1) Stuff The World Full Of Interesting Things To Do And Find
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s world of Hyrule will be very big indeed. This is hardly surprising given that Monolith Soft – developers of the vast world of Xenoblade Chronicles X – helped Nintendo with development of the game. The Big N have stated that the not insubstantial demo area shown off at E3– the Great Plateau – is a meagre 2% of the world map’s surface area. That’s suitably impressive measured against any open world video game, but by The Legend of Zelda standards it’s staggering. Granted, The Wind Waker had a large world map, but much of that was ocean, so I don’t think we can count it.
This impressive size will be absolutely nothing, however, if the world is an uninspired, sparsely-populated affair. With their bold design decision, Nintendo have entered the lair of the open world curse. By giving us the freedom to choose their own direction and pace of exploration, the onus is on the game world to continually engage the player. If Hyrule becomes a chore to traverse and there’s not enough to maintain player interest, then the game experience is jeopardized. It is imperative, therefore, that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s expansive depiction of Hyrule is stuffed full of mysterious treasures to discover, and landmarks to ogle.
Of course, we can and should expect to see the usual fake walls to bomb, boulders to shift to reveal hidden areas, and so on. Beyond that, Breath of the Wild’s world would benefit greatly from better hidden secrets, such as a concealed cavern entrance leading to a serpentine tunnel, terminating in a populated subterranean lake, for example.
Typically, The Legend of Zelda titles have featured only a handful of population centres per game, and this has worked perfectly due to the worlds’ relatively compact scales. Breath of the Wild cannot afford to mimic this approach, however. It was stated that towns were removed from the E3 demo version, for whatever reason, which was certainly a relief to me. Breath of the Wild needs to have its world brimming with everything from little campsites inhabited by intrepid explorers, through to quaint little villages and bustling towns.