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What Zelda: Breath of the Wild gets so right, explained in 20 minutes

Pull up a chair!

It’s lovely when a game feels so good to play, and then someone comes along to explain exactly how and why that game is so successful at what it’s trying to do. The video above, from the Cool Ghosts YouTube channel, does a very impressive job of explaining what The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild does well in terms of open-world design.

That’s a topic that has been done to death, admittedly, but this video breaks down where games actually exist within themselves — which is an argument that makes more sense after you’ve watched the explanation — and goes into detail about how Breath of the Wild exists in the right places.

The game gets a lot of mileage out of having its own map be an item that’s part of the world itself. This helps Breath of the Wild neatly avoid that open-world trope of maps that are filled with noisy icons, which make the game feel more like a homework assignment than something people play for fun.

I feel like the video beats up on Horizon Zero Dawn a bit much, since these are issues that plague most open-world games, but the overall points about game design are argued very well.