My favorite game of all time is Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. BotW is an open world game, which means there really is no particular direction you have to move in the game, and there is a lot of freedom to make gameplay within the underlying mechanics of the game. Here are a couple mechanics that I enjoyed for one reason or another.
- “Bullet Time”: when you draw your bow and arrow in midair, time in the game slows down by roughly a factor of 20. This allows for awesome interactions where you pick off a ton of enemies all at once while flying above. When I first discovered this mechanic, I felt like I was in the matrix. This mechanic can also lead to a glitch discovered by speedrunners called the “Bullet Time Bounce”. A “Bullet Time Bounce” takes advantage of some objects in the game moving at bullet time speed to effectively launch your character at 20x the speed far into the air.
- Climbing Walls: before playing this game, I had never played an open world game that let you freely scale the barriers of the world. In Breath of the Wild, you can climb pretty much any wall. This has the effect of making the game feel much more open and expansive–you do not feel limited at all! And because you only have a certain amount of stamina (which can increase as you progress), the cliffs and walls can still somewhat act like de facto barriers early in the game.
- Revali’s Gale: this is a powerup you unlock during the game, which allows your character to fly directly up in the air super high, and then paraglide anywhere. Again, this mechanic is extremely freeing because it increases the mobility of your character, which is awesome for a game map that is so massive. This powerup is also useful in combat, because it allows you to easily enter “Bullet Time” to shoot off a bunch of arrows in rapid succession.