I’ve really enjoyed BoTW, but I have noticed that I’ve had a Chick Parabola-esque response to the open world.
When I’m first on the Great Plateau, even just the plateau itself seemed enormous. Then, when you get off the plateau, you’re like “that was tiny, the actual world is fricken’ huge!” Then, there’s kind of a sweet spot where you’re encountering each different biome for the first time, which is the top of the parabola.
But then, after you’ve sort of seen everything once, and your stamina is up to where you can run or glide more often than not, and you can teleport to wherever you want, the world starts to feel very small again. (Maybe a self-restriction of fast-travel would help solve that? But only I think only marginally). I guess this has been discussed at length, but really it’s the dis-empowerment restrictions that make the early game interesting.
I think that part of it is that the world’s systems aren’t actually that interesting to me. Once I’ve discovered everything in the world, there’s little reason (e.g. dynamic interactions, combat system depth) to want to stay in it. I enjoy being surprised with new little novelties, but once I’m out of novelties, I don’t find it that interesting.
This is absolutely a hollow complaint because I’m 60+ hours into the game, so obviously it’s a huge amount of content, and well-spaced, because I’m just getting bored as I’m hitting the “typical” game length. But, my problem, I think, is that I don’t see it as a compelling sandbox, just as a collection of compelling content. So, for instance, I couldn’t see myself playing it again.