Today I booted up Skyrim after spending last year playing BotW, and Horizon. There were just too many things that I noticed that just felt dated gameplaywise.
Stealth has little to do with whether or not you are in an NPC's line of sight. You can be standing right in front of an NPC and if your stealth is high enough you are hidden. There's no way to move out of line of sight quickly either. Horizon and Zelda both provided a lot of movement options such as walking tightropes, climbing trees, etc., that just made stealth feel more dynamic. Both games provide high grass to hide in ala MHW.
The towns, and geography all feel the same. BotW and Horizon both have several different regions that are unique and interesting. Skyrim is either Nordic geography in the spring, or Nordic geography and culture in the winter.
Being unable to climb with gigantic mountains blocking your every path is frustrating. Even Horizon had certain climbable spots in its mountains.
Bland unoriginal enemies and dungeons. The dungeons are all just randomly thrown together with little to make them unique or interesting. The enemies all just yell the same threats at you while foolishly walking into the meat-grinder that is the player. On the flip side, BotW's shrines all have something memorable about them. They feel hand made with clever puzzles. Every enemy in BotW has a ton of different animations and expressions that are beatifully done. Horizon doesn't have dungeons per say, but the enemies are these unique robot animals that feel like Monster Hunter encounters. There's multiple ways to go about taking them down.
The PC in Skyrim holds it's hands at eyeball level, which is weird looking. Who holds their hands like a T-Rex in heat? Not to mention it blocks the screen. Third person view is preferable, but the camera just can't handle that correctly.
Combat is just casting spells or swinging your weapon. BotW and Horizon both let you do really neat things with their combat system. One good example is the time slow during falling with a bow. Combat in the two latter games just feels smoother, and gives you more options.
The enemies in Skyrim are all randomly generated to be at your level no matter what. So you can't wander into a high level enemy with the exception of the hilarious giants. The game just sort of holds your hand the entire game only presenting you with the sort of challenge you can handle at the moment.
Meanwhile Horizon and BotW are like... Oh I see you found a Lynel/T-Rex shortly after leaving the first area. Have fun with that!
I never played Skyrim until after having already put over 220 hours into Breath of the Wild through completion. It hasn't diminished my enjoyment of it in the least.
Complaining about Skyrim's "Nordic geography" seems very silly considering that "Skyrim is located in the frigid north of Tamriel".
There may not be any specific "mountain climbing" element, but it's not like you encounter a mountain on the map and you have to go completely around it because its unascendable. If that were the case, you'd never be able to meet the Greybeards in the first place. You scale the parts you can on foot as a non-expert rock climber would. It may not be the complete freedom of Breath of the Wild, but it's not linear restrictive either.
The NPC's having repetitive voice actors and dialogue does get tiresome. But, I don't think there is hand holding when it comes to enemies automatically spawning to be at your exact skill level the way you are explaining. I routinely avoided encounters with Trolls even with a companion until I leveled up sufficiently. The first one I encountered was not long into the game and I was ripped to pieces. Also, since you can go into just about any cave/dungeon/crypt you encounter along the map in whatever order you choose, you can surely run into an arch mage or other foe who is well above your level. The cave under the lighthouse crawling with Chaurus' was particularly difficult for me at the time I ventured into its depths. My biggest problem is with the dragon fights. After having played Dragon Age, battling a dragon in Skyrim is an extremely anti-climactic encounter by comparison.
Breath of the Wild may have had its hooks deeper into me than Skyrim. But, I wouldn't call itself so dated that its disappointing to play by comparison. Skyrim still has me sufficiently hooked in its own right to continue coming back for more as well. Then again, I'm the type of person that can still pop in an NES or Colecovision cartridge without being bothered by gameplay that is decades old.