RDR2 & Breath of the Wild Have Set the Standard for Next Gen’s Open World Games

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2 are two of the most engaging recent open worlds, in large part because of their slower pace and focus on immersion.

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-Foxtrot33d ago

I can understand Red Dead Redemption II despite it's many faults gameplay wise but Breath of the Wild? Nothing that does evolves the open world formula, whether people still don't want to admit it or not the fact is many games before it did some things in their open world games better.

wonderfulmonkeyman32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

I've played quite a few, and none that I've played do everything that BotW does all at once.
Separately, sure, but not all at once.
I can't recall even one, in fact, that makes better use of atmospheric tones and light instrumentation for its score.
BotW's biggest flaw was how light its story felt since most of it happens through flashbacks, but other than that it's an excellent open world game, one that pulled people into its world and immersed them like few others have.
If more games going forward manage to capture BotW's ability to encourage exploration, merely by their world feeling vast and interesting and filled with things to find without overwhelming the player, that will be a positive no matter which way one swings it.

generic-user-name32d ago

I could say the same for Horizon, it didn't do anything particularly new, but it put many great things together in an extremely polished open world. Great story, fun combat, imaginative enemies and stunning art design and graphical fidelity. Yet it was never in the running for GOTY, nevermind getting the non-stop praise that BotW had heaped on it by the Nintendo-loving games media. (Maybe I'm exaggerating, they may have felt the need to review it so highly to avoid the fate of Jim Sterling after all.)

RDR2 feels like something new, mechanics layered on top of mechanics, all interacting with each other and with the kind of visual fidelity you would only expect to see in a AAA linear game like U4, not an open world. It feels next gen. Whereas BotW feels like Zelda finally catching up with Ubisoft open world games.

32d ago
Kosic32d ago

We must had played different games. Botw did nothing for me, I'm one of the small few who disliked the game and found it nothing special. Only jaw dropping thing I liked about the game was the clouds actually cast a shadow on the world as they float above. Was that sort of attention to detail I liked.

Actual game though, was over rated. Especially for story as you has to find these flash backs (I didn't).

Christopher31d ago

***I've played quite a few, and none that I've played do everything that BotW does all at once.
Separately, sure, but not all at once. ***

That's most good games this generation. It doesn't set a standard, though, when everyone is doing the same thing by pulling from old concepts and putting them together.

31d ago
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Old McGroin32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

@ Foxtrot

BotW was an amazing game, dry your eyes and get over it already.

@ generic-user-name

Such a weird coincidence that the only people who think the media is biased towards Nintendo are Sony affiliated fans. Funny that.

32d ago
Dom_Estos32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

"BotW was an amazing game, dry your eyes and get over it already."

Is right.

I couldn't help but feel that RDR2 had borrowed a lot of the elements that made BoTW amazing. The camp fires with smoke that draw you in that direction, and the cooking, hunting and survival aspects of the game. They're both unique and amazing open world environments that make you want to just explore. By far two of the best open world games I've ever played, and in the 3 of the best games I've played in the last decade, the other being Mass Effect 2, which RDR2 also borrows from with it's characters you get to know through the camp.

Veneno32d ago

How any real gamer cannot admit to the triumph that is BOTW is beyond denial.

generic-user-name32d ago

Yeah, you tell me Twilight Princess deserves its meta score with a straight face.

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DarXyde32d ago

I don't know. I really enjoyed Breath of the Wild. Something about it felt rejuvenating. I love the little things like getting struck by lightning in an open field while wearing armor or riding a shield downhill.

Something about the design and accumulated items in the world makes everything seem so purposeful. I can't say I have felt this with other games.

My two cents, anyway.

BigTrain31d ago

Im glad you enjoyed Breath of the Wild. I picked it up and wanted to enjoy it but found the inventory management a huge distraction. In particular the way the weapons broke just wasn't my cup of tea. I probably would've continued playing the game but I literally googled to see if there were any weapons that'd be permanent at some point to which the answer was no. That killed it for me.

DarXyde31d ago


Different strokes, mate. I can see why you might feel that way about inventory management. That's a fair criticism.

As for weapon deterioration, it's not my first rodeo with that kind of feature. I'm used to it from the SoulsBorne games.

Sono42131d ago (Edited 31d ago )

Seriously I am so confused as to why people think Breath of the Wild was so revolutionary. I played through the entire game and have over 100 hours logged into the game. What made it so great? That when you fight a group of enemies in the wild to get the chest behind them the chest simply contains an item you could find laying around in the wild that didn't require you wasting weapons and potential food. Or the fact that there were a lot of mini shrines all over the place that were extremely simple to beat? Or the fact that its the same 5 kurok seed puzzles copy and pasted all over the world? Or is it the fact that no open world game has ever been so easy? I honestly believe that everyone who says this game is amazing literally only watched trailers or played a few hours of it (Which is why reviews that came out later as apposed to the rushed ones at the beginning gave it lower scores)

Just a guess but I think the people who call this game great didn't actually explore the open world, simply went into coast mode, took in the beautiful scenery and explored a little bit without much challenge (Which made them like it) maybe found some opal, a few arrows, solved a kurok seed puzzle, solved a few shrines, and then finally ended on a divine beast. Then simply assumed there was a lot more out there to discover, but no, they'd be wrong, just the same things over and over never giving you any real reward.

Every "reward" simply makes annoying mechanics less annoying, like how kurok seeds let you hold more weapons so the extremely annoying weapon breaking mechanic is a little less annoying. Or how ravali's gale makes climbing less annoying.

There is never a meaningful reward throughout the whole game, besides the master sword which still has a BS recharge on it just so you still have to use the garbage weapons that break. Everything you get from the divine beasts are handicaps that just make the game easier, get revived as soon as you die, 3 free defense blocks, get lifted 20 feet into the air, and do one big lightning attack (this one I actually think is the most interesting and cool).

I remember when I found my first labyrinth I was excited that I finally found something worth wild, but then I get to the center and what do I find? ANOTHER shrine....... then I thought...well maybe there is some epic boss inside and i'll actually get new gear from this. Nope. It was actually one of the shrines that says "By getting here you've already proven your worth, heres your sh*tty weapon and millionth spiritorb" oh, geee, thanks, couldn't see that coming.

The game has so many flaws these fanboys just gloss over and it's just sad, at this point I am convinced they didn't actually play the whole game like I did, and don't even get me started on the fact that there is literally no story. Oh and also don't get me started on how attack and defense buffs don't even make noticeable differences. I'm talking about clothing and elixirs. Not that any buffs would be needed anyway because the game is so easy.

DarXyde31d ago


I did play it. Several times longer than 100 hours, actually. Explored quite a bit too.

Is it so hard to see that others really enjoyed it? You've got different tastes, pure and simple.

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Moe-Gunz32d ago

People can blindly throw hate your way if they want but I too find BoTW grossly overrated. One of those games that if it didn't have the title I think would be criticized more. I found Horizon to be superior and was greatly disappointed 🤷🏾‍♂️

-Foxtrot32d ago

The sad part is how upset and angry they come at people like myself who state it’s overrated or not as special as people make out

They also say how I “hate it”...I’ve literally never said it was a bad game, it’s a good game, a well made game with attention to some detail but apparently saying it’s overrated is the same as saying the game is shit

People just want to see what they want to fuel their supposed counter argument

Look at some of the replies here, it’s sad with how people respond.

DarXyde32d ago

Horizon is a technical marvel. I didn't think the PS4 could do that. But I still prefer Zelda.
Horizon has a far more interesting narrative, but fun factor has always been my gaming priority. As a game, Zelda is better for me.

For the record, the name doesn't mean too much to me. Metal Gear Solid was my favorite series, and I cannot express my disappointment in The Phantom Pain enough.

Amazing gameplay mechanics, disappointing plot, and empty.

Imalwaysright32d ago

Blindly? This fox guy was claiming that BoTW wasn't deserving of the scores it was getting before the game had been released. Before he even had the opportunity to play the game if he played it at all. This fox guy was the one that said that the developers that were praising the game were doing it because it was a zelda or nintendo game. He was essentially saying that they were lying.

He showed his bias time and time again and now look at him, the troll playing the victim.

Old McGroin32d ago

@ Foxtrot

The sad part is how you keep flip flopping and moving the goalposts to suit yourself. One minute BotW doesn't deserve the scores it got and is overrated, the next it's a good game. So many twists to make whoever responds to you in a way you don't agree with look bad.

Look, it's been well over a year since BotW released. It's universally acclaimed as one of the greatest games ever. It's pretty sad that after all this time you're still dwelling on this. Get over it.

-Foxtrot32d ago

@Old McGroin

Here's one of them now...thank you for proving my point

" One minute BotW doesn't deserve the scores it got and is overrated, the next it's a good game " is that flip flopping.

I'd say it's a 7.5 or 8 at the most...did it get those scores? yes it's a good game but I'm also right that it didn't deserve the perfect scores and the overhyped comments saying it's the best thing since sliced bread.

Unless you are one of these people who thinks a 7 or 8 means it's a bad game? Don't grasp for straws man, it comes off as desperate

"It's pretty sad that after all this time you're still dwelling on this. Get over it"

Oh yes because it's just me, there's a shit load of people out there who think exactly the same, it's something you don't seem to grasp so how about you stop being a little child about other peoples opinions and get over it yourself. I mean look at the viscous comments towards people on here who don't think the same as you...seriously re-read them, and you tell me to stop being sad. Come on...pot calling the kettle.

Moe-Gunz32d ago

I too don't think it deserves the scores it got. I do think it's a good game but it received perfect scores and people saying it's the best game released in years, and I adamantly disagree. It reminds me of the GTA4 release. 10/10 everywhere but to me was incredibly overrated.

The mindset here is if you think it's not the best game ever and a 10/10 you must automatically think it's terrible and that's not the case. You guys act like a cult sometimes with this game.

Imalwaysright32d ago

But you believe that after playing the game right? You experienced the game and formed your own opinion. He was downplaying BoTW before even playing it. He showed his bias and has been trolling the game before its release date so why should anyone even respect his opinion?

BigTrain31d ago

Horizon was triple A perfection. Loved it!

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RDR2 sets the standard for immersive world building. BOTW sets the standard for a world that is truly 100% open and let's you do literally anything and everything in the game from the beginning. Horizon set the bar for open world combat though and I preferred TW3 to all of them hands down.

Trez123432d ago

i don't know... i feel breath of the wild is and will be looked at by alot more by devs with things like climb anywhere, less markers on the map and the sense of discovery. I do prefer RDR2 but not sure about all the so cold new things it has brought.

Sirk7x32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

The chemistry system the game employed was absolutely brilliant as well. Some of the things people have done to alternatively solve puzzles in the game are cool, like laying down metal objects to complete circuits. At its heart though, Zelda is a game with a particular atmosphere, and has very heavy puzzle elements. It is very dear to my heart, but I can understand if it doesn't resonate with some.

Shiken32d ago

I shit you not, I took one look at the title of this article and thought, "I bet this triggers Foxtrot". One comment in, and I am not disappointed! XD

OT, both games are fantastic and have raised the bar. BotW is my game of the gen, God of War is my GotY and a close second to BotW, and Read Dead is right up there with GoW for me.

That is how I feel anway.

CaptainObvious87832d ago

You're right of course, Fox, but don't waste your time trying to explain it to these blind ninty loyalists.

It's already been well discussed it's flaws and well documented the media bias that overlooked those flaws while marking other games down for the same thing.

Unfortunately, that same bias media gave it so many GOTY awards, so they feel vindicated and are never going to see reason.

rainslacker32d ago

Rdr2 doesn't really do anything except have a ton of content. Nothing in it is particularly innovative. It just did a good job of putting a lot of stuff together and made a system for interaction which revolves around mundane tasks which wouldn't be appropriate for all kinds of games.

BOTW did.nothing to innovate the genre, barely had a story, and while it was a decent game, I wouldn't say it was a shining example to try to live up to.

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nezzko33d ago

It's nice that we can get out of the open world comfort zone now and again. Understandable folk are going to bounce off that of course, but I'd rather that than the same, admittedly solid, formula over and over.

TheOptimist33d ago

Haven't played RDr2, but if there is one open world game that has set the standard, it is by far Witcher 3 and I hope that Cyberpunk 2077 is even better which will set a bar of its own.

Gardenia32d ago

When it comes to nature and looks, Horizon Zero Dawn and Assassins Creed Origins impressed me. I disagree with Breath of the Wild, because the world really is empty apart from a few towns

Sirk7x32d ago

Witcher 3 is goddam amazing.

Spurg32d ago

Don't forget The Witcher 3

nowitzki200432d ago

Witcher 3 is game of the gen.. So many games that get released nowadays try to be more like Witcher 3. RDR2 is just the latest.

Ceaser985736132d ago

Red dead 2 is on a different league.. And R* has been doing this for years now.. W3 was amazing and still my fav but Noway Red dead 2 was trying to be like W3..

nowitzki200432d ago (Edited 32d ago )


Witcher 3 is a 100+ hour game without tasks like brushing/feeding your horse, eating, shaving and showering.. and Witcher 3 was much better with fast travel. So even without all that nonsense to make the game seem longer than it is Witcher 3 gave you much more

generic-user-name32d ago

Longer isn't the same as better.

Dom_Estos32d ago

Witcher games aren't really true open world games in the same sense that these two are. The world is split and sectioned off and requires loading screens between areas. These two don't do that.

Rimeskeem32d ago

I hope the standard isn't traveling for 5 minutes and making someone pay a debt for 2 minutes and traveling back. Also, terrible controls....

Gatsu32d ago

I dont see why people cry about the controls. Just learn how to play.

pietro121232d ago

The game isn't difficult by any means, but it does have control issues (what Rockstar game doesn't though)

UltraNova32d ago

I can learn to play that RDR2 knife/hand mini game in real life but it wouldn't make it fun now would it? See where I'm going with this?

Dom_Estos32d ago (Edited 32d ago )

It's not enough to appreciate the whole these days. Moaning b*stards have to nitpick one thing, and base their entire view around it to tear a game down. The game has clunky control issues? So what? So do some of the best games ever made in the history of the industry. If you want cited examples, go ahead and ask.

Rimeskeem32d ago

Because I would like intuitive controls. Not ones where I dont play for a week and forget everything.

ShadowWolf71232d ago

The controls ARE bad tho. Like, really high input lag, makes every action feel slow. Hurts the game a bit imo.

JackBNimble32d ago

Obviously there is always room for improvement when it comes to the control. But I've put in a shit ton of hours and finished the game and I can say that the control issues are there but extremely exaggerated.

pietro121232d ago

Dude, no one is down playing how good the game is, but it did the game has control issues same goes for Witcher 3, which I find to be best game this gen.

SpinalRemains13832d ago

They're glitchy and that's a fact. Prompts appear and disappear and do not always respond to pressed. Weapon Item wheel doesn't always respond when L1 is released, etc...

I love the game, but the criticisms are very legit. Saying "learn how to play" does not remedy a game which has issues.

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