It’s coming. Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the beloved sequel to Breath of the Wild, is a few months away now. If you’re like us and can barely wait, you’re going to need a few games like Breath of the Wild at the ready to tide you over until Link’s newest adventure drops.
The thing is, with so many open-world games out right now, it’s hard to get a sense of which ones truly emulate the expansive world that Breath of the Wild brought to the table back in 2017. And that’s not without paying tribute to its beautiful music, heartfelt story and the hours we sunk into it as we rode around on our horses, exploring every nook and cranny.
To distract you until Tears of the Kingdom releases on 12 May, we’ve created a list of some non-Zelda yet Zelda-like games that evoke the same feeling you get while traversing the world of Hyrule in Breath of the Wild.
Games like Breath of the Wild that you need to play
Immortals Fenyx Rising
Everyone – and we mean everyone – says Immortals Fenyx Rising is like Breath of the Wild, but with Greek mythology. It has a similar bright world, monsters hiding around every corner and… So. Many. Puzzles. It gives plenty of opportunities for blind exploration outside of its quest markers, where you can stumble across plenty of challenges or listen to humorous takes on mythology from Zeus himself.
But Immortals‘ heart and soul is found in its light-hearted storytelling, whip-smart dialogue and amusing characters. Between the gods’ verbal sparring, dirty jokes and humorous narration, you’ll certainly be caught laughing along while playing this game, especially if you were a Percy Jackson sucker back in the day.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Skyrim is a beautiful game, there’s no question. It’s full of Scandinavian-inspired landscapes featuring snow-capped mountain reaches and even the northern lights. But it is arguably darker and grittier than the lush, vibrant world that Breath of the Wild takes place in. And yet, BOTW has a map that’s 60% larger than Skyrim‘s.
It comes as no surprise that Skyrim is still a game that players return to 12 years later. Its action-filled quests, varied combat options and morality choices make for an addictive combo that gives you a whole new experience with every playthrough. That said, it’s not without its flaws. Being a fairly old game means there are bugs a-plenty, which can cause you a bit of strife if you’re not a modding extraordinaire with your PC. Yet, Skyrim is one of those games we like to call “endearingly glitchy”, since the shit that happens becomes pure meme fuel.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Alright, this’ll be the last ode to Greece on this list, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is on a whole other level. Who would’ve thought Ancient Greece was so big? While it’s not the closest in terms of design and gameplay, one thing it does hit is the ol’ exploration spot.
Dare we say it, but the Assassin’s Creed franchise positively peaked with Odyssey, where you play as a mercenary named Kassandra/Alexios and sail the Aegean Sea in pursuit of cultists, ancient relics and mythical beasts. The storyline itself is laden with political intrigue, a shadowy cult and a mystery for the ages. It’s just brimming with content that’ll keep you occupied for hours (at least until Tears of the Kingdom comes out).
Just keep in mind that Odyssey isn’t available on Nintendo Switch, but you can grab a hard copy of it for PlayStation 4 below.
Pokémon Legends Arceus
When Nintendo debuted Pokémon Legends Arceus as its next title, it was applauded for being a refreshing spin-off to the mainline games with its vast open world, new catching and battle mechanics, as well as its Isekai storyline. No one would blame you if you mistook it for Breath of the Wild at a glance.
The most noticeable difference between the two Nintendo games is the emptiness that pervades the Hisui region in Pokémon. There’s not as much to see and do, aside from a few fetch quests and filling your Pokédex. But it’s still buckets of fun if you’re an avid pocket monster fan.
When this JRPG first debuted on the Nintendo Wii back in 2010 (feel old yet?), it was a smash hit. Thus, culminating in its Definitive Edition on the Switch 10 years later. Again, the vast open world theme with a blond warrior protagonist continues, but with a battle mechanics twist.
Instead of controlling one character, you’ll be responsible for strategising the win of your entire party. However, combat in Xenoblade is primarily automatic, allowing you to send out your characters by pressing the A button. In comparison, BOTW relies on a mix of dodging, sneaking, shooting arrows and slashing at enemies with your blade. Either way, it nails the feels aspect of the Zelda games, even if the world is set atop the frozen bodies of two warring titans.
Monster Hunter Rise
As far as Monster Hunter games go, Rise is the most Zelda-like in the series so far. The game thrives on the same exploration and discovery mechanics that BOTW does, plus it pushes the Nintendo Switch’s hardware to its limits with the exact same fps rate.
In Rise, you’ll play as a newly recruited Monster Hunter who protects Kamura Village from a disaster called “The Rampage”, a dangerous outbreak on frenzied beasts attacking everything in sight. By prowling through savage environments, you’ll slay these monsters and and collect various monster parts to upgrade your gear. A win-win. But only so you can take on even bigger and badder beasts as you progress through the story.
Ultimately, the biggest difference between BOTW and Rise is that the latter is all about that multiplayer action, which is ideal if you’re looking for a game where you can co-op with some friends. Stylistically, Rise is closer to a JRPG along with its heavily influenced Eastern setting. In addition, the beasts are much more detailed, ferocious and traditional than the enemies that you’ll encounter running around Hyrule.
Where you can buy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Here’s where you can pick up a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom in Australia:
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom will be released on 12 May, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.
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