Predictable Bottlenecks and Other Frustrating Things We Better Not See in Breath of the Wild

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has big shoes to fill, while simultaneously carrying the responsibility of injecting life into a series that has arguably lost its shine.

Some would insist that Zelda's recent meanderings are simply a matter of structure. Can a series with dated core mechanics make it in today's gaming market? Will nostalgia carry Link for another title, or will Nintendo's proclaimed innovations prove that their base structure is still golden?

Only time and reception can answer these questions, but here are some frustrating issues found in recent Legend of Zelda titles that we hope Nintendo has at least reinvented -- if not ditched altogether -- in the franchise's newest installment.   

Predictable Bottlenecks

I am thoroughly convinced that while Zelda's puzzles have always been on point, some of the series' charm has slowly slipped away -- largely due to its open world imitation. 

As Breath of the Wild hinges much of its reputation on its open world, I hope many of the more obvious progression mechanics are scrapped. We all know what a bomb-able wall or a hook shot target looks like. It is not really open world when the majority of that world is blocked off in pretty obvious and predictable ways. This leaves each game with a largely linear approach. 

If Breath of the Wild really wants to be open world, Nintendo needs to implement a fresh approach to world design -- or they can scrap these bottlenecks completely. Take notes from The Legend of Zelda, which has secrets and new possibilities on every screen.

Item Creep

I am a huge fan of shiny things to collect. So, I do want Link to have plenty of gadgets at his disposal. What I don't want is item overload and poor UI and controls.

It would be preferable to see fewer items to pick up and use if that meant more complicated and rewarding use of the items at our disposal. One click to pop our glider, intuitive sword and bomb use, the ability to latch our hookshot everywhere...the hopes and dreams are endless. It will be nice to see a focus on bettering our gameplay and not collecting items. This is an action/adventure series, after all.  

Training Wheels

Gamers enjoy mastering combat, cracking puzzles, and finding hidden treasures on their own. The original games were difficult, and each game that followed has reduced some of the learning curve. 

Unfortunately, this has gotten a little out of control. I hope Breath of the Wild will allow us to master the game without forcing us to hold its hand. The difference between a tedious game and an enjoyable game can be found on either side of the line. The Zelda series could do with a little more player discovery. 

Forced Progression

There were some Zelda games which managed stories that didn't interfere and were wonderful additions. There were others that did not. 

If Breath of the Wild's open world is trying to be the core of the game, I hope they have taken a great deal of care with its story.  

We all understand Link's universe, his plight and, his end goal. It's always enjoyable to meet the citizens of Hyrule and discover its villages and points of interest, but the story needs to be cautious not to take away from player freedom -- especially in an addition to the series that seems to have an open world concept front and center. 

Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a beautiful, innovative reinvention of the Zelda series. There is no doubt in my mind that Nintendo is aware of these issues and are making every effort to address them. 

We'll just have to wait and see whether they've actually accomplished significant change for the series. 

What other annoying things are you hoping won't see a return in this upcoming Legend of Zelda title? Let me know in the comments!

Published Feb. 3rd 2017

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I am a professional freelance writer, bartender and JTP Mentor based in Atlanta, GA. I spend my days creating copy for hardwood floor companies or writing SEO driven blogs for call centers. I spend my nights trying to hear drunk orders over loud music. I spend my time in between writing for...more »


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