I've been gaming since the NES in 85, BotW is my all-time favorite game. The problem I have in most open world games is most of the exploration/collecting is worthless. I recall Black Flag, collecting musical notes, and what did I get for it? My crew sang a different song, nothing more. Elder Scrolls the player literally can pickup plates, cups and other worthless garage.
What BotW does really well is all the collectibles/discoveries matter. Weapons break, finding new weapons have an impact. Since weapons break, finding Korok seeds have a major impact. Shrines expand hearts (enemies are tough) and stamina (needed for exploration). Food is required to survive the environment. Speaking of which, different clothes for different environments, clothes are not just aesthetic, about time.
Everything in BotW was considered during the development, as opposed to most open world games where random crap is just tossed in the game so the developer could claim 100 hours.
And most open world games are still linear at heart. Sure the player can go off the beaten path, but to move the story forward the player most go back on the path and do so in a linear fashion (see Horizon). BotW isn't just open world, but non linear, given the player can elect to experience the story in any order.... or heck, the player doesn't even have to see any of the story. BotW actually has freedom of choice, it isn't an act like most games put on.
The shorter version is the game is a strong 101.8 out of 100.Last edited by Chrkeller - on 03 January 2021