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Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s best feature may be its wide open spaces

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Why emptiness suits the game so well

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild presents you with an incredibly large area to explore, and gives you very little idea of where to go and what to do. The game’s story even goes to great pains to put you in the same situation as Link: He knows just as little about this land as you do. You’re learning as he does.

The video above by Writing on Games does a great job of talking about why the vast areas of “nothing” on the map are so important to the story of Breath of the Wild. Your map isn’t littered with secondary objectives or waypoints, nor are you often told exactly what you need to do next. Exploration becomes part of the game itself rather than a decision you have to make by ignoring the waypoints and objectives of each mission.

Breath of the Wild is a departure from previous Zelda games — or maybe a return to form for the series if you remember the original NES title — but it’s also a departure from most modern open world games that favor quantity of things to do over true freedom or even a sense of discovery.

The scale of Breath of the Wild is part of its selling points, and that scale is even more impressive when played on the Switch in portable mode. It’s neat to have a game this huge that also fits in your pocket.