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma said that ‘open world is “probably” going to be the standard‘ of future Zelda games. My question is… should it?

In making the Breath of the Wild into an open world game, players were able to do and see things previously thought unimaginable in a Zelda title. The game introduced many elements that made perfect sense to see in a Zelda game – cooking food and elixirs, crafting weapons, a more structured log book, customization and upgrades for your tunic, the ability to jump, were all valuable additions to the Zelda formula.

But in making the switch to an open world style of game, Breath of the Wild also lost many aspects of what makes The Legend of Zelda games so special.

By offering complete freedom to the player to go where and do whatever they want, they sacrificed narrative, pacing, and overall effectiveness of the plot. The story in Breath of the Wild was noticeably bare-bones compared to Skyward Sword or even Ocarina of Time. There’s always hope that DLC could fill in some of the many blanks in the games story, but other Zelda games never needed DLC to properly lay out their story.

Music was another casualty of the switch to open world. While the music in the game was always good enough, there was never anything that stood out as great. By sacrificing music for ambience, Breath of the Wild finds itself as one of the more underwhelming entries, musically, in the series. I’ve been to see the Zelda Symphony concert three times before; I can’t imagine what they would play for a 20 minute Breath of the Wild segment. It’s disappointing when you think about the great pedigree of music this series has produced.

Another casualty to the move to open world was dungeon design. I’m sure I’m not the only one who felt that the four dungeons offered in the game where underwhelming. Now, this is more of a design choice specific to Breath of the Wild than open world games in particular, but I would suspect that since Nintendo knew there were over a hundred Shrines in the game for players to chew on, they figured the dungeons didn’t have to be classics. Never the less, the dungeons that we had were definitely missing that element that makes Zelda dungeons so great. The weapon progression, the elaborate puzzles, the enemies, etc. I definitely don’t want to see this type of dungeon become the standard for future Zelda games.

Now, just to be clear, I love Breath of the Wild. I also realize that video game series need to evolve or die. But by taking these elements away, the more you move away from what made Zelda great in the first place.

Luckily, I believe that the issues I had with the game in terms of story and pacing and music and design should all be easily fixable and still able to work within a open world concept with some clever development. But again, my question is should they be?

A part of the reason Breath of the Wild has been such a huge success with critics and fans is that it boldly changed the landscape of what a Zelda game could be. After seeing this change, do we want to just rest on Breath of the Wild’s laurels, accept what it can and can’t do as an open world game and build future Zelda titles off of that foundation? Or should we as fans and Nintendo as developers keep pushing the envelope to try and find that perfect mix of a modern adventure game that can incorporate all of the elements of Zelda that we love?

I’m not here to suggest I know the answer to that conundrum, but only to question if more Zelda games like Breath of the Wild, in all of its strengths and all of its weaknesses, are really what we want to base the next 20 years of Zelda on?

You tell me.

Andy Spiteri is a Senior Editor for Zelda Informer. If you dig video games, hockey, and trash talk, follow him on Twitter.

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  • Valwin Mediaz

    No issue but they will need to keep it fresh and change thing more around

    • Dragonmaster 150

      I agree, and I hope that they can come up with some new interesting ideas going forwards.

  • Danilo Carvalho

    I am definitely with you. The one thing that they need to fix for the next Zelda is also the variety (in general). This game suffered from poor enemy variety. It gets a little repetitive after 50 hours of only fighting mostly bokoblins, lizalfos and moblins. Also the shrines, and even the divine beasts, while wildy different and satisfying, all look the same. More visual variety, please!!!!

  • I think this is a start of a new era of Zelda games. Though Breath of the Wild is great, there is so much to be improved upon. There could have easily been some sort of way to break the silence of the open world. I’ve said many times that there should have been some sort of radio rune that gave you a large selection of music from past games and even a few originals. I do believe they could implement the old item system back into the series in the next game. Just think, scaling twin peaks with the double clawshots, collecting bird eggs with the beetle, or finding underwater treasure with the iron boots. I think they should keep magic rods and the boomerang as weapons though. I liked this new spin on the rods and boomerangs because I have always wanted them to be more combat oriented. Speaking of weapons, I do believe they should keep the weapon breaking system. It adds the extra strategy into the game. It also allowed for the want for more weapons. Another thing that I am willing to throw away forever is the hearts in pots. I really like the cooking in BotW.
    Now onto dungeons and the story. The story in BotW is pretty good, but we all know is has many gaps. Less cutscenes means less story. I have also mentioned that if they made the flashbacks playable (like in Resident Evil 7 during the VHS sequences) they could have fleshed out the story much more. Just imagine if they would have made linear gameplay during the flashbacks while still keeping the “open air” in the present. There also could have easily been themed dungeons. Instead of having the Devine Beasts being the only dungeons, they could have made a real theme dungeon that gave you access to the Devine Beast. There could have been some sort of charm that let you through the forcefield of the beast instead of weakening it.
    Last thing I’m going to talk about is the music again. I disagree with Andy in the terms of “never anything that stood out as great”. In my opinion, the Kakariko Village theme in this game is my favorite so far. The Hyrule Castle theme is also an explosion of epic. I do believe that they could have made themes for the more important areas such as the Faron Woods, Death Mountain and Gerudo Desert. In the end, we need to just think of BotW as the prototype of the future of Zelda. With every new game, they are able to learn what is good and bad.

    • Danilo Carvalho

      My favorite is the vah ruta boss theme. the one that plays when youre weakening it.

      • Can you give me a link to that song? I think I did that part with the music off and in handheld mode.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0AovzBzua0

          I think this is the theme he’s talking about.

          • Thanks! Does this play during the Sidon surfing?

          • David García Abril

            Yeah, that theme is from the Sidon setpiece, not the boss fight. That would be this one:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smJsyLwL9Zk

            It’s fine, but unfortunately, the music of all Blight Ganon fights are variations of the same theme, instead of having their own unique theme as bosses have usually had since “The Wind Waker”.

          • Dampf

            Well, they look very similar to each other so why even bother with new music?

          • Actually not all games have had unique themes since Wind Waker. Skyward Sword only had two different boss themes, well with the exception of the Ghirahim fights, which used variations of his theme. Each boss didn’t get their own unique theme. Many were shared. Twilight Princess in most cases used a variation of the main theme used for Hyrule Field, just with different sounds and background instruments and tempo. Basically they would take this piece;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Hry7FNeEE

            And layer fitting instruments to match the tone of the fight (having normally two phases to the music… a droning repetitive beat, that amped up into the “attacking the boss” theme), if it was under water or in a mine, ect. ect. Still it was this theme that made the core of all the boss music of TP. With one exception… which was the Stalord battle which actually references the Dodongo/Dragon battle theme music of OoT.

            Also in Wind Waker’s case, personally each boss having a unique theme didn’t necessarily help it’s cause. Very few were memorable or stand out save for Molgera. Some I’d argue are incredibly bland overall. It was clear they put a lot more effort into certain boss battle music. So sometimes less is more, and having good solid themes is the way to go.

          • David García Abril

            In “Skyward Sword” Koloktos and Moldara shared one theme, and Scaldera and Tantalus shared another, but then you had Ghirahim, The Imprisoned, Levias/Bilocyte with their respective themes. It was definitely a step back (“Spirit Tracks” also had unique themes as well), but not a big one, and it definitely kept things more fresh than “Breath of the Wild”.

            As for “Twilight Princess”, the piece you have linked is only the piece of music that sounded when the boss had been stunned and you went in to hit it with the sword. It didn’t form the core of the rest of the boss music at all.

            As for “The Wind Waker”, the only boss fight music that I found lackluster was Gohma’s fight, which was definitely repetitive. The rest were quite good on average. Even leaving Molguera aside, Gohdan, Helmaroc King and Puppet Ganon were also highlights. Jalhalla also was quite catchy, even if the tone was arguably off.

          • Well I thought we were only specifically talking about dungeon bosses musical themes, but I guess if any boss theme is fair game, it should be mentioned that Breath of the Wild does in fact have the Talus theme, the Molduga theme, the Guardian Theme, the Hinox Boss battle theme, The Naydra Boss Battle theme, Battle Against Vah Ruta Theme, Battle Against Master Kohga, Battle Against Vah Nabooris, Battle Against Vah Medoh, ….

            Alright so since I literally have to point out every instance of how that core theme is used in each boss battle for Twilight Princess I’m going to give you a single video with all the Boss music from the game in one place. Here are the time stamps for each boss fight and specifically where that exact same, core melody is used in nearly every single boss song;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEsgClsSQdo

            3:25 – Diababa core theme example
            5:25 – Fyrus core theme example
            9:30 – Morpheel core theme example
            15:15 – Blizzeta core theme example
            17:25 – Blizzeta again, but a much more clear example of use of the theme in second phase

            They are all related to this musical piece I shared before;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0Hry7FNeEE

            Which is also taken directly from the Hyrule Field theme;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRHoPxAfy_Q

            0:44 – from here till roughly the 1:11 mark

            All built around that melody simple as that. Simply masked over with tempo changes and layering other musical tones over it or leading into it with slow build ups and altering the key ever so slightly. Although I personally heard the similarities each time. It’s how they make the “Attack the Boss” music flow from each boss theme with out it sounding like a jarring cut. Sometimes layered over with other repeating songs. Like for example Dodongo/Volgia boss theme …. which was actually used for both Diababa and Stalord. Also Morpheel and Argorok use nearly identical boss themes as well for that matter. It’s why the video doesn’t even include Argoroks boss music.

            As for Wind Waker and Spirit Tracks, I just don’t consider this;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNzeE9QR0Ko

            or this;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9pupmo4_UM&index=66&list=PLD7893122E08F09E6

            To be anywhere near as dynamic as this;

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clGPmU9CY6E

  • Yes, 100 times yes.

    So much untapped potential. Mind you I felt the same way about Skyward Sword and it’s motion controlled combat.

    That said an open world and the new elements have barely been explored and I want them to take it farther. Also if they start the next Zelda game by using Breath of the Wild’s game engine, it means that they can cut development time and expand on content.

    So they’ve already put a lot of work into bokoblins, moblins, lizolfos, hinox, their stal counter parts, lynels, muldugas, ect.

    But take those enemies with the same AI (just reskin their design to fit a new world) and start adding more in. I want Like Likes with the AI to chase players who have their shields equipped, and you can distract them with shields. I want Wallmasters who hang out in dungeons and will grab you and you have to shake your controller or something to break free from their grasp or get teleported from a dungeon or shrine, how about Leevers in the desert, or Moldorms being pesky out on the sand dunes…. lets have the Chu Chu’s split into two smaller chu chu’s like in Skyward Sword and Twilight Princess and try to combine together to make bigger chus with more health or special elements (the CHu’s in BotW simply don’t have enough AI to warrant their existence). Lets have helmasaurs, where you need to use sledgehammers to break and shatter their helms, or maybe using a boomerang to hit them from behind. Also where are my fave enemies the Skulltulla’s, they should be like Skyward Sword with webs between big trees, and hanging from forested areas and they try and wrap you up in their webs and jump and poison you.

    Which brings up another aspect of combat. Status ailments. Link can create potions and foods, and so why not have poison antidotes to deal with more poisonous enemies.

    Have a new world that isn’t based in the Hyrule that we already know. Maybe a completely new Land like Termina, or maybe do an open world set in the Adult Timeline. Show a ruined Hyrule from after the Great Flood, or maybe do an open world in New Hyrule. Rito and Koroks exist in that Timeline already easy to incorporate those elements of BotW.

    More caves, and abandoned mines, and really dense forest areas that are dark and you need a torch to explore them. Of course everyone has already mentioned going the traditional dungeon root, and honestly as down as I was with the Divine Beasts, I’d be happy to have the more traditional dungeons make a return, and have the overworld just flow into them and you can find them randomly. But I want them to be actually deep and long affairs. Tough enough that they make players consider turning back or even giving up. Use the physics engine, and push the player to use all their runes to the fullest.

    I want them to take what they started and push the engine of BotW farther simple.

  • The Triforce of Shadow

    This is something that I have been afraid of. One facet of this fear is that people introduced to the series through Breath of the Wild will shun the past games because they are so different in gameplay.

    It is Nintendo’s decision though. Let us remember that in the past Nintendo has made some very risky moves with the Zelda series. After Zelda 1, they made Zelda II, a completely different kind of game. After Ocarina of Time, they made Majora’s Mask, a game with a very different tone, and a gameplay mechanic that turned Ocarina’s mechanics on its head. After that they did a 180 and gave us Windwaker. Then they did a 180 again and gave us Twilight Princess. The point is, Nintendo isn’t afraid to mess with their series. I hate it when people say that all the games after Ocarina were extremely formulaic. Have you looked at the handheld titles? Have you looked at what they games did with their stories? Even if you do think that Zelda was starting to get stale by the time we hit Skyward Sword, remember the fact that they chose to make Breath of the Wild. They could have simply revisited Ocarina’s mechanics again, but made the world a bit more open, while still adhering to Ocarina’s main gameplay.

    I have full confidence that Nintendo will continue to innovate. The only constant at Nintendo is change. If they do start copying Breath of the Wild, they’ll get negative feedback, and they’ll change it up. I don’t think it will go that far though. Nintendo has learned their lesson. I am incredibly excited for what the future holds.

    • I think you might be wrong with the whole “not liking past games” thing. A perfect example of how you could be wrong is the Fire Emblem series. They changed the game so much in Fates and Awakening with the pair up system, but they easily went back to the old style in Echoes (sort of). True Nintendo fans are very adaptable.

  • Anonymous

    I just think they need to go back and revisit elements from previous Zelda games. Starting with dungeon design. I liked the Divine Beasts, but honestly, I couldn’t tell one from the other if you asked me to, and none of the bosses outside of Thunderblight stand out to me (due to my own struggles with the boss).

    Other than that and a few other minor issues (overworld music!), I think BotW absolutely set the foundation for future open world exploration. They managed to craft not only the best world in the series, but imo, one of the very best open worlds in video games. It’s a beautiful land to look at, it’s expertly paced, constantly rewarding, and never feels like a waste of time. Saying there’s something around every corner might be a bit of hyperbole, but not by much. The sense of adventure and discovery is nearly unmatched. If they can pair such masterful world design with the quality of dungeon design this team has delivered in the past, we’re in for something truly special.

    Keep in mind. This is coming from someone who loved Skyward Sword, whose more linear, structured, and puzzle filled overworld felt like a breath of fresh after the emptiness of WW and TP before it. I was worried about a truly open Zelda, but these guys managed to deliver in terms of both exploration and content. And while we’re at it, take some story cues from SS. As great as BotW is, I’d say it’s the weakest 3D Zelda in terms of narrative, with MM, WW, TP, and SS all delivering hands down better stories. Only OOT, imo, is debatable.

  • Theodore Homdrom

    I think it’s completely unfair and unreasonable to say that the design of the Divine Beast dungeons was due to the developers figuring “the dungeons didn’t have to be classics.” You really think that the devs would willingly phone in dungeon design, especially when those are the four main dungeons in the game? You think Aonuma, the man who started off as dungeon design director, would be chill with that? What a cop-out reasoning for a dungeon design that you don’t like.

    The dungeons may not be your cup of tea, but I’d encourage you to look at them from another perspective. Each one has its own approach that is completely unique to both Shrines and previous Zelda games, where you have to actually damage and weaken the Beast before boarding it, creating set pieces the likes of which we’ve never seen in a Zelda game (let’s just ignore the Death Mountain escort mission, though…).

    And inside, each dungeon is designed around a mechanic completely unique from the Shrines – you have to alter the physical form of the dungeon itself to proceed. From Ruta’s trunk to choose where to send water to, to Rudania’s rotating body to alter movement of physical objects, to Medoh (my favorite) tilting allowing for physical object movement as well as creating different pathways and gliding opportunities, to Naboris having the entire central chamber designed around rotating cylinders and the dungeon’s focus being on electrical currents, each Beast is both unique in design and approach, as well as having its own unique theming to it.

    They also create a very genuine and unique sense of place, where two of the Beasts are in motion while you’re on them (Medoh in particular, flying thousands of feet above the ground with wind rushing through it, provides a fantastic sense of location and space), and the other two take advantage of their location in different ways: Ruta takes a step back from Medoh and Naboris’ dynamic designs to allow you to take a step back and calm down and analyze, which fits the watery location and the suddenly calm lake Ruta is placed in, while Rudania is situated in a volcanic crater, forcing you to be mindful of the heat outside when you travel to different parts of the Beast.

    The designs of the dungeons themselves don’t have the weapon progression you’re clamoring for and used to from previous Zelda games, because the entirety of BotW is designed against that ideology of past dungeon design. I understand the dungeons not fitting your desires and hopes, but to project from that to say that the developers just phoned them in, ignored the design because “eh, we already have 120 Shrines” is the wrong perspective to take. Every Zelda fan has games where they don’t like the dungeon design – but in almost every case, the dungeons definitely had the work and care put into them. Keep player preference in mind and try to see other perspectives before jumping to conclusions of bad or lazy design.

    As far as music, there are standouts: Hyrule Castle in particular, along with more subdued tracks like the different town/village themes (Rito Village just makes me so happy), the Shrine theme, the labyrinth/Lost Woods theme (love that one), and the set piece Divine Beast approach themes and boss themes. You’re still right about a focus more on ambient sounds and music, but don’t discount the entire track list without giving it serious attention and thinking about it. Hyrule Castle is absolutely not an ambient or atmospheric theme, both the outdoor and indoor themes, and the Lost Woods/Labyrinth theme fits the mood and provides a whole new approach to a familiar idea from previous Zelda games.

    Music wasn’t a “casualty.” It’s important to think about all of the tracks included, but even more than that, to think about the music within the context of the game. Video game music doesn’t exist in a vacuum – the best tracks provide the right attitude and mood for the locations within the context of gameplay and story, and it’s definitely arguable that BotW succeeds on that front, even if the tracks themselves are, for the most part, not as instantly catchy or memorable as those of past Zelda games.

    • Andy Spiteri

      We’ll have to agree to disagree about the music and the dungeons – I think the dungeons are fine, but can you honestly say you think the same amount of design and care went into them as, say, the Forest Temple from OOT? Or any of the other great dungeons from the series? I can’t. Same goes for the music. It’s fine, it lends itself to the ambience of the open world nicely, but fine when you’ve come to expect great is a disappointment. I love Breath of the Wild as much as the next guy, but it does have faults and acknowledgement is the first step to improving them.

      • Dylan

        ” I think the dungeons are fine, but can you honestly say you think the same amount of design and care went into them as, say, the Forest Temple from OOT? Or any of the other great dungeons from the series? ” well I can. I think it’s honestly more complex in a small slate with trade off’s that you just happen to not agree with. that’s fine, Andrew. they all make for unique themes with deeper meanings that branch them out in ways I’m sure you could never take into consideration. like the boss’s themselves our the dougen, with different unique tactics to use to fight them and gain entrance’s while also controlling them. you don’t see the care put into that? of course you don’t.

        Pitch me your perfect Zelda game, with music, dougens,etc. what’s the story? whats the gameplay like? how would you design them the way you do? why would this work better then the other one? [bet you couldn’t even give me a straight answer.]

        • Dylan

          plus no one is saying its perfect, there is no such thing as a perfect game.

          • Anonymous

            Except for Chrono Trigger of course =)

          • Dylan

            nawh, I respectfully disagree with chrono trigger. that game is pretty good like OoT is.

        • Andy Spiteri

          In the future, undercover agent Zelda is kidnapped by the evil corporation Ganon. Secret agent Link embarks on a FPS adventure to get her back, shooting anything that moves, with the soundtrack being all 80’s hard rock. Each dungeon last twenty two hours in the end, the world is saved, the game sells millions, and is game of the year for the next 3 years in a row.

          How’s that?

          • Andy Spiteri

            (In all seriousness Dylan, while I wouldn’t pretend to know a thing about game designs or music composition other than what I know I like and don’t like, next week I have a massive 2100-word monster of a post detailing story and *sliiiight* gameplay tweaks I would have made to BotW, which I hope you read and let me know what you think of)

          • Dylan

            that honestly sounds like a crappy Zelda game that would never work, but would make a good James bond RPG. and the only good JB Game is goldeneye and the one with William Defoe in it. but if you ever want a story filled Zelda game, maybe Atlus should just make one and Nintendo could make persona 6

      • Tri

        I agree that the game has faults. There’s no such thing as a perfect game. But I absolutely think this is a matter of perspective. I personally *adored* the dungeons in this game. They made me think in ways I’d never had to do in any prior Zelda game. The fact that they were different was precisely why I think I enjoyed them so much. They also didn’t take me hours to complete with no easy way of saving; sometimes dungeons have felt like a chore in previous games, and a game should never make me feel that way.

        This doesn’t mean I think prior dungeons are bad. I still enjoyed them. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to compare them so harshly when they are so different. I think what it comes down to is “This isn’t what I wanted” which is totally fine. But I don’t think that makes the game faulty.

        Lastly, I enjoyed the music immensely. Mainly because I enjoy the lead composer’s other work (Animal crossing: new leaf). Some people like ambience. Others do not. I personally love it. I like how non-intrusive it is. I like how easily it transitions from one piece to another. It’s not distracting. It lends to the general atmosphere. Those are all pluses for me.

        In the end I really think BOTW was something many people were not expecting, and the shock of that was enough for many people to decide they ultimately didn’t like it. I don’t necessarily think it’s a flaw. But I don’t see why they couldn’t also add back in a few of those things you enjoy in the future. Nintendo is still looking for balance. As I said, there’s no such thing as perfect but experiences are relative.

        • Andy Spiteri

          Good post. Obviously all the criticisms I have are subjective to me personally, I wouldn’t try and tell anyone else how to enjoy a Zelda game. I don’t know if I’d even say the dungeons and music weren’t ‘what I wanted’ so much as just missing that… ‘something’. There wasn’t that epic track, there wasn’t that amazing dungeon, it was all good, but never *great*.

          I’ve said before (especially when talking about the plot) I was probably a victim of my own high expectations, so that’s quite possible. I love what we got, but I think most of us could agree maybe a better balance of the old and new would be good.

      • Theodore Homdrom

        I could argue they have the same design and care as previous dungeons, just focused in different ways – towards the physics, the movement of the dungeon itself (not only do pieces of the dungeons (or their entire physical forms) move and shift based on player input, but two of them actively roam through a location in the world itself), and the approach missions that I are sort of a component of the dungeons themselves.

        I also think the music is more than fine – it just takes more of a listen to notice what it’s doing well and where it stands out (which fits into its role within the game itself).

        I agree it has faults. Some of these faults – heck, most of them – depend on player perspective and tastes. I have issues with the mount and stable system (it’s a huge disappointment that you have limited space in the stables AND can mount but not board wild animals, almost defeating the purpose of mounting them entirely), and I think the ending is a disappointment after what I was feeling was one of the best stories in the Zelda series up to that point. I have mixed feelings on the weapon durability system, and why are there 900 Korok seeds when you only need 411 to max out your inventory?

        Every game has faults, and it’s great to discuss and analyze them, and take into account player tastes on top of that. I actually do have an issue with the game’s overall dungeon design, and that’s that there are some great opportunities within the world itself as it currently exists to have “world dungeons” beyond the Divine Beasts. Besides just Shrines (which I really enjoy, and I find a vast improvement over just scouring the world for heart pieces in chests), there are a lot of spaces in this version of Hyrule that are begging to have more significance to them, and I would have loved to see them do more with the world itself.

        BotW is a great step forward for the Zelda series, and a great first open-world effort by Nintendo, but there are lots of ways to grow and improve and I earnestly hope they do in the next game.

    • Dampf

      I think many people like the beasts but are pissed that they are the only dungeons in the game. If Nintendo would have 4 traditional dungeons scattered around the overworld, nobody would complain

    • Shado Cat

      I had no problem with the beasts mechanics. Those were fun but they felt really empty. You shoot an eyeball in a barely moving sludge and it’s gone. No other monsters after that. The bubbles they generated weren’t that intimidating.

      • Theodore Homdrom

        Yeah the spitting out of bubbles with literally 1 HP and virtually no offensive capabilities is pretty pathetic, makes me wonder why they even made the Malice puddle have a function of summoning enemies at all.

        Seems to me the Beasts are entirely focused on puzzles and an intellectual approach rather than combat (other than the boss fights at the end), which I think worked really well for them, though the few enemies thrown into each Beast feel like total throwaways, just inserted at random. Kind of a weird flow at times.

  • K2L

    A game that has the benefits of Breath of the Wild AND the benefits of previous Zelda games would be totally rad. I don’t see why the two groups of aspects have to be mutually-exclusive.

    • David García Abril

      They are not necessarily exclusive, but there are aspects of one approach that would be a hindrance for the other.

      I guess they would have to learn to find a balance.

      • K2L

        If nothing else, BOTW serves as a starting blueprint that can be improved upon with subsequent entries. They can now improve upon the dungeons and story to make the sequel even better, plus fix any issues the current game might have.

        For that, however, Nintendo has to abandon the destructive habit of scrapping everything done with a game and start from all over with the next one. That’s the reason why games have taken progressively longer to come out. When you go from TWW to TP to SS and then BOTW, you’re hardly making the series progress accordingly. Therefore, the potential highlights seen in one game are disregarded with the other for the sake of always wanting to do “unique” or “different” stuff every time. When I read these numerous comments saying “please just go back to OOT formula”, I inevitably cringe, because they’re asking Nintendo to prolong the schizophrenic nature of the franchise.

    • Tri

      I agree. I’d also say that with BOTW being a first pass at it, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be able to improve on it for the next console title. I’m optimistic.

  • It’s not an issue but they need to reevaluate what this open world concept needs and what Zelda needs and how to mesh those two.

    Also no more ambiguity of where a game goes on the timeline. They made and released the thing so they should pay attention to it.

  • Anthony Pallotta

    They need to reuse the botw engine and make a new story and game. That would be amazing! Kind of like majoras mask and oot, but theyd have MUCH more time to develop a different story and style

  • TheMiddleClassTaxSlave

    If this Zelda had the normal dungeon formula miss in with these newer style dungeons, it would have gotten an 11/10 rating, and hands down the best Zelda, not even close, but it doesn’t so it’s debatable as always

  • Hylian Terrier

    I think that they should definitely keep the open world design. I loved all the new areas and exploration. I will acknowledge however that the game did have its weak points. Though the game had excellent music just like any Zelda game, I feel that the entire game’s soundtrack as a whole was not quite as strong as other console Zelda titles in the past. I also would have liked to see the dungeon formula we’ve seen in games like OOT, TP, and SS. Not to say I didn’t like BOTW’s – I loved moving them around in order to get where you need to go next; and also BATTLING them – but I feel the awesome dungeon progression we’ve seen in games past could have been easily integrated into these new ones (though I will say that Vah Naboris’s design was veeerrry similar to other dungeons in the series – particularly the water themed ones: line up cylinders to get electrical charge = raise/change water flow/level). I also think they should implement similar storytelling to what they have in the past. Again, I absolutely LOVED BOTW’s story, but I feel it could have been fleshed out a bit more, and I would have lived to see more of the Champions and Link’s allies for the four Divine Beast quests.

    • Dylan

      don’t forget you could also manipulate the donguens which I thought was an amazing way, if they did them a little more differently, bit bigger and had some enemies it could work,but they were design with more then just a theme but also puzzle.

      • Hylian Terrier

        I think I mentioned that but I’m not sure. In any case I loved manipulating the dungeons and thought it was an ingenious new way to explore. I just think that if they mixed that with a more traditional dungeon set up (similar to the way that Naboris was set up but at the same time not really) the dungeons could have been even better than they were. Cause honestly, they weren’t that horrible. Would’ve been nice to see more of them though.

        • Dylan

          I Agree, they looked fun, and if you could manipulate full Dungeons that would be really cool in a traditional sense.

  • David García Abril

    Just a couple of things: the music and the dungeon design weren’t hurt by the open world design.

    The music was an artistic style choice, and I think it works well enough in this game because it fits the tone it’s looking for. Sure, unlike previous entries, this is not a soundtrack that works all that well when listened on its own, but I think that’s OK… for this one game.

    And dungeon design, well, that was just that they obviously didn’t give them too much thought. But if they absolutely need to be open world, I think they can easily go back to the design philosophy of “A Link Between Worlds”. Sure, those dungeons also were a bit too simple by Zelda standards, but they were at least acceptable.

    I agree with the narrative part, though. That was the part that suffered the most, specially because of the decision of being able to face Ganon at any moment.

    Even worse, the best part about BotW’s narrative, namely Link’s memories, is a trick that will only work once.

    I hope they don’t make the same mistake as “Fire Emblem Fates”, that shoehorned the children units only because they were popular in “Fire Emblem Awakening”, without considering that they made sense in that game, but none whatsoever in “Fates”.

  • randompissedoffchick

    Making future zelda games open world does NOT mean classic zelda elements will be gone, they were just gone in THIS game.
    Really I can picture a future zelda game with the same open world and same gameplay mechanics but adding more personality and feel to towns npcs and dungeons like past zelda titles. The music had nothing to do with the open world either, it had more to do with what kind of feel they wanted to give this game in particular.
    I honestly dont understand why the normal dungeons couldnt be in this game. It would have been awesome to suddenly stumble upon the entrance to a massive underground dungeon or just come into a huge structure with the typical puzzle solving and enemies in dungeons. Really they had enough regions to have made themed dungeons like before. Missed opportunity. Also the enemies were just so limited and repetitive. Since they incorporated many easter eggs and elements from previous titles it would have been awesome to have enemies from ALL past titles show up in their unique enviroments. This game lacked caves and grottos as well. They truly could add all of this into the next open world game and make it feel more zelda like and make it a more beefed up botw in a way. Even story doesnt have to suffer they can make the story linear but still not limit you to follow it. Besides half the story in most zelda games come from sidequest anyways which this game truly lacked at least one extensive and meaningful sidequest. It never developed any character in anyway except zelda.
    All these missed opportunities are welcomed in the next open world game. I hope they truly add this in next time.

    • DWXDX

      Honestly, the way shrines were implemented it looks like they initially built it as the dungeon system then decided to go with the Divine beasts later into development.

      • randompissedoffchick

        I know, and they were unique and fun imo, but at the same time a lot of the open space in this game would have had more meaning if there was just more to do in it than fight the same enemies and collect materials, so the shrines took away from the world in a way. Where the dungeons would have given certain areas purpose the shrine ended up being the only reason to go in that area, and it was something that would only offer a small variety in puzzles and not actual usage of weapons or enemy variety. After I realized I would never find such things in this game and was gonna keep running into the same enemies alot of the pretty and interesting places I would suddenly come across didnt entice me to explore them fully, even though i really wanted to. Collecting materials and fighting the same enemies was all I really was gonna end up doing in every isolated area. It bummed me out a bit and it left me wanting more. The next open world zelda game can totally have this added!

    • Danilo Carvalho

      I really missed caves, grottos and interior spaces in general. Would be really awesome if they fix that for the next game.

      • kathryn hadley

        Found plenty of those in BOTW. They were often filled with ores, shrine, or treasure. (Or just an occasional korok.)

        • randompissedoffchick

          Yes I know, I found those too, what I meant is a cave with an actual path that leads you down a type of labyrinth of sorts with enemies and treasures inside, maybe they could have added enemies that are only found in caves? Kinda how windwaker and twilight princess did it but a bit more extensive.
          Finding my first one left me feeling like I had simply found a tiny one but when I realized they were all like that I was bummed.

        • Shrines are meaningless grinds to upgrade your hearts and stamina that ultimately result in a unneeded and useless reward for getting all 120. The ore serves no purpose but to give you rupees which serve no purpose once you’ve bought all the clothing, and the koroks are the most useless reward to ever be added to a Zelda game ever. The expansion of inventory should’ve worked like SS where you buy pouches, as having to scour the overworld for a stupid mindless puzzle to be given a lump of **** from a faceless no-name Korok just so you can track down a Hungry Luma wannabe Korok just so you don’t run out of inventory while wandering around is one of the most asinine and outright insulting things Nintendo has ever added to a game.

          Seriously, the koroks were cool in WW and charming; here though, I hate them, and I take pleasure in the small amount of cartoony violence I can inflict upon them.

          None of this is to even mention the oh-so-amazing reward you get for finding all 900 korok turds.

          Seriously none of the things you listed make up for the lack of even something as begin as the pieces of heart from past games.

          • randompissedoffchick

            LOL I love your rant over the Koroks.

          • Lol, I put a lot of passion into that rant, so thanks.

            Still though, I hope Kathryn didn’t take offense to it. I wasn’t meaning to offend them, just some of what’s in BOTW greatly infuriates me.

          • randompissedoffchick

            Nah, you’re fine, your comment came across as an expression of your personal opinion and not like you’re belittling their opinion. But the rant made me genuinely laugh out loud, it made my day! Cuz I basically agree. At first it was tolerable but now I see one of their puzzles and I just keep running by and my kids are like “theres a korok there” and im like “……….”

          • Lol, yeah well I never know how I’m gonna come off when I get heated so I always worry. Also yeah, they’re just not fun. Like the majority I’ve found are stupid metal cube ones which are just tedious while also being really blatantly obvious.

            Anyways, you’re welcome for the laugh RPOC. 😛

          • randompissedoffchick

            The ones under the rock are the worse for me. I just drop that sh*t back on their head and im off on my way.
            It was cool you spoke my mind Mango 🙂
            After I learned what my efforts for finding them all would amount to, I STOPPED GIVING A SH*T (pun intended)

          • Schelm of the Realm

            Most shrines are useless aside from the orbs, I agree. Half of them only contain a chest or the recurring mini boss. I would have split the orbs into heart and vessel containers and given them to the Koroks to make exploration a bit more fun.

      • randompissedoffchick

        Yes! I was disappointed that such a game as this would be missing that!
        It would have made exploration more fun and rewarding.

      • Schelm of the Realm

        Agree. I only remember one small cave with a shrine inside and I loved it!

    • asmith

      Have you done the Tarrey Town sidequest? I felt it was satisfying seeing it all come together.

      • randompissedoffchick

        Ok you got me, yes I have and it was pretty extensive but in the end it was really just a fetch quest. I would have liked to get to know the Gerudo lady and the carpenter( see I cant even remember their names) more through this sidequest. And the other characters you had to bring here as well. The anju and kafei quest spoiled me I guess. Something to that extent happening in Tarry Town would have been cool. All the characters involved in the anju/kafei quest had something going on with them that tied them all together somehow and gave a bit of drama even between characters to add interest.
        This one felt very simple though I agree it was nice to watch the town being built.

        • asmith

          Agreed, there needed to be more depth as it was no Anju and Kafei sidequest.

  • DWXDX

    Only if each iteration is unique from the last. I can see things like the paraglider return, but the skiekah slate features need to be refreshed. I would also like to see some world altering functions return. Dark World, Seasonal shifts, Time, etc.

  • kathryn hadley

    I didn’t have any issue with how the dungeons were designed. It took me a long time to figure out Vah Ruta simply because I didn’t consider that I could go onto the other side of the trunk.

    Also, they’ve been rethinking dungeons for a while now. Several games got rid of the compass and gave you the map outright. This game made you find the map, but didn’t give it a ton of fanfare like previous games did. (Seriously, I remember playing earlier Zelda games and actually being disappointed that the treasure chest was just a map or compass.) It fits better knowing you’re specifically going for the map, and probably sits better with newbies too.

    • Dylan

      I agree.

  • Isaac Ness

    Yeah, linear story or not, there should be an open world for us to explore

  • Mayor of Kekitopia.

    The series should never have moved away from being open world in the first place.

    • It didn’t “move away” it naturally evolved to what it was. BOTW is the outlier here for not following the pattern.

      • Shado Cat

        It’s starting point was open world and as it evolved it moved away from that. You say “evolved into what it was” as if it became one thing and stopped, it didn’t. it moved away from that and came around full circle to it’s roots. Time will move on and it will change again and likely move back to what you consider the pattern and repeat. This franchise is always trying new things.

  • Dragonmaster 150

    While I do agree that the “open air” world in BotW is amazing I do think that the other more “linear” games in the series had, for the most part, had better story driven narratives. Don’t get me wrong I really like BotW’s story, but I feel like the next instalment in the series could benefit from having both an “open air” world like BotW’s, and a more linear story driven experience which allows for exploration of the world in between story quests.

    When I think of this kind of Zelda game the first one that comes to my mind is Majora’s mask, the main quest was really well done and there was a huge drive to finish the story, but when you weren’t rushing through dungeons there was a multitude of really good side-quests.

    I think Breath of the wild got the side-quests, the world, and the NPC characters nailed down pretty well, but, I think, that Aonuma and his team could have done a little more to add a bit more drive or urgency to the story.

    I also kind of wish that we had gotten some form of massive dungeon, although I do think that the Divine beasts were pretty cool and well done, as well as a good number of mini-dungeons. I’m not hating on the shrines, I really like most of the shrines, and that “aha!” moment you have when you complete a really difficult puzzle, but I do miss really nice big themed dungeons. While I do think that the Shrines and Divine beasts fit the theme of the world I think that the team definitely could have done more to flesh out the major-dungeons.

    …and that’s pretty much all of the gripe I have with the game so far. Sorry about the really long, slightly disjointed post.

  • I love the open world. Maybe that’s because I have mainly played the first LoZ, and even just recently played it (somehow my parents never had the opportunity of getting the original game at the it’s end.

    I did give Phantom Hourglass a try but I got stuck at the fishing part somehow and I haven’t really had the time or the patience to figure it out.

    I thought of myself mainly as a (beginning) collector for Mario and Zelda games and ordered BotW simply because the new Mario game will not release until the holiday season this year, but it was a huge turn for me. I absolutely love this game and it has made me shift my focus to collecting the Zelda series first.

    What seems a great idea to me, is to recreate the original LoZ game in the BotW engine. That might just solve the issue that is stated by the author of this article. An open world game with dungeons and a great way to “update” the game that started it all.
    I believe it shouldn’t be too hard to do this, since Nintendo tried the original game to test out if some ideas would work out.

  • Chris Jagucki

    I think the series needs to take what it has learned from BOTW and expand upon it to make an “open-air” game that is massively open with a wide range of dungeons and mini dungeons. I think using all dungeons and mini dungeons as warp points is a brilliant idea going forward.

  • MysteryT

    I prefer the smaller world of Majora’s Mask.

    • Greenbeans

      Same. I think it’d be cool if they did that in the next game.

      Oh wait, it’s not 2000 anymore.

      I also prefer the 8-bit graphics of LoZ.

      • Andy Spiteri

        Obvioulsy there’s a market for throwback games. See as evidence how many games use pixel art style. Bigger doesn’t mean better automatically.

        • Shado Cat

          I’m not so sure the overwhelming number of phone apps are evidence of the popularity of pixel art. I think it’s more the fact that the software to do pixel art is more user friendly and often times cheaper making it a better choice for indie developers.

  • asmith

    I am going through my second play through now and the only thing I think needs changed are the non-thematic dungeons and weapon durability. I didn’t miss not receiving the standard items as rewards. At no point did I wish I had the hookshot or a useful boomerang.

    I really enjoy hearing the ambient sounds and footsteps while exploring. It hasn’t gotten old to me and I haven’t felt that something is missing while exploring. Music kicks in at the right moments for me and it feels as if it is part the world in a natural way.

    Tarrey Town is by far my favorite music in the game. I’ll be going to the Symphony in November for the first time and am looking forward to hearing that song in the medley.

    • randompissedoffchick

      I loved the ambient sounds in this game! I had always wanted a zelda game that did this lol. I also didnt miss the standard zelda items though I think there is a way they could bring them back but make it so people dont rely on them all the time. And the music was good though it was different from past zelda games with their typical catchy and repetitive melodies. I can appreciate this game’s mix of more subtle and complex music.

    • Andy Spiteri

      The Symphony is awesome, you’re gonna have a blast!

  • Pikastroff

    I played many open world games, and in my opinion, Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule is definitely among the best ones, due to how it was handled. I suggest you to watch Mark Brown’s video on YouTube which summarizes very well why I think so. For that, I am very happy that it is the standard for the series, now!

    However, this does not mean it is perfect, because there ARE things which I hope the next game will change compared to Breath of the Wild:

    1) I would like themed dungeons to come back. While the Divine Beasts were cool perhaps as ONE dungeon, having ALL FOUR dungeons of the game being the Divine Beasts was quickly getting old (although INDIVIDUALLY, they were really cool, still). It is especially worse considering that they all had the same visual design, which was pretty similar to the Shrines’, which ALL have the same visual themes. Honestly, it’s pretty ironic that this game’s dungeons and mini dungeons lack so much in visual and audio variety when the entirety of Hyrule in itself is so varied and beautiful!

    To me, Hyrule Castle was a GREAT example of how the dungeons should have been, if they were to keep on going with the “openness” of the game. Honestly, this version of Hyrule Castle is the best in the series, in my opinion. Just imagine if we had similarly designed dungeons for a Forest Temple, Fire Temple, Water Temple / whatever type of temple, etc… I hope the next Zelda will be like that!

    2) A more structured story. Due to how open the game is, the story did suffer quite a lot, and that is mainly because of the mechanic that we can go fight Calamity Ganon right from when we leave the Great Plateau. If it wasn’t for that, the story would most probably have had more structure within its story. The problem with Breath of the Wild’s story is that it touches the themes, but doesn’t go too deep, most of the time, unlike let’s say Majora’s Mask. We saw in a very brief flashback the Great Calamity in Hyrule Castle, but I wish we had seen more of that. We saw a bit of the problems the people had in the towns due to the Divine Beasts, but most of the time it did not really affect me since we did not really go deeper into what the characters were living. We knew that the Champions were “the strongest in Hyrule”, but we can only wonder what made them to be selected other than “oh but they have that ability”. More backstory on that, you know. While I LOVE the themes of the story, I wish it would at least be SLIGHTLY more structured (I don’t need it to be structured like Skyward Sword, even if I loved its story), to make it more impactful.

    If the next game can do THAT, and at the same time retain what made Breath of the Wild’s open world so awesome (the sense of discovery, the physics engine, the experimentation, the sense of surprise, etc…), then I would be EXTREMELY happy.

    But hey, even if it takes a long time before we see that game, Breath of the Wild is making me very busy anyway. I’m already VERY happy with Breath of the Wild for now anyway, so I can wait! 🙂

    • Hyrule castle is too open to be a Zelda dungeon. It’s literally just a castle that you can explore at your leisure. I mean no offense but I don’t see why people are freaking out about it. A good, Zelda-like, dungeon needs areas you can’t access right away and locked doors and small keys and a boss that’s behind a door you have to find a key to. Basically, a good traditional dungeon needs structure and that can’t exist if you can just climb all around it willy-nilly.

      • Pikastroff

        I think what I loved about Hyrule Castle was that it was different, and if I’m going to be honest, I think I started getting bored of the old dungeons, in a way.

        Doesn’t mean I don’t understand what you mean, though. I think then that PERHAPS, it should be a mix of the old and new.

        To me, they should keep the freedom in the way you explore the dungeon (from the way you enter it or how you tackle it). HOWEVER, unlike Hyrule Casle, they should not be making the boss available right away (which actually is the one thing which dissapointed me with Hyrule Castle. Perhaps having to find SOMETHING in the Castle to actually access Calamity Ganon would have been nice). Once you’re inside the dungeon, you still get the puzzles in each room, and explore it. It’s just that like the Shrines, it would be more open ended rather than just one solution, let’s say. While Hyrule Castle’s inside focused more on its atmosphere, with occasionaly a puzzles here and there, ALONG with pieces of lore hidden in some areas, there should be a greater focus on the puzzles inside. Hyrule Castle did have its own mini boss, and perhaps, dungeons designed like so could hide a necessary thing in those mini bosses such as a key or something (an item? Other than a rune, or maybe even just a new rune entirely, that could be nice).

        Or even then, I’m fine if they go back to a more structured designed in the sense that you go from A to B, in a dungeon. I think that perhaps what I would like to see, at the core, is the puzzles that are open ended, I guess, which the Shrines provided. What I loved about Hyrule Castle is the piece of lore we could find, and it would be really cool to see something like that in a normal dungeon. Likewise, in the same way that for the first time Hyrule Castle actually DID look like a castle, the dungeons could perhaps attempt to look like what they are intended to be within the story (if it’s like an ancient prison or something, it would be nice for it to actually look a bit more “organic”). It could help enhance the lore part I mentioned, too.

        Coming back to Hyrule Castle a bit, I do understand why some may not like it. Like both you and I said, the fact that you can straight up climb it and go to the boss directly was not necessarily a good idea (there should be more incentive to actually go inside). It’s just that to me, I just enjoyed the heck out of exploring Hyrule Castle and going into its depth, so perhaps AT LEAST one other dungeon designed like that COULD be nice. Doesn’t have to be all dungeons, I totally understand your point.

        I guess it depends on what you expect from a dungeon. Well either way, it’s fine if we disagree. We could just agree to disagree, lol.

        • I’m fine with a more open area like Hyrule castle to explore, but to me if you’re going to call something a dungeon it needs structure as all dungeons in all the games including the first were this way, and honestly I don’t like open ended puzzles, some are fine but that’s basically all that’s in BOTW as they’re all physics based which isn’t fun to me.

          I mean call me stubborn but I like my block pushing puzzles and “shooting the eyeball” puzzles, and I don’t really want to see those go or the traditional dungeon design go.

          I mean I’m not even sure which enemy in Hyrule castle you’re referring to as the “miniboss” as the dungeon is so open I probably walked right past it, which just isn’t fun, as that just makes Hyrule Castle one big boss room for Calamity Ganon.

          Heck I mean at the very least they could have gotten rid of the stupid mazes and replaced them with dungeons, as who genuinely enjoys mazes?

          • Pikastroff

            Yeah, there definitely should have been more incentive to actually explore the castle inside out rather than just rush to Calamity Ganon, that I can agree. I won’t say which enemy I was referring to just in case people are afraid of that being a spoiler, but again like I said, there should have been more incentive to explore ALL areas. Doesn’t change that I love Hyrule Castle though! 😛

            I guess that’s a clash of opinion right there (which is completely fine), but I think that those old puzzles (pushing blocks and shooting an eyeball) is exactly what I started to get bored of in the old style of dungeons. Most of the time, dungeons became really predictable to me, which I did not like. On the other hand, many shrines REALLY surprised me, and I believe it is because of the physics based puzzles. Now this does not mean they should ENTIRELY get rid of those old puzzles, but I think it was a nice change, in my opinion.

            Now, I WILL admit that the dungeon bosses were a bit dissapointing. Honestly, just spam them with bomb arrows and you’re fine… I guess we’ll just see how the next game will treat them.

            Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. Hopefully the next Zelda game will be able to please you on those aspects! 🙂

          • Shado Cat

            I agree with you about the dungeons. There’s no reason we couldn’t have classic style dungeons and a few less shrines. They should have been more mazelike and had more enemies. I would have been fine with them keeping the physics puzzles though or mixing the button pushing with the physics.

          • Andy Spiteri

            Just… no gyro dungeons >_<

          • Schelm of the Realm

            I enjoy mazes ✋

          • There’s always that one person.

          • Dylan

            hey mango, your stubborn!

            you did say call me “stubborn” ;p lol

      • Greenbeans

        Hyrule Castle isn’t meant to be a traditional dungeon. That’s like saying you don’t like chicken because it’s not turkey.

        • While not comparing them directly, Pikastroff was making a sorta analogy between Hyrule Castle and a more traditional, relative to the Divine eye-sores, dungeon.

          Likewise I’ve seen people argue that the castle is the most “traditional” dungeon in the game which just peeves me off. Ultimately I know it’s not a traditional dungeon, but the lack of any traditional dungeon design in the game period, especially after the majesty of level design that went into TP and SS is just too much for me to accept. I mean I’d take 12 amazing SS/TP like dungeons over a large boring overworld any day of the week.

          Thus I felt the need to make it clear why the castle isn’t a traditional dungeon in my eyes and in many ways fails.

        • Theblueblur

          I’m assuming that what Mango means here, is that he prefers “turkey” over “chicken,” and that he’s disappointed that he received “chicken.”

  • The Working Dead

    I want a blend of both, OoT style and BotW style. Open world, shrines AND dungeons. I want under ground, explorable caves that network and some turn into immense dungeons. There should be 8 Dungeons with their own themes like OoT where you gain some power (whether it’s runes or items, I don’t care), you have shrines to gain stamina and hearts. The dungeons would be mandatory for the story, but not mandatory to complete the game. The shrines not so much. These would be to upgrade Link.

    Nintendo should take BotW as a proof of concept and double it while baking it with OoT. I recently replayed Oot and played Link Between Worlds months before playing this. I love BotW for what it is, but am super excited about where its going to go in the future.

    • hyrules

      I completely agree.

  • Greenbeans

    After making an at least 15 year overdue leap forward, ripping a bunch of open world conventions and pretending they invented them because “open air”, why in the name of me would anyone want them to take all those many steps backward?

    The new formula just needs to be polished like there’s no tomorrow is all.

  • Christian Beach

    I would love to see more open-world Zelda games, but I agree that Breath of the Wild – despite being such an amazing game – has so many things wrong with it simply because it’s open world. Aside from the obvious lack of dungeons and plot, the game also has too many Shrines and Koroks, not enough side quests (especially engaging ones like the Anju and Kafei quest from Majora’s Mask). There isn’t really a diverse amount of content in the game, which makes me think that all those Shrines and Koroks are really just filler content. I’m honestly surprised it took so long to develop if this was all there was to the game.

    In my opinion, the next big console Zelda game should be developed with suggestions and ideas from the fans, not just from the brains at Nintendo. I myself have often found myself thinking of ideas for Breath of the Wild that Nintendo probably didn’t even consider. If they listened to what kinds of things the fans wanted in the next Zelda, we could get a bigger, better game than Breath of the Wild.

    • I’m pretty sure BOTW was made with the fans in mind, as everyone complained that SS was too linear and too dungeony and what we got was a game so focused on being open and nonlinear that it sacrificed good dungeons and plot just to accommodate it’s overworld.

      Likewise, openly listening to fans is never a good idea. Fans are crazy and come up with stuff like “a female Link” or other fan-fictiony ideas that just aren’t good. I think ultimately what Nintendo needs to sit down and evaluate each game and what makes them good and bad and try to make a game that’s nothing but a accumulation of all the good.

    • Schelm of the Realm

      “If they listened to what kinds of things the fans wanted in the next Zelda, we could get a bigger, better game than Breath of the Wild.”
      It happened before and was a linear copy of Ocarina of Time called Twilight Princess. So please no. Bigger and better is not what I want. I want innovation. Nintendo listens to their fans but the innovation always comes from within the company.

  • I love this game. It is the most fun I’ve experienced with a video game in a very long time. I love to PLAY video games and this game is all about the exploring and playing. In all honesty, Zelda storylines have never been my pull to get into these games anyway so the way the story is dispersed is wonderful for the way I am approaching this game. I get why some are frustrated, but this game is nothing but pure joy to me.

  • Yes it will be the new standard. Issues will be ironed out and more conventional dungeons will be introduced, story will be fleshed out when they understand the systems full potential.

  • Shado Cat

    Ok, first off, The Zelda franchise was born an open world game. This is not a case of something new. This is a case of something so old it’s new again. It only feels so far from what you think a Zelda game is because the point in time where you came into the franchise it had moved so far away from it’s roots. What made this game hugely popular back in the 80s is that while everyone was putting out sidescrolling platformers LoZ said “Here’s the world you figure it out.” It wasn’t the story. The story was pretty much your basic classic cliche fairy tale of a hero rescuing an princess. They’ve built on it since but really it hasn’t changed much. Don’t even get me started on that botched up joke of what passes for a timeline. The real driving force behind the Zelda series is the sense of discovery and accomplishment people get from solving puzzles and discovering new dungeons and beating bosses by discovering their weaknesses. There are a few things that suffered but ,except for story pacing, they didn’t suffer because the game was open world. We needed more classic style dungeons. The divine beasts were a great concept but they needed more monsters in them. Hell if they’d even just included more monsters in the shrines it would have been better. Beat the monsters then solve the puzzle. The soundtrack was not that great. They could have done a normal style soundtrack even in an open world. World of Warcraft does just fine having a different theme for every zone that helps set the mood of that zone. There’s no reason Zelda can’t do the same and I hope they do going forward. One thing you don’t have to worry about is seeing the next 20 years of Zelda being built on Breath of the wild. Another thing that’s made this franchise one of the best loved is that it is always evolving. Nintendo loves to push the envelope in this franchise. Another 10 years and the wheels will turn again and we’ll have a “brand new” direction for a Zelda game that resembles Ocarina of time in it’s playstyle and someone will be writing an article saying “Zelda’s always been an open world game is this really the direction we want to take?” Then you’ll be looking back and going “but one of the greatest games in the franchise was just like this” to someone else who thinks “it’s great but it’s not really what Zelda is.”

    • Andy Spiteri

      The viscous Zelda cycle goes ’round and ’round haha. Good points.

  • The Divine beasts were interesting but the problem was that inside they were all too similar.

    For future dungeons, I’d like the open approach of Hyrule Castle with the concept of the terminals from the Divine Beast in a coat of traditional dungeons.

    Imagine a jungle temple where you have to collect 5 pieces of a totem to summon the temple’s boss. Have a shadow temple where you have to find 6 keys to open up the cell of a terrible boss locked years ago. Have a water temple where you have to bring 4 streams into the center of the temple to open the boss doors. Have a Goron Mine temple where you have to set of several explosions to get to the boss inside Death Mountain. Imagine a Sky temple where you have to launch 3 harpoons at the boss flying around the temple to bring it down and finish him off.

    That way you can’t just run up to the boss dungeon but can still tackle the dungeon in your own way. There would be no set order for any of these things but you need to do them all just like how you had to activated the terminals to get the boss to appear.

  • Marandahir

    I disagree. The music was more subtle, but it was still excellent. And in the towns and in cutscenes, the music was very much alive.

    I also disagree about the story. I think that, within the context of a video-game interface, a story that is revealed by the player’s actions is far superior to a story that forces itself down the player’s throat. I can watch a movie or read a book (and I do) for stories where I can’t interact with it or have a meaningful effect on the outcome. Breath of the Wild lets me decide how much of the story I want to uncover, and how about it I want to go. It does this through memories, optional cutscenes, and journals (most notably, Zelda’s, Old Man’s, Paya’s, and Purah’s). I can see future open-air Zelda titles having even more story, storylines that are mutually-exclusive, and story that needs to be uncovered but isn’t required to beat the main plot, and may not even be relevant to the main plot.

    I found myself hungering for more world to explore. I have just 6 shrines left, and I’ve scoured the provinces of Hyrule. I haven’t found all the secrets, but I’ve been just about everywhere now, at some point or other. I want more. I believe Nintendo can and will and should deliver.

    • Andy Spiteri

      I’ve played mostly at home too, excellent point about the dungeons in relation to the portability. I think that they’ll find that happy medium.

  • SourceCode

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Breath of the Wild but to be honest, I missed all the dungeons (four is not enough for me), there were too many shrines, Korok seeds are a completionist’s nightmare, and the Triforce wasn’t really an integral part of the game which is a bit unheard of. While this certainly ranks in my top three Zelda games of all time, the Wind Waker still entertained me much more than Breath of the Wild could. It just felt like it had more character. I know I will probably get some flak for this but quite honestly it is just my preference. People aren’t suppose to like the same things…what a boring world that would be…

  • Elessar yavetil

    yes I really like the large open world, just more attention to the storyline and more dungeons that further the story progress in the game

  • Matthew Forbes

    “But in making the switch to an open world style of game, Breath of the Wild also lost many aspects of what makes The Legend of Zelda games so special.”
    If we’re being totally blunt, BOTW is EXACTLY what Zelda has always been. Small, simple dungeons with simple puzzles, big open world, and it’s all up to the player on how much they take in/explore the story elements. Zelda 1 did it, Zelda 2 did it, that’s the original set up that started it all. I think what you meant was “We lost many aspects of what makes Breath Of The Wild hypothetically like Ocarina Of Time”, which set the formula and standard for 3D Zelda games.

    Hyrule Field in OoT, and even MM, wasn’t fun to explore. It just wasn’t, because until you had Epona (a bit less than half-way into the game at earliest) the field is a several minute long timesink with nothing to see or do (yeah there was Poes and a few holes with a chest at the end of an empty stretch, but i’m not one to applaud such a bare-minimum effort). Through all of Hyrule in the vastness of BOTW I had a lot of fun exploring. Expanding shrines and dungeons is an easy fix, but having Hyrule Field (or the Great Sea, or flying over Hyrule) be expectedly empty is a harsh stain on a formula.

    IMO, if you wanted Ocarina Of Time, just play Ocarina Of Time. The formula has been done before. I love seeing new drastic changes to an old formula, especially when they still capture what Zelda is about: exploring, adventuring, fighting.

    • I guess ALttP or basically OOT2D just doesn’t exist to you. You know the game that for all intents and purposes in the truer successor to the original TLoZ then AOL.

      • Shado Cat

        Alttp was a return to the original top down style of LoZ. While it wasn’t as open as LoZ it was a game that gave the illusion of open world. It resembles the original more than it resembles OOT. Even though AoL did some weird things as far as side scrolling and the way they configured the map it was still about exploring at it’s core.

      • Matthew Forbes

        Top down =/= ‘true successor’

        I’d say any day ALttP is more like OoT than original Zelda because while it was more open than OoT, it was infinitely more linear than Zelda 1 or 2. Yeah, Adventure Of Link had 2D combat, but you still explored a big open world and adventured to find where to go and what to do.
        That shit never happened in ALttP. You were told where you needed to go next and what to do, and there was little deviance to how it could be done.

        • Realm25

          Zelda 2 is much more linear than ALTTP.

    • Andy Spiteri

      Being blunt, when you have a reoccurring theme in 80% of your games, it’s now the foundation your series is based on. When I want to play Ocarina of Time, I will (which, for the record, has an incredible area of it’s own to explore. It just does), but I think you’re missing the point: I’m hoping that Breath of the Wild’s successor takes all of the best elements from the original Zelda, Ocarina of Time, Link to the Past, Breath of the Wild, etc. and makes that one awesome game in perfect harmony with everything that’s made Zelda great.

      • Matthew Forbes

        Foundation is the problem with a long running game series. It has to ‘feel like Zelda’, which is the dumbest argument in the world. There’s no need of a game that’s 80% what you already know/played, give me an original game with the source idea (the source idea being that Zelda, at it’s core, is Adventure, Exploration, Action imo). I get what you mean, people expect certain staples to be present, but I’d rather a game series not be slowed because people expect themed dungeons and getting an item in a dungeon the boss is then weak to(as examples). That limits the game so much when it could be something totally new but true.
        You’re hoping for a game that blends all of the best from the bests, while I’d like to see something else new and amazing from the same fresh take on the same series, ya know?

        • Andy Spiteri

          I think we’re almost on the same page here, yeah. I think of I had to pin point it is say I want a Zelda that combines all the best elements from the previous games, while adding it’s *own* special something to the mix too that we could look back on as being great. I’d like to see a mix of the old with the new. You’ve given me a great editorial idea though, so thank you!

  • Crackkat

    This is what Zelda always wanted to be, of course it should stay on this path. Expand on the physics, keep the climbing and add destructible environments like they originally had in the 2014 trailer. But as others have said, I’d also like to see a bit more story, but story has never been the strongest part of Zelda games so I’m still not asking for it to take that much of a priority. But if they can avoid doing the flashbacks thing again, that would be great, I prefer the story to be a present day thing more than past 🙂
    Oh and keep this art style exactly the same, it’s absolutely stunning, I’ve never seen graphics so beautiful… and I’m not just talking about games.

  • Schelm of the Realm

    If you cant enjoy Open world, Zelda is not made for you. Theres nothing wrong about Open World. But next time they should do less shrines and more challenging puzzles. And more story. Those things are not contrary.

    IMO they should even reuse the BotW engine to focus specifically on the content. We know it happened before and we know it was good.

    • This is a silly comment. There’s two, maybe three games in the whole series that can be called open world, thus by basic math Zelda isn’t open world and not being able to enjoy open world games should have no bearing on the people who enjoy the ZELDA games that aren’t open world.

      • Schelm of the Realm

        Well, beside what youre saying (Zelda isnt open world?) Breath of the Wild (and supposedly the next Zelda) IS open world. People should deal with it instead of complaining about the series going a step forward. Because in fact Zelda was the first open world game ever. Now they rather call it “open air” which is but the next step in open world gaming.

        As I said. BotW misses some Zelda features but not for the cost of the open air concept. Its not contrary. They can do it better next time.

        • Andy Spiteri

          So instead of offering healthy critiques and encouraging discussion, we should just ‘deal with it cause that’s the way it is’? Do you know how flawed that is? Let’s just overlook that Superman 64 is a broken, foggy mess cause that’s just what it is, so we shouldn’t complain. C’mon dude….

          • Schelm of the Realm

            Yes, if you dont like open world, deal with it. Zelda has always been open world. Its not discussible.

      • Shado Cat

        Most of the games in the series that aren’t open world are made to resemble an open world. The series was built with explorers in mind. People who don’t like exploring don’t tend to be drawn to this franchise.

  • Sentinel

    Finally, someone besides me who didn’t like the over abundance of ambient music in this game.

    As for the structure of future games, I’m conflicted. BotW is good at most things it tries to do…but at the same time, I still prefer the more linear and progression-based style like Wind Waker and others.