Breath of the Wild: An excellent non Zelda Game?!

Breath of the Wild seems to really popular, and I am really enjoying it, but it feels mostly a relaxing experience of navigating an incredible landscape. Skyward Sword was very linear but the puzzles were incredible. To me Breath of The Wild feels very different to the previous Zelda games I have played, Link to the Past, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess.It doesn’t make my head hurt apart from the shrines! I really like it, but in a one off kind of way. I certainly hope that puzzles and dungeons are not relegated into Zelda history forever…

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It’s definitely stretching the boundaries of what ‘Zelda games’ encompass, but I think that’s a great thing. Sure, I’d love another Zelda with more dungeon-centric gameplay, filled with more full-fledged puzzles in stead of these smaller challenges present in BotW, but I love the chance they took here. Zelda 2 is a game that I’ve seen being described as ‘a great game but a bad Zelda game’ because it just differs so much from everything else in the series.

You could argue that it’s just slapping a brand name on a mechanically too different game, but I prefer seeing it as an attempt at finding the core elements that make Zelda Zelda. Maybe some things are missing, maybe other parts could be cut, but I love the fact that they’re at least trying different things in stead of just repeating the formula.
What I’d personally love to see now would be a game where they take all the lessons from this big, grand, defining game, and turn it into a conceptual, thematically rich sequel (like Majora to Ocarina, like Link’s Awakening to Link to the Past.) before searching further in what they can do with the Zelda formula.

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I think you’re probably right. It is still a Zelda game, just a different type of one. It still feels like Zelda even when its got completely different mechanics. I was also a little bit worried after Skyward Sword about where they would go next. To me Skyward Sword was the atmosphere of Wind Waker with the depth of Twilight Princess, and I couldn’t see how a another game focusing on puzzles and linear gameplay could ever top it.
So even though I preferred the direction of Skyward Sword I am happy one of my favourite franchises is reinventing itself. I’d rather that than whats happened with the 2d mario games, which are my favourite type of mario games but which are becoming just good games rather than excellent because they all just merge into one and don’t evolve. Or even worse what happened with the new doom, whose gameplay is just so different to classic doom I just can’t see them having anything in common…