One gameplay feature in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild appears to have inspired similar functions in other new games. The massive success of the game has seen many others try to capitalize on its success with similar formats. However, one simple feature found in BOTW now seems to be influencing even major new titles.
Breath of the Wild is unquestionably an incredible game, with the potential to keep players engaged for hundreds of hours. The game introduced Zelda fans to many interesting concepts, such as its foraging-based gameplay loop and the various applications of the Sheikah Slate. These have helped to turn the open-world expanse of Hyrule in BOTW into a fully inhabitable environment, placing an emphasis on the many ways there are to explore said world. Because of this, it comes as little surprise that other game developers looking to enhance their own immersive exploration features may look to Breath of the Wild for inspiration.
BOTW’s Sheikah Slate Waypoints Are Being Replicated In Other Games
The way that BOTW treats waypoints is both inventive and functional. In addition to placing pins directly on the map, players are able to set these waypoints from a first-person perspective with the Sheikah Slate. Other games are using similar waypoint systems; recently revealed gameplay for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor from IGN shows BD-1 helping Cal in much the same way, zooming in to distant locations and placing Beacons. Moreover, this is only the most recent use of the mechanic; for example, the Compass and Navigator in the 2021 BOTW clone game Sable can be used to similarly great effect.
BOTW-Style Waypoints Maintain Immersion For Players
Breath of the Wild’s scope system allows a player to look into the far distance, find an interesting landmark, and mark it without switching to a separate map. The degree of immersive fun that such a simple mechanic offers is significant, smoothly integrating into the player’s experience of the world. Because of this, it is little wonder that other games are following the same path. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor’s use of BD-1 in place of the Sheikah Slate puts a unique Star Wars twist on the same mechanic, and could pave the way for similar functions in future open-world Star Wars games.
Having a waypoint system be seen through the perspective of the player character is a far more fun way of presenting the mechanic than opening a map screen. This method helps to preserve the player’s immersion, and contributes greatly to the experience of open-world exploration in games like Breath of the Wild. This has led to the seemingly minor feature having a notable influence on open-world game design, something which evidently continues in new games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. It will be interesting to see how Tears of the Kingdom may build on this in turn, improving on Breath of the Wild as its sequel.
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