It's also the game that I've played for the longest period of time. My Nintendo Switch currently says that I've played it for ‘160 hours or more’. So how far does this amount of time get you in this huge game?
I realise that 160 hours isn’t long for this particular game – many gamers have put in many hundreds of hours (and have for other games on the system too). However, I’ve never played any game for anywhere near as long. As a point of comparison, whilst preparing to play Breath of the Wild I completed The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on the Nintendo Wii – the last mainline console Zelda game. My save file for that game, before going down to fight Ghirahim and Demise, stands at 55 hours. I completed the main story of Super Mario Odyssey in under 15 hours.
It’s well known that Breath of the Wild encourages you to take detours. The main objective is known from the very beginning and you can go and fight Ganon whenever you want (good luck with that!). However, the game is full of distractions that will send you off on hours long (or tens of hours long) diversions.
Here’s what I have accomplished in 160 hours of gameplay:
4 Divine Beasts freed
81 shrines completed
16 memories recovered
101 Korok seeds found
2 stamina wheels
As a point of comparison, a good friend of mine has recently bought a Nintendo Switch and has started to play Breath of the Wild. He's currently at a mere ’25 hours of more’ of play time and has had a very different – and much quicker, or more purposeful – adventure. So far he has:
2 Divine Beasts freed
36 shrines completed
19 Korok seeds found
5 memories recovered
2 stamina wheels
It’s true that I've deliberately taken my time in the game. I’ve been reluctant to use it all up too quickly. I think I played for about 60 hours between completing my third and fourth Divine Beasts. I've also been deliberately slow opening up the world map. In fact, I've still not visited the tower in the mountains to the north west.
I'm now getting ready to head to Hyrule castle. I’m buying the Ancient armour, weapons and arrows. Ganon awaits.
But I suppose I needn’t worry… even after Ganon has been defeated there’s still two DLC packs to go. And then there’s Breath of the Wild 2, which Nintendo has announced is now in development.