Let’s forget open-world for a second. If what you’re looking for is more of Breath of the Wild’s world, whatever the game, check out Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. The game is a soft prequel to Breath of the Wild, letting you play through the battles that precede the main game’s story by 100 years. You can play as Link, of course, but there are also 17 other playable characters, including Zelda, Impa, and the Champions.
This one isn’t an open world adventure; rather, it’s a “Warriors” game. These titles are focused on combat, wherein your character fights hordes of enemies all at once. It’s chaos in the best way, especially after playing Breath of the Wild for so long. While you used to tackle enemies like Bokoblins one or two at a time, here, you’ll be vanquishing dozens in an instant. Even better, the game supports split-screen co-op, so you can grab another Breath of the Wild fan and crack some Lizalfos skulls together.
While it’s great to experience the events of the war which set Breath of the Wild’s events into motion, reception to Age of Calamity’s story was mixed, so don’t set your expectations too high. No spoilers, but the way the story is designed sets up the possibility Age of Calamity doesn’t even exist in the same timeline. Likewise, the game struggles to run well on the Switch, likely due to the sheer volume of things happening on screen at once. Don’t be surprised if you experience some frame rate dips, even in handheld mode.
All that aside, if you like this type of combat, Age of Calamity is a great game to turn to after Breath of the Wild. From the familiar UI, characters, environments, and more, you might feel you entered a secret battle mode in the original game.