What makes Breath of the Wild magical is that it unclutters years of triple-A open-world design. Instead of littering Hyrule with icons telling you where to go, it allows players to forge their own paths. It only has one mandatory mission: destroy Ganon. Since you can do that right away, everything else is optional. Even the largest games force you to adhere to the path of a main linear narrative. In BOTW, one player’s approach to slaying Ganon can be totally different from another’s. Do you complete the four primary dungeons? Seek out the Master Sword? Build up your hearts? The beauty of it all: there’s no wrong answer.
Link can climb any surface, meaning that, provided you have the stamina, you can reach the summit of any mountain and concoct numerous paths to your destination. Hyrule also operates on realistic physics and principles for players to experiment with (i.e., all metal objects conduct electricity). It boasts hundreds of shrines with concise, entertaining puzzles and numerous mysteries, be they majestic dragons or an island that’s more than meets the eye. Breath of the Wild rocks for promoting improvisation and creativity more than anything. Its legacy has been cemented thanks to a growing number of titles borrowing from its playbook, such as Genshin Impact and Immortals Fenyx Rising. | Our Review