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Dive deep into Breath of the Wild’s dungeon design

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It’s a great departure ... for now

This 18-minute look at the dungeon design of Breath of the Wild focuses on the divine beasts, which present a pretty major change when it comes to the Legend of Zelda series.

There are no keys to find and rarely any doors to open, and you can manipulate your surroundings at any time. That helps to keep the flow of the game moving and gives the dungeons a more open and free-flowing feel, but the ability to tell a story through gated areas or control the pacing of the dungeon is completely lost. It’s a good fit for what Breath of the Wild is trying to do, but there’s a reason that Zelda purists are kind of appalled by this approach to dungeon design. It jettisons most of what makes the dungeons in past Zelda games so appealing.

But the video is interesting, even if I’m still left with mixed feelings after watching it. I hope the Zelda series isn’t locked into this idea of what a dungeon should be after this game, although I think changing the formula for a single title isn’t a bad thing. Breath of the Wild’s dungeons are fun, and while the scope feels huge at times, I’m looking forward to getting back to the basics when it comes to strong dungeon design.