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Breath of the Wild Has BotW ruined other open world games?

So now that i've sank enough hours into BotW to be happy enough to play something else from time to time i've decided to play Horizon Zero Dawn, aka the BotW casualty.

I dont know if this is just me but after so much BotW i feel terribly restricted in HZD. The amount of times ive tried to climb a wall or go somewhere i shouldnt thinking i could because i could see it or gone somewhere thinking i could get back easily is already insane.

Nier Automata to a lesser extent has the same problem with me and i have to adapt and try not to do things i'd do in Zelda.

Have any of you had this? Do other open worlds feel restrictive now that youve sank so much time into BotW?

Was the ability to climb everything something you didnt realise was such an important factor until you played something else?
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Version 1
Apr 6, 2011
The Turnabout
Not necessarily. While I can't say I've played any other open-world games as of late, I think that in spite of BOTW's immersive overworld, other open-world games still have things to offer in superior doses. Whether it be a superior story serving as the open-world's backdrop or the exploration of a greater variety of dungeons, other games still have stock (this isn't to say these aforementioned elements are done poorly in BOTW, but one can still find these elements done better in other games). Nevertheless, BOTW's overworld is among the elite, but I still don't think it necessarily dampens the quality of other open-worlders out there. Perhaps I'll have a better view in that once I play one again.
Aug 28, 2016
This sort of thing happens to me when I go from one game to another all the time... I keep trying to follow the habits I'd gotten into while playing the previous game, so I'm sure BotW will be no different... but it's not a problem as I soon develop different habits.
For example, after playing Mario Kart Wii I got into the habit of using wheelies while riding a bike, so when MK8 was released I kept trying to do the same without thinking, flicking the controller every time I got onto a clear straight... but I stopped in no time.


Darkest of all Dark Links
Oct 28, 2012
Not really, though I was never a big fan of open world games to begin with. It always felt like a genre with potential that was squandered with wasted time, poor sidequest quality, and often too much grinding. Although honestly, I never understood the love for climbing. I found the world feels a lot more...like a world if I avoid it.


Angel of Darkness
Staff member
ZD Legend
Jan 31, 2010
Yahtzee, Supernatural
Angel of Darkness
Nah, personally I don't think BotW has ruined other open world games. It's more like BotW gave us the opportunity to do things most of us always wanted to do. Explore everything (yes, climbing included :P ) and not being told what to do and where to go first. The game has a "seek it out yourself" mentality and I like that. You're completely free to do whatever you like and maybe we're a bit spoiled with this game. But that doesn't mean other open world games with more limited options are less fun. It's just a switch inside your head you'll need to turn. Like "oh damn that's right. I can't go there and there first" just to mention an example. But the other open world games aren't ruined in my opinion. I think if you're going to compare other open world games (or games in general) with BotW, you're going down a road you probably don't wanna go.
Having never played an open-world game prior to BotW, I can't say it ruined them for me, haha. If I ever pick one up now, with BotW as my first? Yeah, I guess I could see there being a premade expectation made upon BotW's perspective. However, I could see that applying to more than just open-world games. But, I don't think it's something that will be too prominent in my mind, as a handful of the games I play don't have explorable overworlds to begin with, so exploration limitations I kind of built a tolerance to.


~ It's me, Dio!~
Jul 6, 2011
Absolute unit
No. I have played assassins creed and that didn't ruin other games for me. BoTW adds mountain climbing as well as buildings but it's not something that I NEED to do in other games.


I am the very model of a modern major-general
Oct 1, 2012
Exactly where you would expect.
Attack Helicopter
Until BotW, I have never really liked many open world games, simply because most of them have nothing to do but little fetch quests. But BotW is the first one that I have really liked besides Shadow of Mordor (the nemesis system saves that one).


Oct 24, 2012
Crisis? What Crisis?
Pan-decepticon-transdeliberate-selfidentifying-sodiumbased-extraexistential-temporal anomaly


Skyrim already did that.

Seriously though, "other open world games" do a solid enough job ruining open world games on their own. They don't need ninty to do that for em.


The Quiet Man
I don't think it did. I'd flip the argument and say it actually has problems other open world games haven't really had to deal with. Compare it to something like MGSV where the areas are made in a way that usually limits which angles you can enter a challenge zone from by walling it off, in order to keep some semblance of level design even though it's using the open world format. Can't do that here since you can climb anything, although they did try. (e.g. zones where it always rains)

I'm actually thinking about this now since I just started a second playthrough. Earlier I was going up to do the zora questline, which I did "the proper way" on my first play through but did a little differently this time. More specifically,
the first time I stumbled upon it while looking at all the camps on the lake, where the zora direct you to eventually meet Sidon, then he guides you to Zora's Domain. This time however I cut through Mt. Lanayru and arrived through the mountains on the south without stamina upgrades although I did use Revali's skill. I didn't meet Sidon at the earlier point either and didn't have any of the leadup where you follow the road to Zora's Domain, enemy gauntlets and all. That whole part of the game was my favorite all the way through to the end of my first playthrough, and it probably would have been much less eventful if I had done it this way my first time playing. Even Sidon might've felt like less of a character without him accompanying you on the road serving as buildup.

Still, it's the only game I know of that really goes full on with the whole do what you please thing. All open world games I've played just feel like they could have been linear since they want to have a story and a specific sequence of events, but probably wanted to have a big persistent environment because immersion or something silly like that. Whereas Breath doesn't seem to concern itself with what you do past the plateau, which is a cool thing, although also kind of a double-edged blade for people who liked the more controlled experiences in the previous games.

Oh also, it's one of the few games I know of where just traversing terrain is fun. I've heard the argument that the only thing to it is surprise and not knowing the terrain and have even argued it myself, but lately I feel that undersells the game. Climbing is surprisingly fun at times having to identify which slopes you can run over or stand on to recover stamina, enemy encounters can be punishing enough to stay fun and finding places of interest can still feel like progress as long as you don't go completionist, which honestly just made the game boring for me in the long run.

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