At The Game Awards 2017, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won the award for Game of the Year. Throughout this incredible year for game releases, Breath of the Wild has always stayed relevant in the conversation. It revitalizes not only the Legend of Zelda series, but also offers a bold take on the open-world genre. Here at Gamer Professionals, we gave the game a fantastic score of 9.5/10.
This is the first time that Nintendo have received an award at The Game Awards, which is the perfect way to end their fantastic year of hardware and game releases. Nintendo have made an incredible comeback with the release of the Switch, with a solid game release nearly every month. For them to have two nominees in the Game of the Year category is astounding, especially given their mostly disappointing output last generation.
Also revealed during the awards was the second and final DLC for Breath of the Wild, The Champion’s Ballad, which became available directly after the announcement. It’s almost as if, even in December, the amazing releases will never stop.
Breath of the Wild takes old ideas from previous games in the franchise and reworks them to create a wholly immersive experience that places a great amount of trust in the player. Perhaps what is most significant is the freedom and sense of exploration that is present throughout the game. This is in addition to a beautiful art direction, bold new mechanics such as the ability to glide around the map and climb anything, and some amazing mysteries buried deep within the game. It also features a subtle, yet interesting narrative, utilizing voice acting for the first time in the series.
It makes bold changes to Nintendo’s classic franchise, such as replacing the iconic dungeons with smaller, more numerous shrines and adding breakable weapons and stronger RPG elements. These ideas were worrisome at first, but Nintendo demonstrated that change is good, even with a formula that has always worked.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was up for GOTY against four other strong nominees: Persona 5, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Super Mario Odyssey, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Truthfully, each one of these games are fantastic, and this was likely one of the more difficult years to make the final decision.
Check out all of the Game Awards 2017 nominees and winners here.