Zelda: An Adventure Worth Taking

Zelda Breath of the Wild (BotW) puts you into the wild world of Hyrule as Link: An intrepid adventurer called upon to defeat the evil forces of Ganon. With the help of mythical creatures, special powers, and amazing weaponry (master sword and glider included), Link must solve puzzles and overcome obstacles to save the day.

Parent Approved Hero: 9/10

  • The protagonist (Link) is a famous hero who has historically fought against evil.
  • Link’s motivation is solid: Save the planet from unmitigated evil. Protect those who can’t protect themselves.
  • Problem solving is key. Very few fights are actually required.
  • You can’t always make peace, but you are not rewarded for grotesque violence.
  • Link respects the world around him – his actions are consistent with adventure but don’t revel in destruction.

Appropriate Combat:  9/10

  • There is a lot of fighting, but no blood.
  • You do not dismember, execute or otherwise glorify the killing of enemies.
  • Violence in this game supports the greater storyline. It’s not violence just for violence.
  • You clear all dungeons and choose to kill all of the bad guys.

Constructive Language: 9/10

  • There is exactly one instance where a character says “dammit”.
  • No online multiplayer (yet), so you don’t have to worry about player language.

Spiritually Sound: 7/10

  • There is magic on the level of Star Wars: A dark force awakens and threatens the good of the world.
  • Faeries, spells, and genie-esk powers do exist. You set 4 of them free in the process of the game and gain special powers from each of them. Daruk, the Goron Champion is an example. 
  • Forces of evil are set against you. They come only to kill, steal and destroy. This evil is bent on total domination, not just misunderstood.

Family Safe: 8/10

  • No swearing (not even made-up words).
  • Fighting exists but enemies disappear in puffs of smoke.
  • It’s a pretty game to watch and an engaging story.
  • There is general spirituality not of any particular religion.
  • There is some mild suggestive themes as noted in the ESRB age rating of Everyone: 10+.

Safe for Time and Money : 5/10

  • Breath of the Wild has a long play time. (42 hours to beat the main story line. 80+ including side quests.)
  • It can be played in short sittings, so it doesn’t pose a specific risk for addictive gaming.
  • The Nintendo Switch means that it is portable: It can go to school, cars, rooms. This increases the pull to want to play it more because you literally can play it anywhere.
  • There are paid downloadable content (DLC) coming for Breath of the Wild. A $20 charge will get you access to all of the new content. These usually include maps, characters, extra quests, etc.

Positive Message: 9/10

There are several messages out of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that are worth learning.

  • Explore: The outdoors can be beautiful and exciting. There are lots of incredible scenery that is just there to cause awe. 
  • Adventure can be more than just massive shoot-outs (a la Grand Theft Auto 5).
  • Get help from friends. You need the support of all of your allies in order to do your best.
  • Pace yourself. The game is simply too big to tackle in a day.
  • Enjoy the journey. Nothing ruins an amazing game like rushing it. This game is mean to be taking in manageable chunks, chewed thoroughly, and experienced rather than simply “beaten”. The adage is definitely true here: It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

 

You can also look over the details of the Video Game Scoring Guide.