Dear Zelda Breath of the Wild,
I haven’t been a gamer as long as some of our readers, definitely our staff. I entered gaming playing sports games for most of my life. These sports games have fulfill a large majority of my favorite gaming moments and I still enjoy them today. That pattern began to evolve a few years ago when I made some changes in my game library in order to help me connect with students, a story I am sure you already know from the podcast. Nowadays, I play most everything, especially on the new consoles (Xbox One & PS4) and I do believe I have played a large chunk of the games they offer. Let’s run down some
- I have won Super Bowls, Stanley cups, World Series, NBA championships, racing cups, and many a PGA tours.
- I have killed dragons, explored dungeons, traveled home, and last waste to the opposition.
- I have had 20 kill streaks, awesome 4v1 comebacks, captured the flag, and held the point.
- I have walked with Ellie, learned with Clem, watched villains fall, and seen heroes give their all.
- I have saved the day with Drake, seen a father connect with his son, and experienced highs and lows.
In these moments, I have been able to understand and see the plan, open the map, find the keys to the puzzles, and enjoy the experience. But with you Zelda, I am not understanding what you want from me.
I understand that you’re beautiful, I do. I see that the art style was chosen with care and as one of your creators said, “was chosen so that objects could be more easily seen in the world.” (Translated from Eiji Aonuma)
I applaud what you have done making your world completely wide open and taking a page from your roots and legacy. My problem (cause it is mine) is the navigation of your “binoculars” that let me zoom in and out and place markers on anything but at the same time doesn’t lead me to anything. As I sat on top of my first tower and was told to find 3 spots on the map – I incorrectly tagged the wrong 3 choices, resulting in hours of struggling as I tried to cross the map without the necessary equipment.
My other issues come from the lack of open dialogue in what is an open world game. I expected to hear great voice acting, I was hoping you would finally give Link a voice, and I could then in turn describe, explain, and he would allow me to portray my emotions to everyone that passes me by (like Horizon, Skyrim, and Fallout 4). Sadly, you gave me a tabla rasa, a blank slate, and open vessel with no soul, no story, just a body to control. You sent a king who’s story I actually cared for and you gave me a quest to save a princess. You spoke of my vessel fighting by her side till the end and left it there. Bleak, open, deserted of the feels you could have woven in from all the games you have made.
Finally, you made a hero weak and feeble, but not allowing me to really take care of my weapons and shield. Instead, you made me have to run away because my swords were broken, I ran out of arrows, and only my shield to protect me.
I can go on but I am not here to tear you down. I want you to understand I see some of the greatness in having a world where I can go anywhere with amazing puzzles to solve, and selfishly of me, giving my wife a game she could could fall in love with.
Just because you and I missed the mark, that doesn’t mean we have to hate each other. I gave you multiple hours and still go back to you every now and then just to see if I can find a way to get hooked. All I ask in return is as you continue to do great things, maybe just maybe, take a look at the issues pointed out by those of us who aren’t in love with you. This isn’t a plea for change, I know you won’t change and I don’t expect you too. I just hope you understand why unlike my friends and family, I am not head over heels for you.
Hoping we can remain friends,