Part of what makes Breath of the Wild feel so gargantuan is its excellent use of verticality and distance. When exploring Hyrule, players can rest assured that when they see a giant mountain in the distance or an expansive forest over the horizon, they can probably get there. Nintendo achieves these breathtaking views by adding huge, scalable cliffs so players can view the world from great heights and decide where to explore from there. This verticality not only helps with the spectacle of Hyrule, but it also adds significantly more space to an area. These massive caves and trenches are often jam-packed with goodies, enemy camps, or shrines to discover, so players can spend lots of time carefully traversing these nooks and crannies to find loot.
The comparison between these two overworlds becomes challenging because most of Genshin Impact\’s map isn\’t even accessible yet. There still currently is a hefty amount of space to explore, but it\’s easy to see that much more of it is covered in water. Breath of the Wild\’s east and south borders were surrounded by oceans and there were plenty of rivers, but Genshin Impact\’s world has more giant lakes and bays than Breath of the Wild did. Water is traversable, but it\’s cumbersome and eats up a lot of space without treasure, monsters, or quests to find.
Both games are absolute behemoths that take an absurd amount of time to traverse from one end to the other on foot, but Hyrule seems to be the bigger world overall. There\’s more variety to the locations, there\’s a ludicrous amount of shrines and collectibles to find, and every corner of its map is filled with some sort of meaningful content. Genshin Impact is still quite the sprawling overworld perfect for getting totally lost in, but at least until the rest of the map is made available, Breath of the Wild\’s map feels much larger.