December 5, 2022

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Five years later, the open world of Breath of the Wild is still unparalleled

Five years later, the open world of Breath of the Wild is still unparalleled

when Breath of the wild Released today, five years agoHis enthusiastic reception didn’t just happen because it represented a long-awaited renewal of the legend of zelda Meaningless string syntax. It certainly helped. But what really made it resonate was its revolutionary approach to open-world game design.

Unlike typical open world games that confuse you with endless missions and symbols on the map, Breath of the wild Tell you the end point from the start and trust the player to make their way there. become stronger in Breath of the wild By exploring the freely traversable world and mastering its emerging systems. Once you feel ready, you can take over the final boss — or put it off forever because just being in the world is a pleasure in itself.

Breath of the wild It’s undoubtedly a standout game, but five years later, I’m surprised it hasn’t had a greater impact on the genre as a whole. Creating open world games takes a lot of time even when the community is not derailed by the pandemic, of course, but in a design sense, Breath of the wild Still standing alone.

It’s not like the games you didn’t try to imitate Breath of the wild In different ways, but the similarities tend to be superficial. Jinshin effect She is the prime example, a very popular free-to-play game that raises the bar for aesthetic combat, gliders, bow and arrow, and a few other elements. But the gaming experience is from minute to minute Jinshin Totally different – it’s more than a traditional RPG and doesn’t depend anything on it the same wilds world design.

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Jinshin effect.

The same applies to Ubisoft Immortals: Phoenix Rise, a Greek mythological adventure that, for all its qualities, sounds like a bargain. Ubisoft is as responsible as any company for codifying the architecture of traditional open world games with series like Doctrine killer And the far cryDespite all appearances, Immortals It fits very well in that category. I enjoyed it for what it was but I couldn’t help but think she learned the wrong lessons from her Breath of the wild.

Forbidden horizon westSony’s latest open world success exclusive to PlayStation, seems to have drawn some inspiration from it Breath of the wild In its more free-climbing approach, and yes, the new Aloy’s ability to glide. It’s not quite getting there, though, with the constraint still being felt and a broader structure still subject to the endless barrage of map symbols.

forbidden west It’s an impressive game, and its world is beautiful, but its design is so narrow that I wonder why it’s set in an open world. At no time will you be clear about exactly what you need to do to advance the story. Traversing the world itself isn’t particularly rewarding, although the combat encounters along the way can be exhilarating. In the end, the game is a tightly controlled experience which arguably hasn’t improved by being placed in a vast environment when compared to something more focused like God of War (2018). You mostly go through a similar flow of combat, side quests, and story beats, just ride a robotic sheep in between.

I don’t think every open world game needs a design like this Breath of the wild, but more often than not, I play games where the world itself is a burden. If these tasks are on a list anyway, why do I need to go somewhere to start these tasks? If encouraging exploration and traversal isn’t a priority, why do I spend so much time walking? Instead of offering me different ways to travel fast, wouldn’t it be better if I actually wanted to slow down the travel?

Of course, many of these open world games are factual and popular, and I also often feel like I’m playing something where goals are made clear for me. I just wish more open world games lived up to their promise. game like Breath of the wild It was only possible in an open world. Its world is the whole object of the game, providing incentive and reward.

death strand It was my first game and it made me feel like its designers might have taken notes from it Breath of the wild. death strand They are aggressive about giving you highly specific tasks and stick to a strict structure, so you generally don’t explore the world for it. But the game justifies its open-world design with a heavy focus on how you traverse the terrain. Likes Breath of the wildEach area of ​​the map is a carefully thought-out environment in itself, and your ability to move through it is a sign of your progress. death strand Forces you to constantly engage with the world in a way similar to Breath of the wild.

Horizon forbidden west.

It’s early days, but so far, my time with elden ring It comes close to exciting the feeling of exploration and adventure Breath of the wild Maybe. FromSoftware’s latest game is deeply oriented around allowing the player to explore and tackle missions in his own way, and the environments are so closely designed that it seems like something exciting or terrifying can be around every rock or corner. elden ring Depends on the scheme Evil spiritsanother game that focuses on exploration but one that falls on much smaller stages, and the evolution to an open world design is as natural and successful as anyone would have hoped.

Breath of the wildAnd the death strandAnd the elden ring They all share a barren, mysterious, and disaster-stricken setting that’s ready to be explored from the start. This doesn’t necessarily make sense for all open world games, many of which will always need to rely on some degree of live streaming. games like Doctrine killer And the Cyberpunk 2077 movieFor example, taking advantage of dense urban environments with a variety of characters to interact with, an inherently different experience than trawling in an atmospheric wasteland. at CyberpunkIn the event that you have a to-do list at hand it seems appropriate for a mercenary character with eyeball implants.

I’m still a little surprised that I haven’t seen many games take inspiration from things already made Breath of the wild private. It may have been just lightning in a bottle, and its status as a Switch launch title certainly set the stage for hype, but the radical nature of its design has made many other open-world games look outdated. Nintendo is still aiming to release its untitled sequel this year, which will hopefully advance the concept further. In the meantime, though, I’m still hoping for more open-world games that hit the same spot as Breath of the wild.