Talking Point: How Long Does Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Take To Beat, Really?

NintendoSwitch TLOZBreathoftheWild Presentation2017
Image: Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild turned five years old this week, and to celebrate the momentous occasion the Twitter account for How Long To Beat — a site that tells you how long on average a game will take you to complete — reminded everyone of BOTW’s stats:

Now, 50 hours sounds about right to me. I highly doubt that there are that many players who blasted through the whole thing and ran straight to the final Ganon battle, although you totally can do that from the beginning (it’ll take you about half an hour if you speedrun it and, you know, you’re really good) — so this average time spans between those who are supremely confident, those who spent hours wandering around, and those who, like me, just took things at their own pace.

I’m not sure how long it took me to “complete” the game, because I did a lot of side quests, and I founded Tarrey Town, and I helped matchmake couples, and none of that was really relevant to the main plot. But boy, are people bothered in the replies to this tweet!

“50 hours to beat?” says Sports Guy the Magnificent. “Sure. You can blow through the game if you wanna, but 188 to get 120 shrines, 900 korok seeds, fill the compendium, beat the 4 divine beasts, and beat Ganon? I’m at 190+ on mine.” Dan Thiell keeps it simple: “Imagine only playing Breath of the Wild for 50 hours”, to which Rolando Ed Claudio ripostes, “Imagine playing it for more, literally an empty world with nothing to do”. Goodness!

"The Master Sword isn't even that nice of a sword, why doesn't Link have a Master Katana"
“The Master Sword isn’t even that nice of a sword, why doesn’t Link have a Master Katana”

But this raises the question: When do you count a game as “beaten”? Is it when you beat Ganon? Is it when you 100% finish it, which (in BOTW) requires tediously finding 900 tiny idiots? Or is it — as in my case — doing everything except the Korok seeds and the final boss battle? Is 50 hours long enough to appreciate everything this game has to offer? Does it matter?

I’ve already written my take on the subject of when a game is “finished”, and it made a bunch of people Very Angry, since apparently you’re not a “real gamer” if you don’t do a final boss battle, and you haven’t “actually played the game”, somehow. (Oh dear! My gamer cred, all gone! Parents, incredibly disappointed!)

So, needless to say, I will not repeat myself. This is on you now! Here are some polls…

The End?

Let us know your thoughts about “finishing” games in the comments, but IF ANY OF YOU ARE MEAN TO ME ABOUT NOT BEATING GANON I WILL CRY.


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