The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild What Every Open World Game Should Be


The attention to detail is one of the reasons I kept playing this game. 

By Ben Tenyes, The Glitch Editor 

Every open world game I have played has had some linearity to it. Sometimes it was a place I couldn’t go because I wasn’t a high enough level, or a location that was completely unreachable because I hadn’t advanced far enough in the main story (looking at you Skyrim). The most appealing aspect (to me) of the open world genre is freedom of choice. In other games in the genre, to progress through the story, the player is sometimes forced back into the main quest through various means.

Breath of the Wild takes a different approach. After completing the Great Plateau tutorial and receiving the paraglider the game becomes completely open ended, giving you free reign to explore the entirety of the vast land of Hyrule. There are several main quests the game tasks you with, but you can do them in any order you choose or bypass them entirely and go straight to Hyrule Castle to face the final boss, Ganon.

The design team for Breath of the Wild outdid themselves in crafting the various regions of the kingdom of Hyrule, each having their own unique appearance and inherent dasngers. The regions range from the freeze-the-boogers-in-your-nose cold Hebra Mountains, the mosquito-netting-is-required Farron Forest, and the air-so-hot-you-instantly-catch-on-fire Death Mountain.

The more extreme parts of the map require foresight and planning just to survive for a few minutes. For example, if you don’t have fire proof clothes or drink a special elixir you will instantly catch on fire on Death Mountain. If you try to equip a bomb arrow the heat will cause it to detonate in your face which, if you have low health can instantly kill you (and send you flying through the air like a limp ragdoll). That attention to detail is one of the reasons I kept playing.

However, it’s not enough to just have a vast empty world to play in. The best games (not just Open-World games) give you a reason to keep playing after the great evil is defeated and the princess is saved, whether that be through side quests to complete or collectibles to discover. My favorite games (Fallout 4, Skyrim, and The Witcher 3) let me play in a world that feels lived in. If you go into a town in Skyrim you’ll see children playing hide and seek, merchants selling fresh produce, and local guards that won’t shut up about the arrow to the knee that made them stop adventuring. Those worlds make me come back to them over and over even after the main story is finished. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of those worlds I can’t wait to visit again.