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March 10, 2017 by Tim

Well, that was it. That was our shot. Nintendo had another chance to change their ways, bring a bit of parity to our controllers. Maybe start some sort of industry standard for console game menus here in the west… but nope! They’re going to do their own thing, and all of our accidental backing out of menus be-damned!

Maybe they were hoping we’d be spending so long fumbling around the menus we wouldn’t notice their flimsy launch line-up. *badum-pish!*

Honestly, though, for Breath of the Wild I will forgive everything and anything about the Switch right now. They needed a system seller to launch with, and Zelda is, hands down, it. This massive game appears to have enough content and gameplay in it that it won’t matter if we don’t get some other good games for a few weeks, or couple of months. Beyond that, it may start to get dodgy, but right now, Zelda is all I need.

With the Switch launching the same week that Horizon came out, naturally we now have two AAA open-world titles in our laps, and while I’ve played both, I can sum up my feelings towards them like this:

Horizon has an amazing world that I enjoy getting through. Zelda has an amazing world that I enjoy being in.

To elaborate a bit, Horizon is a fine game. Gorgeous landscapes, exciting monster fights, decent collectibles and strong characters. But a lot of what it does is stuff we’ve seen before, and while its open world is big and lush, I enjoy it mostly as the vehicle by which I get from point A to point B. The next story point, the next encounter, that’s what I’m going for, and it’s great to have this cool world to travel inbetween them.

Breath of the Wild, though? I regularly find myself just being in that world. Exploring for the sake of exploring, checking out vistas, climbing mountains, testing the waters of new areas and new enemies. I’ve played a decent amount, and I’ve not even approached a single one of the divine beasts yet. In fact, only just last night did I stumble across the Zora and begin making my way to their town.

And that’s fine with me… actually that’s more than fine with me, because I’ve spent so much of my time just exploring and loving this world they’ve made, tackling shrines, looking under rocks, climbing trees and enjoyed every second of it, that I want this adventure to take as long as possible. I don’t want to rush it, and what’s more, I don’t feel the game urging me to rush it. It’s not pushing me towards any specific thing, not by design and certainly not by lack of things to do.

Horizon blew me away. Breath of the Wild… I think it moved the bar.

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