- weapon degradation is a horrible mechanic.
- menu management and swapping stuff is awful (which doesn't help since you've got all the cooking and whatnot to do)
- fighting monsters already feels like a chore 3 hours in because they'll just respawn, you won't get anything good from them anyways, and you'll just break your weapons doing so
- stamina runs out way too quickly (I imagine this well get better later on but it's still a pain)
- exploration so far doesn't feel like it's been terribly rewarding
- abilities have felt underwhelming outside of the dedicated shrines
I'm not that far into the game yet. Maybe around 5 hours in. I made it to Kakariko village and am doing the quest to fully restore my slate. But most of what I've done has just been exploring and running to whatever seems interesting rather than following the quest markers. I opened up a handful of the towers and already cleared a bunch of shrines.
The degradation just doesn't make much sense and simply isn't very fun. You say there's a high emphasis placed on resource management but also that there's such an abundance of weapons that you'll never run out, which kind of defeats the entire point of having to manage your weapons. All you can really do is save your best kit for the strongest enemies when they could've done so much better. It's not as if the degradation forces you to be clever or inventive either since the combat mechanics are relatively shallow (not bad at all, just not very deep) and you don't get a drastic gameplay difference depending on the weapon you're holding. There's just so many ways they could've done it better, imo. Add some RPG elements to using weapons so that you "level up" with a certain type when you use them to become more proficient at them. This would incentivize fighting enemies and using different combat styles. Instead of just saving your weapons with higher damage per hit for stronger enemies, make the effects of weapons more pronounced and have you change them around mid-fight or something. The current degradation just feels pointless and like a chore while nothing of value is added. Lots of missed opportunities.
Menu management really isn't that good. Being unable to drop things directly is a pain (yeah you can throw them but it's not as fast for multiples). You don't have an option to automatically swap weapons when one breaks. Having to hold everything before cooking is a mess, especially at lower levels when you want to make one or two item dishes. Sideways scrolling instead of a wheel as a quick menu is a poor choice... I mean, it's not horrible. But there's definitely lots of room for improvement.
Not wanting to engage in fights is pretty problematic for a game like this. I'm only a few hours in and already decided to avoid several fights. Unless I just sit back and use my abilities to take them out, all I'll be doing is breaking my weapons and potentially take damage I have to heal away for what? A few goblin horns to add to my collection of dozens and a wooden club or two, with maybe something slightly above average from a chest. Just doesn't seem worth it more often than not. Something like an exp or proficiency mechanic would be a much better incentive.
And yeah, the exploration is fun but the world sometimes seems strangely empty. I know I'm not too far along yet but veering off the path hasn't been all that interesting. Other than some shinres I have yet to find any side quests, good loot, additions to the story and stuff like that. Just not terribly impressed so far but maybe it'll get better.
It just feels like abilities aren't very integrated into normal play or combat. You either use them to solve puzzles exclusively, to open a fight with a bomb or to just take them out with abilities by smacking them with heavy stuff. There's unfortunately not much else. Stasis arrows or projectiles in midair. Magnetise a weapon out of an enemy's hands. Hookshot someone and pull them into you for a combo or pull yourself towards a platform to get away from danger. Fuck it, statis yourself while running in place to build up Sonic style momentum and speed ahead or up, or slow down your bow so that you can fire off a bunch of arrows which float in the air until they all release together. Throw a weapon into an enemy's face, stasis it as he falls back, run up to him, snatch it again from the air and combo into another hit. You can even make it so that you need to get a combo of successful and undamaged hits going before you can this kind of stuff so that it's not too OP. There's so much more they could've done to further integrate abilities into combat / normal gameplay.
Don't get me wrong, I'm liking the game. This is just the stuff I wish was better. The game looks beautiful, plays pretty well (although 30fps is such a disgrace for the title), is filled with lots of content in a nice open and fully accessible world, has great physics, solid combat and so on. But damn, it just feels like it could have been so much more.
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