Bits of the first full and official review for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have now — sort of — been outed, gifting the long-delayed title a perfect score, given by a magazine that rarely ever hands out perfect scores for games in its entire 23-year history.
'The Breath Of The Wild' Scores 10
Most of the official The Breath of the Wild reviews won't hit the web until next week, but Edge's acclaim should make for ample prefiguration of how reviews will turn out eventually.
The forthcoming Edge issue also notes that both versions of the game, for the Wii U and the Switch, were played. The assumption is that the perfect score also applies to the Wii U version, although it's best to wait until more information is announced.
According to the post on NeoGAF, which excerpted information from the full review, the game is dense. It's no secret: this is the first open world Zelda, and several critics have already noted just how massive the in-game world is, on top of which how vastly different individual experiences will end up being because of the world's size — you can follow a specific path of your own liking or run gung-ho, disobeying any linearity.
The Game's Open World Is Different From Other Open World Games
Edge says that the world is an "absolute, and unremitting pleasure to get lost in," a stellar accolade, considering how open world games have the tendency to be "over-padded," wherein elements of genuinely awe-inspiring discovery are impeded by an ultimately useless hugeness of the environment. It's not surprising that Nintendo's first open world game is being tipped as better utilized than most games. Which other company has this amount of credence for world-building?
But apart from the massive open world, the review also touched on the abundance of Shrines or mini-dungeons, the different monsters that habitat the world, and the ensuing combat to defeat them. The time it takes to complete the main quest was also discussed, apparently just around 20 hours. But again, that's just the main quest. In open world games, all bets are off, essentially heralding a "do anything" approach.
Frame Rate Issues
The Wii U version of the game has some frame rate issues, though, and while it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the game, the review noted that the Wii U version can be "uneven" at times, with the frame rate dropping to teens. However, this only occurs during busy sequences such as heavy weather effects, and "rarely when it matters."
Digital Foundry, consummate folks who check on frame rate and performance of games, noted that the Switch version also takes framerate dips during heavy sequences, but pretty much clocks in a solid 30 fps. So it's safe to say that folks getting the game for the Wii U should expect frame rate drops during heavy sequences, although the extent of which has yet to be determined. Such extensive tests and comparisons are yet to come.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ships March 3 for both the Nintendo Switch and the Wii U. It's the first first-party title for the former; the last for the latter. The Switch directly follows the Wii U, after the home console struggled to gain any significant foothold in the broad gaming industry. It has now been discontinued.
Thoughts about Breath of the Wild's perfect score from Edge magazine? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!