The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild certainly wasnt the first open-world game, but it did make meaningful changes to the open-world formula. Since, there have been a few, surprisingly good, copycats. To hold you over until Breath of the Wild 2 finally releases, here are eight gameslikeBreath of the Wildthat you should play.
Note that this guide is focused on Breath of the Wild,not just Zelda-like games (we have a list of the best Zelda games if youre interested in that). In particular, we chose open-world games with a strong emphasis on exploration.
Immortals Fenyx Risingis Assassins Creed without the baggage. A change in setting and a generous dose of imagination pushes Immortals further than even the best Assassins Creed games. Its still an open-world game, and it still abides by the open-world tropes that Assassins Creed is known for. Even then, Immortals stands out, not only because of its lightweight approach to the open-world action RPG but also because it isnt concerned with being realistic.
The game borrows liberally fromBreath of the Wild, from managing stamina while climbing to tackling small dungeons focused on puzzles and combat for upgrades. Even the art style is similar to Breath of the Wild.
The combat which is a big chunk of what youll be doing in Immortals isnt, however. Combat feels like a proper action RPG, fit with screen-filling combos and massive AoE attacks. Exploration is great, too, withImmortals lush, mythical world calling players back each time they respawn at the Hall of the Gods. Even with Assassins Creed Valhallareleasing mere weeks before,Immortals FenyxRisingis Ubisofts best game of the year.
Read our Immortals Fenyx Risingreview
Genshin Impacts marketing pegged it as a Breath of the Wild rip-off and nothing more. It didnt help that the game came from miHoYo, a company known only for developing mobile games before the release of Genshin Impact.The jump to a full-fledged console and PC release usually isnt graceful, but miHoYo managed to pull it off.Genshin Impactborrows a lot ofBreath of the Wild,but no more thanImmortals Feynx Risingborrows.
In fact,Genshin Impactadds a lot more to the formula. Its a bonafide RPG, with a cast of unique characters and the Adventure Rank system, which improves as you complete challenges (and, in turn, unlocks new quests and challenges). Genshin Impactis free-to-play across PC, PS4, and mobile, too, and it even support cross-platform play (once you unlock co-op, that is).
Genshin Impactis more than aBreath of the Wildclone, so much so that our own Tom Caswell actually thinks its better.
There arent many games that seamlessly encourage exploration quite like Horizon: Zero Dawn.Actually, the closest game that comes to mind isBreath of the Wild, but for a different reason.Horizon: Zero Dawn,like most open-world RPGs, has unique loot, crafting materials, and currency hidden around the world. However, its the games world design and overarching concept that keeps players coming back for more.
Horizon: Zero Dawnhas a beautiful world, but more importantly, it has an interesting world. From seeing machines of impossible scale overgrown with vegetation to traveling through settlements and witnessing the devolution of humanity, Horizon: Zero Dawns world tells a story without saying a word.
It helps thatHorizon: Zero Dawnis an excellent game outside of the world, too. Aloy is a believable protagonist that youll want to sympathize with, and combat is excellent, with multiple paths to approach every encounter.
Read our Horizon Zero Dawnreview
Immortals Fenyx Rising is Assassins Creed with a littleBreath of the Wildthrown in, whileAssassins Creed Valhallais just, well, Assassins Creed.Valhalladoesnt pull any punches with the storied franchise, adopting the same AnvilNext 2.0 engine that Ubisoft has been using sinceAssassins Creed Unity.It also borrows the combat ofOdysseyand the open-world design ofOrigins.
Valhallais not a unique game, but that doesnt mean its not a great game. The snowy hills of Anglo-Saxon England are gorgeous to explore, and youll be rewarded for turning over every stone. It may not be unique, but it doesnt need to be. It presents the same formula in a different setting, and remarkably, that formula still works just as well.
Read our Assassins Creed Valhallareview
Hob: The Definitive Edition features an open-world design, but unlike our previous recommendations, it isnt just a mad dash to finish points of interest around the map. Despite the difference in approach, it shares so much with Breath of the Wildand Zelda as a whole that we need to give it a mention.Hobis a top-down adventure-puzzle game from the developer ofTorchlightandTorchlight II Runic Games. The game begins without much to go on. All you know is that something terrible has happened to the world and that its your job to piece it back together.
Most of your time inHobwill be spent exploring dungeons and solving puzzles to piece the world back together. The game never really tells you that, however. Its a wordless experience, and its better for that. Instead of guiding players down a linear path from one puzzle to the next,Hobgives players the freedom to explore. The top-down view and various upgrades you can pick up scream Zelda, too.
Hobis like ifBreath of the Wildwas designed as a traditional, top-down Zelda game. We recommendThe Definitive Editionon Nintendo Switch over the original version on PC and PS4, however. In addition to running better on Switch,Hob: The Definitive Editionfeatures redesigned menus and a few changes to make navigating the world easier. Even better, the original Hob is included with The Definitive Edition, too.
Even withCyberpunk 2077making the rounds, The Witcher 3: Wild Huntremains CD Projekt Reds magnum opus (and one of the bestselling video games of all time). Its easy to see why, too. From world design to combat to quest design and everything in between,The Witcher 3does exactly what it should. If you like lore, theres plenty to uncover in Continent, and if you like combat, The Witcher 3has the swordplay, spells, and abilities to satisfy. It even has one of the best digital card games built-in Gwent.
The connection between Zelda and The Witcher 3isnt that weak, either, with level designer Miles Tost citing Zelda as a key influence on the games world design.The Witcher 3goes further, even. While similar games reward players with loot and upgrades for exploration, The Witcher 3rewards the player with world-building. And the fact that world-building is a reward in the first place should say something.
Read our The Witcher 3: Wild Huntreview
Yes,Death Strandingis likeBreath of the Wild,even if the two games share very little mechanically. InBreath of the Wild,you use the world to earn new gear, gather ingredients to cook, and push through dungeons to upgrade Link. In Death Standing,you instead fight with the world. It doesnt have any combat or anything on the level of Breath of the Wild,at least butDeath Strandingdoes have an open-world and it does encourage players to, begrudgingly, explore.
Death StrandingisBreath of the Wildfor masochists. The world is almost its own character, presenting the biggest obstacle in the game for the player to, quite literally, overcome.Breath of the Wilds focus is different, and it has a good dash of other mechanics to keep gameplay interesting. However, there is a central thread that ties the two games together an open-world that holds just as much weight as the characters that inhabit it.
Read our Death Strandingreview
Final Fantasy XVis far from the best Final Fantasy game, but thats a high bar to clear. LikeBreath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XVtook a lot of risks with the franchise. In addition to being the first truly open-world Final Fantasy game,Final Fantasy XValso did away with any sort of turn-based combat, rather letting battles play out in real-time while allowing players to pause and issue commands to other party members.
Although the story suffers for these changes unless youve consumed all of theFinal Fantasy XVsupplemental material, that is the game overall does not. Final Fantasy XVs world is gorgeous, and although it doesnt encourage exploration quite likeBreath of the Wild,theres still plenty to do. Plus,Final Fantasy XVs combat system is a treat, so simply taking on hunts around the world is entertaining.
Read our Final Fantasy XVreview
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Eight games like Breath of the Wild that you should play - Digital Trends
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