Here I am with a Zelda review or something. Things I wanted to say about the game. Some of it may be spoilery from your perspective and well none of it is blacked out. I don't think it would possibly spoil anything for me, but YMMV.
Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a Zelda game, with elements of an open-world RPG. I will compare it to Skyrim and Fallout 4, because that's easy.
Skyrim and Fallout 4 give you three things to maybe find joy in: exploring, building up your guy, and combat. Zelda adds puzzles to that.
* Exploring *
Exploring the wilderness is just fantastic in Skyrim and Fallout 4. It's what Bethesda excels at: giving you a place to walk around and pick flowers. Exploring the dungeons is much more repetitive and dull; better in Fallout 4 than in Skyrim. It was easier for them to give you a sense of exploring different places with varying office buildings rather than varying caves.
Exploring is great in BotW. It is not as good as in Skyrim and one thing you will notice is how much empty space there is, how many blank mountains and open fields. But a couple things really spice this up. You can climb every mountain, and you can jump off the top and glide to some distant point; you feel really unconfined. And everywhere there are koroks to find and plants to collect. You never climb a mountain and think, that was pointless; you get your korok and you get to glide off.
There is one significant negative to exploring in BotW, which is, it rains too much. Rain makes it so you mostly can't climb (with tons of stamina you can make some progress on short climbs). Okay I get it, but uh. I have set the controller down and waited for the rain to stop. The first time you do that, you should figure, this is bad, we need to fix this. There is no wait feature except building a fire and sitting by it, and that isn't always possible.
And then, some of the elements are just not there visually; perhaps limits of the system. Like, there is a mushroom forest. It is the most boring mushroom forest you have ever seen. The giant mushrooms are all the same straight verticle shape. They are spaced out in an area and uh it's just a joke. Shivering Isles (Oblivion expansion, the game before Skyrim) had a mushroom forest; it was gorgeous, the mushrooms all different and bendy and intertwining and scenic.
Exploring dungeons isn't so much a thing in BotW; there are the divine beasts but they are just like a few shrines stapled together. The shrines themselves are very small dungeons and well that's a nice change of pace, I enjoy going in, doing my puzzle, being done with it. You don't explore them so much as see them, but that's fine.
* Building up your guy *
The dream for me in an RPG is to have it be that every guy is different, that if I play again I'll have a much different guy. The reality is that either every guy ends up the same, or there are some very small number of builds, and you can pick one to go for and that's it. The spell guy, the sneaky guy. You know.
Skyrim does not do great on building up the guy. The interface for perks is awful, but beyond that, well. You build up abilities and perks and get better equipment and I enjoy it some. It's not interesting though, it's not like you ever have a combo or something. Fallout 4 is better, it has a good system marred by them blurring together weak abilities with meaningful ones. You want the fun weak abilities but are a chump if you take them. Easily fixed: divide the abilities into two categories, fun and meaningful, and every level let you take one of each (and be careful how you divide them). Anyway I enjoyed building up my Fallout 4 guys. They overlapped a lot due to the essential abilities, but were not identical.
BotW makes everyone the same in the end. The stats you build up are hearts and stamina; in the end you max out at 27 hearts and 3 wheels of stamina, or 30 hearts and less stamina, or 28 or 29 hearts and a corresponding amount of stamina. Stamina is "do more before getting tired" and hearts are "take more hits before eating." I don't see why you don't automatically max out stamina (did I mention you'll still have 27 hearts) but whatever, it's not an interesting difference.
You build up a set of abilities, but there aren't many and again everyone gets the same ones. Four it gives you early on, it makes sure you have them so it can just factor that in everywhere else in the game. You can upgrade some of them later and also get a camera and a shrine detector. And you get access to abilities from food and elixirs and armor, which I will get to in a moment.
You also build up equipment. Unlike in an RPG, you do not build up your weapons, except insomuch as you will have a better collection at a given time later in the game. The weapons break, that's the thing. They break, and you switch weapons, and that one breaks. This is novel, I mean Skyrim and Fallout 3 had weapons degrade and you could repair them but this is a whole different experience. And it's great, I am totally with them on this thing. In Skyrim you will have your good weapon and it will be your best weapon for a while and you will only use that weapon. And then you'll get a better one and switch, but that doesn't happen that often. Mostly you just use what you always use. And in BotW you can't do that. You have the fun of how spears are different from swords and boomerangs and axes; you play with them all, it's fun the game forces you to have.
Armor does not break. You can upgrade it, repeatedly, by collecting stuff and bringing it to a fairy. It gets harder and harder; at some point it's like, am I really going to go fight lynels to get the hooves for this thing I'm probably never wearing. So people may quit at different points along the way, may care more about whatever suit than whatever other suit. But it all goes the same direction. There's some joy to building up the stuff but uh. It's nothing like the dream.
Another thing you do is collect uh stuff you could sell but often don't. Some of it goes into upgrading armor; a lot of it goes into making food or elixirs. You find a pot and light a fire under it and cook up some Simmered Fruit or Meat and Mushroom Skewers, to eat later when you're injured. This is the biggest negative of the game for me: the interface acts like you are going to just cook once in a while, but you cook a lot. I want to click on four things and then make 10 of that dish (and have them stack in my inventory). I don't want to just get to make one at a time, and have it go out of my inventory to show the items bouncing in the pot, which is what it actually does. And your inventory isn't sorted; stuff you cook is mixed with stuff you never cook, and items you'll cook together (e.g. two things that both have the heat-resistance ability) are separated by random distances across multiple pages. Just, cooking is way more work than it had to be, way way more work.
Furthermore, you can make food or elixirs. Food is made out of uh food, elixirs out of one "critter" - a frog or bug or something - and then monster parts. Food heals you; food and elixirs can grant temporary bonuses, e.g. +speed for N minutes. The abilities overlap 100%; everything an elixir can do, food can do (maybe it's 95%; I don't remember a flame guard food). And you can only have one effect on you at a time; eat a +attack snack and you lose your +speed. The upshot is, elixirs have no special identity and no real function, they are just food that doesn't heal you (and sometimes does even). It would have been easy to separate out abilities between the two and have elixirs mean something. I would have just confined food abilities to +hearts and +stamina and the super versions of those.
I also think it's sad that the basic food ingredients that really distinguish foods name-wise are things you have to buy in stores, for the joy of getting a differently-named food; you can make an apple pie or salmon paella, but mostly you will make the same basic dishes out of your random fruits and mushrooms and meats. Ah, another meal of Simmered Fruit.
And finally you build up inventory slots by finding koroks. You build up a bunch of ways really, and it's fun to build up, even if you don't get to head towards a unique final guy.
* Combat *
Combat in Skyrim just sucks. Man. So bad. It's better in Fallout 4; it's not great but I mean, there's a certain amount of joy to shooting the stuff. Overall the low point of the Bethesda games. They should make one of these games with no combat, I am not kidding. Focus on your strengths.
BotW pushes physics and multiple solutions for its combat. It also doesn't make you do it, that's a big thing. Why fight these moblins? There are no experience points. The loot won't matter; you aren't farming anything except exotic stuff for high-level armor upgrades. Your weapons will degrade. This is another freeing thing; you aren't pushed to fight stuff for the sake of getting better. You can just run away from a lot of the fights, fight the battles that matter.
Anyway physics! There's a physics engine. Your club will catch fire if it hits the campfire, and set a monster on fire if you hit a monster with it, and set grass on fire if you hit grass with it, and the grass will create a gust of wind you can float on with your paraglider. But that tree? It's never catching on fire. You can chop down the tree and get wood and branches and whatever fruit was up there, but there are no forest fires. Maybe next game.
Anyway the physics stuff does a lot to keep combat entertaining. There will be a lot of things you can do; it's better not to just charge in and whack things, and there are a lot of ways to not do that. And charging in doesn't just play out one way either. The monsters behave different ways; a wolf circles you and then darts in and stuns you, a lizalfos dances back and forth then lunges past you. Bokoblins ride horses sometimes, hey that's not fair.
Overall it's just way better combat than an RPG ever has.
* Puzzles *
As noted the Bethesda games don't have puzzles. A puzzle in Skyrim is like "put the three things in the order they were on that thing you found." If we count them they just score rock-bottom.
The puzzles in BotW shrines are mostly easy. A great thing is that they set up the rules and then you do whatever; you can "cheat" some of them with the physics engine and that's just cool. You're supposed to hit two levers in some sequence to get the 6 torches lit, but with 5 lit you can just shoot a fire arrow at the last one and that's that, they're all lit. It's like when Indy shoots the guy instead of fighting him. You get to do that. On some of them anyway.
The divine beasts didn't really do it for me. They're like shrines but bigger and with a significant uh rotation element, some way to manipulate the rooms you're in that varies a little between the beasts. It reminded me of Zork 3, which is not a compliment. But uh I dunno, they were low points for me, the pseudo-boss-fight to get in and the boss fight especially. I almost never like boss fights and I did not like these. the puzzles themselves were fine but uh whatever.
The shrines were fun despite the easy puzzles. The chests give you a little extra challenge; there's at least one chest in each shrine and you can try to get them but don't have to.
The koroks are also puzzles. There are 900 guys hidden in the world. Some are just under an out-of-the-way rock; others are hidden at least 8 other ways, where something matches or doesn't and you do something and bam your korok appears. These are only puzzles the first time - then you know, that's one way koroks are hidden. Still it counts. And some of them are little challenges, you find it but then need to do something to get it. Anyway as mentioned under exploring, they spice up exploring, you find them everywhere and are happy to.
* Story *
I didn't list this as a possible source of joy. Man it so isn't. You cannot entertain someone with the Skyrim or Fallout 4 stories. It's the same here. It's kind of interesting how Zelda is portrayed in the flashbacks, but not I'd-watch-that-movie interesting. There are lots of little quests and some of them have stories to them and uh they don't get in the way? There were a couple laughs. Natalie was watching me play and called the contents of that one chest, you know the one.
* So then *
At the start of the game, you gradually learn how to use the infinite controls, and see how detailed the game is, how much you can do and how many small areas they filled in. You explore your basic abilities and the way combat works and the physics engine. And it's so great. You have so much freedom. The initial space to explore feels large, and then you get out into the rest of the world which dwarfs it. And for a while you can just endlessly explore uncharted territory. You pile up quests and you can do those, and start to explore charted territory, see all the places that are on the map but which you haven't been to. You climb every mountain.
At some point the thrills space out more. At this point I have most of the shrines but not all of them; I don't know where to look for the rest and it is starting to take a while to find one. I will never get all the koroks. There are memories to find - backstory - and I don't quite have them all, I don't remember where these last two were supposed to be and the pictures didn't give it away. There is a compendium, you can take a picture of everything and have all those pictures. I don't know how seriously I'll take that but I started snapping pics. I've put off the last fight because well do I really keep playing after that? I mean I know you can't, that you go back to right before the fight and then do something else but it knows you beat it. But what, why not do the other stuff first. It's not like the last fight will be as fun as this stuff either.
Overall it's a great game. The biggest issue is the poor cooking interface. And it rains too much. The divine beasts could have been better.