I think they're 2 of the best recent worlds we've been able to explore, but there is always one some might prefer over the other and for me I think that thread on Zeldas open world has me thinking about them both since I'm knee deep in both atm.
For me the nod goes to Zelda and here is why. I feel Zeldas world is a little more rewarding to explore.. I absolutely love horizon as a game but I've found that exploring the world was beautiful but I didn't really feel like I was doing a whole lot other than farming some mats. In zelda I'm finding myself just more eager to see what puzzles I can find for seeds, or bomb holes, or what's over that mountain, or on top of that mountain etc... Zelda brings out more of the Explorer in me and it's why I'm loving that Aspect to death.
Horizon is a superbly crafted video game, but the issue I have is you have this huge world that feels so detailed and gorgeous but I find that the incentive to explore isn't strong for me, i get my quests and I sort of bee line thru them and while I try to explore I'm still just struggling with incentive.
So for me zelda gets the nod with its open world, I think it's one of the most detailed, hand crafted and explorable worlds in gaming history.
So for those that have played them both, which world did you or did you enjoy exploring more in these two excellent games?
Zelda from what I have played introduces creativity which is fundamentally the main ingredient in encouraging exploration.
That and I just like snowboarding down things.
This is probably the shorthand answer for most, and in reality, they're structured very differently so it's not really comparable. The topic may as well be "do you prefer style x of open world or style y", since it's not much to do with the games themselves but instead how different styles of open world are enjoyed.
It's no contest. Zelda. It's just so grand and interesting, with tiny little secrets that I can't stop loving.
ie- zelda is an open world sandbox-ish feel of sorts w/ heavy detail on the world while horizon is a much more traditional 'open world' style
Horizon feels much more condensed in comparison and makes the exploration feel more rewarding as a result, not to mention just being more interesting from a visual perspective.
Although, I can honestly say that going from Horizon in 4K + HDR, and then jumping right into Zelda on Switch docked mode, was the most jarring experience ever. Zelda graphics fucking suck comparitively.
But BOTW....man. This is something else.
Edit: however, it is true there's nothing there to explore or find or enjoy in the open world. Just pick up a quest and do it or go farm. But that's like every open world game. Hopefully BOTW shows devs the joy of a truly packed unpredictable open world.
It's great that it doesn't. I think that's what I like about both games world design. It's not about the material reward. Both don't do that very well. It's about the actual exploration.
Horizon should have had hundreds of collectibles so you'd have a reason to explore it.
But Zelda's world still wins in this type of comparison as I generally dislike exploration and I love exploring that world.
I have no doubt Zelda will have pockets of that, but it seems like it's stronger aspects are in actual gameplay and world. I really value a good story and main character in games of this size, so Link being a mute may be what has kept me from flocking to Zelda titles in the past. I'm looking forward to seeing how I react once I land a Switch + BotW copy.
I'll agree on this as well. The combat against the machines in horizon is ridiculously satisfying. My only grip with it is the melee combat is not great and I wish there was a it more variety in weapons.
Horizon has much better combat that's more satisfying ,and Zelda does a lot better in exploration. Both of them are open world, but they're focusing on different things.
Two of the best games I've ever played.
While the setting and overall story are interesting in horizon, I felt like I was just playing another Ubisoft open world game in terms of the structure of the world.
Zelda on the other hand is the first open world game I've played where I've just gone and explored the world.
In Zelda the sight lines are constantly open and you can climb anywhere. You constantly feel like you have a good grasp of the lay of the land, and where you've been and where you're headed.
In Horizon you have this narrow field of view of whatever's in front of you, and it's peppered with these stupid UI collectible markers, and you can't really interact with the environment much, and barely vertically at all.
I don't think I've played an open world game with such relaxing and rewarding exploration like there is in BotW. They absolutely nailed that.