The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the first open world Zelda game. You play as Link, a hero who's lost his memories and is awoken from a 100 year sleep by a mysterious voice. Ganon has returned, and it is up to Link, once again, to stop him.
Pro An open world game where exploration feels exciting
Most open world games follow the same pattern - they give you a map that's full of blips, forcefully guiding you to marked locations, causing you to ignore everything along the way. Breath of the Wild steps away from this design choice by having a map where only you can mark points of interest. It's up to you to survey the land from high vantage points, choose a direction of heading, and find interesting locations. As a result, exploring and paying attention to the world actually matters, making it a really enjoyable and refreshing experience.
Pro A variety of fighting methods keep the combat fun
There are many ways you can fight the monsters in Breath of the Wild.
You can go for close combat, using swords, spears, clubs and many other weapons, besting your goblin-like enemies with well-timed parries, dodges, slashes, and strikes.
Or you can fight enemies from afar by shooting your bow, throwing your boomerang, or lobbing an infinite supply of bombs while maintaining the distance as the monsters try to helplessly get near you.
You can even be stealthy, sneaking up on unsuspecting lizard-folk and stabbing them from behind.
If none of the above works, you can also use the environment to your advantage. This usually involves things like pushing boulders off cliff edges, dropping them on top of oblivious casualties.
All of these provide a great amount of variety that keeps the combat from going stale for the whole playthrough.
Pro Wonderfully crafted puzzles
There's a vast array of puzzles found in Breath of the Wild where you use your abilities to move, manipulate or destroy the environment. It can be very simple like destroying rocks with a bomb to unblock a cave entrance. Or it can be fairly complex, requiring you to rotate and connect massive platforms, move stone orbs through an area filled with obstacles, and create pillars of ice on a waterfall to cross a bottomless pit. Regardless of the type of puzzle you encounter, they motivate you to think creatively, making it a delight when you arrive at the solution, especially because there's always a treasure waiting at the end.
Pro An engaging cooking skill
Breath of the Wild features a very interesting cooking skill, allowing you to combine up to 5 different ingredients to create useful dishes or elixirs that can aid you on your journey.
While the cooking process itself is really simple, only requiring you to light a fire and use a pot, experimentation is what makes it truly interesting. There is no in-game recipe log to give you hints, so most of the time you're experimenting with ingredient combinations, which can make finding a good recipe feel like winning the lottery. Some guesswork is eliminated because most areas are saturated with ingredients that can be used to create dishes useful to that specific area.
For example, the cold area has ingredients that can be used to create dishes that boost your resistance to cold, so your character won't be shivering and dragging his feet as you explore.
Because most of the dishes you make are useful, it can also motivate you to explore just a bit more, since there might just be a useful ingredient on top of that next mountain.
As a result, Breath of the Wild has a surprisingly engaging cooking skill that blends well into the core of the game, making the experience more fun as a whole.
Con Weapon durability system can feel tedious to some
When you attack enemies, your equipped weapon quickly loses its durability, breaking when it reaches zero. This can force you to switch to new weapons multiple times during a battle, adding a micromanagement aspect that can disrupt the flow of combat. You're not just fighting enemies, you're also fighting the flimsiness of your arsenal.
On top of that, most weapons can't be repaired either. This can diminish the joy of finding new weapons, since that cool sword you just found will be gone thirty minutes of gameplay later.
Con Cooking can feel inconvenient
There's no in-game log or cookbook to record cooking recipes you discover. The only method of checking a recipe is by examining a cooked item in your inventory, which isn't very reliable since you can only check it as long as you have the item. As a result, you have to memorize and/or write down any and all cooking recipes you discover, which can feel cumbersome to some players.