I wish I had screenshots to show you what this game's like, but take it from me, this is the apex of open world gaming. BotW and Horizon unfortunately came out at the exact same time and there's going to be comparisons, but let me just clear the air; this game takes the crown of open world experiences.
I've been playing for a week and a half, and I've only scratched the surface of provinces. I've gotten to about four of them, and I believe there's twelve! That's just how freaking enormous this title is. From the get-go we're given fast travel to Shrines (mini dungeons that allow Link to upgrade his heart containers or endurance after completing 4) because you could spend half a day trying to get from one local to another. This is not an exaggeration. BotW doesn't hold your hand, it throws you into the elements with freezing weather, fast currents, rainy cliffs, lightning strikes, Moblin camps, wild fires, and mini bosses that double as Weapon enemies from the FF series.
All the familiar LoZ elements are here, former enemies, bows, shields, Master Sword, hearts, rods. But BotW mixes up things with making equipment destructible. It takes a page from Resident Evil and makes you plan accordingly instead of running in guns blazing. Failure to not read enemies and situations appropriately means swords get broken fast, shields cannot defend you, and eye beam blasts that one-shot you into a flaming fetal position of anger. So one part Resident Evil and a second part Dark Souls. Also, while familiar dungeons do exist in-game, they're not what you typically encounter. Shrines are the new dungeons which are smaller yet just as calculating. The spoils from shrines vary, but typically they offer better gear for your travels over some progress important weapon we're used to. TL;DR, you don't get the Magic Hammer in a shrine to progress further, you get a melee weapon which might be better than the one in your inventory. The crux of the game is survival.
My favorite part of the game (besides battling, riding, sight seeing, questing, and strategizing) is cooking! If you thought there was an excessive amount of items before, HA! Not only can you cook an entire bill of fare in this title, you can concoct a nearly limitless number of elixirs and dishes with endless constraints. If something really doesn't mesh, you get a piled of censored goo (no joke, pixilated censorship squares) that just gives you a heart container worth of recovery. But mother of God, you can double your heart containers with dishes, become Sonic with another dish, become nigh detectable with another, the list goes on. The best part, the dishes come from materials in the environment! Bugs, lizards, and monster parts typically get you elixirs (no health recovery), while normal fruits, meats, poultry, mushrooms and herbs net you full blown courses that heal you AND give you shorter term buffs. Only one attribute buff can be active at a time with cooking, so again you need to strategize a little on what you're trying to get with some trial and error. but if you're like me and loving farming stuff, this is probably bigger than Diablo or WarCraft for item collecting.
This title is less heavy on fetch quests, but I need to mention an IMPORTANT ONE; after you get to Kakariko Village in Necluda, you can start increasing your equipment carrying via a character named Hetsu. He's on the southern road outside of town. All those Korok Seeds you've been mysteriously collecting are to give to this bum in order to increase slots in your inventory. YOU NEED TO DO THIS ASAP! And I suggest going for more melee gear and maybe one bow before shields. Rare items start piling up, and you need to save some gear for the enemies they're effective against (IE. Guardian Swords and bows against Guardian type enemies).
Controls take getting used to. I'm not too keen on the Runes (abilities you acquire very early on), but it's important to remember you can control metal, throw infinite bombs, and take lots of pictures to get insight into how things work in BotW. Music is very soft. In the open world you're absorbing what's around you, so the music is subtle. And lastly... the sights. The freaking sights. Every time you save the game you get some panoramic landscape shot that would bring National Geographic to their knees in tears. Light from the west can obstruct rain beads to bring in a glow effect, there's typically a double rainbow if it's raining during the day, water blends light stratification on its surface, things illuminate at night that are inactive during the day, animals are on the oddest cliff faces, it never stops. The fire animation in BotW is some of the best I've seen in a title. One little hiccup though, and this is prevalent in the Wii U version and the docked Switch version, there's occasional frame rate drop. This tends to happen in villages, or forests where there's simply too many items. It'll drop from solid 30p to around 22p. It's noticeable, but not game breaking.
Currently, Breath of the Wild is selling Switch consoles, but for those of us who finally wanted that new Zelda title on our loving Wii U's, this is it. This is what we've been waiting for since Skyward Sword, heck since Ocarina of Time! You don't have to read my longwinded review to realize that this game is THE game changer. Perfect scores across the board on sites like IGN, and they're not wrong.