Breath of the Wild Was Not the Revolution You Thought It Was

Breath of the wild column
Are you a fan of Breath of the Wild? That's okay. I mean, you're wrong, but that's okay. Bite me. | © Bethesda Softworks & Nintendo

Here we go, ladies and gentlemen, here we go. It's time for that train to go a-rollin' down that hill, flatten that farmer, and provide grain to the community. It's time for that train to roll its way on down to the supermarket, deliver those goods, pay no taxes, and make lunch for all the check-out-chicks. The train is going to roll, it's going to do whatever trains do, then it's going to slam into me for the statement that you are about to read: Breath of the Wild was not revolutionary, the same game came out in 2011. Oh, by the way, 2011 was six years before 2017. Breath of the Wild was not revolutionary. What was it, though?

Fine. It was fine.

Now, before the train inevitably slams into my body, turning me into a thick layer of red flesh, smooshed up against the walls of some Gamestop out in the middle of nowhere, I think I can hear you saying something: "Oi, mate, Breath of the Wild is not the same as Skyrim!" Isn't it, Bobby (for the sake of this bit, I'm going to call you Bobby), isn't it?

Anyway, Bobby, Breath of the Wild was a very special game. It was a very special game because like no other game that had come before (apart from, perhaps, Halo 3), it became a sensation for being... eh? Fine. I mean, what was it about Breath of the Wild that was any different from any other open-world game of that era? The free-climbing? Okay, so that added a little bit of verticality. The combat? That was pretty... average. The breaking weapons? That was fecking annoying. The story? The worst in Zelda's long history. The exploration? Yeah, that was pretty incredible... but nothing new?

Sorry, I just don't get it. Seriously, Bobby, why do people like this game so much? I am the biggest Legend of Zelda fan out there. The Wind Waker was unbelievable. Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Link's Awakening, Link to the Past, Twilight Princess, so many amazing games. Do you know what those games all had, though? Heart. Soul. An open-world style map. A good story. I am so confused by all of this Breath of the Wild hype because Zelda has been open-world for ages. It has just never been Skyrim-level open-world, and that was okay.

You can't just slam something into an insanely over-sized open-world, introduce a few breakable weapons, and call it "innovation". None of this was innovation. It was all just... fine. It wasn't bad. It would have been nice if it had a story worth a damn, but... you know. It wasn't bad. It was fine. Yeah?

It's okay, Bobby, it's okay, you can put the knife down. I know you're passionate, but honestly, there's no point in stabbing me. As soon as this article is out, I'm going to get hit by the mother-of-all trains anyway, so at least give me a few more minutes to live, okay? I swear that I won't take up much more of your time. Alright, alright, alright, what else is there to say?

Alrighty-then, I know that this whole bloody article has been a bit of a rant. I know that I am not presenting any counter-arguments, this is largely unresearched, and I am enjoying the process of providing you with an unfiltered look into the deep, dark extremities of my horrendously annoying Australian brain just a little too much. To be honest, I think it's the English side of me that's annoying (that's just the nature of Brits, after all), but that's also completely and utterly beyond the point.

Breath of the Wild was, as I have now said a number of times, absolutely and unequivocally fine. It was fine. Fine.

It was fine. Fine. Yes, that's right, it was fine. It wasn't revolutionary, it wasn't anything new, it wasn't even anything particularly special.

Okay, I'll stop that now. Breath of the Wild didn't do anything that other games like Skyrim hadn't done before it... in some cases better. Skyrim had the big open-world, and it was a big sandbox. So was Minecraft. So was The Witcher 3. So was freaking Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Hell, freaking Zelda 1 had a big fecking open world. Zelda 1. That game came out in fecking 1986. Feck.


There is so little that's extraordinary about Breath of the Wild that my confuzzled mind could be compared, perhaps, to Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt's book "The Coddling of the American Mind". Well, that is if I was American, or if I read books. I mean, the comparison was only because "coddle" and "confuzzle" sound... vaguely similar. Anyway, my brain is being coddled by all these lunatics out there on the interwebs, claiming that Breath of the Wild is the equivalent of Jesus rising from the dead simply to give one last middle finger to the Romans before he fecked right off back into the heavens.

According to Google. Yes, Google. Coddling means to "treat (someone) [because you really need those brackets] in an indulgent or overprotective way". Stop protecting Nintendo just because you grew up with them. I'm sorry, but it's not like they have been super crash-hot for the last 20-30 years, is it? Sure, the Wii sold more than 100 million units. Sure, the Switch is selling like Hotcakes, but really? Come on guys, Breath of the Wild was nothing but the inevitable move we all knew Nintendo would take, to put Zelda into a more expansive open world. They didn't hold your hand, there was no narrative direction, and it was... you guessed it... fine.

Well, except for the fact that Breath of the Wild had none of the things that make other main-line Zelda games so extraordinary. There was no character development, there were no awesome-ass dungeons. There were no cool devices, really. I mean, seriously, the gadgets in Breath of the Wild sucked. Those little puzzle-hut-dungeon-house-things? They were fine. Breath of the Wild was fine. Not revolutionary.

Yeah? Alright, Bobby, so when's that train coming then?

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