I've never been the biggest follower of The Legend of Zelda, especially not the 3D titles. I've given them quite a few chances, including Ocarina of Time, to get me fully engaged in the experience, and it rarely ever panned out. The only game of the series I can say I actually enjoyed was A Link Between Worlds -- it's considered short by a lot of people, but the experience was quite streamlined, yet open enough to allow some freedom of progression, and the fact that the painting mechanic gave me thoughts of Portal just made me curious enough to try it in the first place.
That having been said, it would be hard to really say initially what I would think of a game like Breath of the Wild, a 3D Zelda that seems to strip away a lot of the conventions and just throws you into the world with a hearty "good luck" and not much else.
But the game has to be doing something right, because I've been enjoying it thoroughly.
Maybe it's the ability to explore stuff at your own pace, finding secrets and learning skills just by pure experimentation. Maybe it's the number of things you can do in the world -- flying around, sailing along random rafts, sliding down hills on top of your shield, and the list goes on. Maybe it's the ability to confront a scenario and using your own wits and available stuff to solve it, and the scenarios are flexible enough to solve the situation in more than one way.
It's likely a mix of these things, and it'll be one of the few Zelda titles I'm likely to finish. I've only finished the initial quest of the first Zelda, Link's Awakening, and completed (a number of times) A Link Between Worlds. I don't know if I'm going to go so far as to do absolutely everything in the game, but at least I want to find all the shrines and max out my heart containers.
Is it a perfect world? It's fairly close. I haven't really found a way to befriend animals outside of horses yet, if that's even possible, and anyone who's played the game probably knows how tiring it is to see most of your weapons shatter after a good bit of use. You can't even pet the dogs in this game, 0/10 wrst game f all tiem.
In all seriousness, I have been enjoying the game, and I would recommend it to anyone remotely curious about the experience. It'll require a lot of time to get things done, but it's engaging enough that you'll be pouring several days worth of time into it all, and it's that detail alone that managed to impress me the most. It's not often that games like this can hold my attention for so long intentionally, but it's a game I don't regret playing at all.
Whether it's dethroned A Link Between Worlds as my favorite Zelda game is a tough call, though; they're very different experiences, and you'd have a harder time convincing me to start all over in a game as long as BOTW, as opposed to the comparably short ALBW. But time will tell, I'm sure... it's certainly got a good chance.
-- Malamite Ltd.