Agreed on this part. They could have easily had shrines with the feel of a Forest Temple, Shadow Temple, Ice Temple, Fire Temple to provide variety.I have heard some legit criticisms of BOTW, some of which you bring up. Your comment about enemy recolors for instance. Also didn't care for the voice acting (some of this I think is less a problem with the acting and more on the script/writing).
But I think it's just absurd to say the world is empty and lacking characters. The overworlds of Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess and even Skyward Sword all felt infinitely more barren and lifeless to me in spite of ALSO being infinitely smaller than BOTW's world. Wind Waker (along with the DS sequels Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks) was particularly criticized for its vast empty ocean. And yes I do enjoy those games as well, but to criticize Breath of the Wild's world for being barren and underpopulated while claiming this to not be a problem with other Zelda games is just flat out wrong. There's stuff to do at every turn (mini puzzles, shrines, Koroks etc). There are far more NPCs than previous Zelda games, and also far more towns and settlements (one of which you can settle and help build). I found it a joy to just go adventuring, it's a detailed and content rich world.
I was fine with shrines substituting for lengthier dungeons (though i'd also like to have some more longer dungeons too, perhaps in the sequel). They are very well designed mini challenges, basically taking individual dungeon rooms from previous Zelda games separated into bite-sized pieces. The game never dragged for me, and i'd say it was thanks to the smaller shrines. But there are still so many of them that if you combined them all together, they easily outnumber any previous Zelda game's dungeon content. It's also really cool that you can solve a lot of them in unconventional ways, not the "correct" or intended way. The only criticism I have about them is the shared ancient Sheikah tech aesthetic, greater visual variety would have been welcome (like taking on the themes of the surrounding environments they're located).
im confused what does any of that have to do with DisneyBack on the topic of Tomorrowland...
I loved BotW, but I definitely have a lot of problems with it as a Zelda game.
You're right, this world was much more full of fun details and puzzles and shrines and all than any other 3d zelda by far. The problem is the focus. Other 3d zelda's, the focus is on towns with dungeons and story progression. The open world is (mostly optional) filler in between these sections where you meet some interesting characters, explore a new areas, see some cutscenes, and do a dungeon. Usually there's around 7 of these per game.
In BotW, there are only 4 of those (each centered around a divine beast). All 4 dungeons have the same basic theme/aesthetic. The stories are short and more self contained because BotW's plot almost all happened 100 years before the gameplay. BotW is focused on the open world and exploring rather than the town/dungeon/story pattern.
They fill that open world with a bunch of stuff. But it's all stuff that would have been filler in other Zelda games. There's a ton of shrines and theyre mostly all awesome, but they're nearly all optional and all look the same.
Not to mention that the freedom of movement in BotW means you can skip around almost all of the traditional Zelda sections. Especially once you get Rivali's Gale.
Plus, the lack if traditional items and linear progression means no evolution of puzzles the same way other Zelda's do. You start the game with every tool for every puzzle. And it's mostly random luck whether you find harder or easier puzzles first. You never get the experience of picking up a boomerang or a clawshot and thinking "I wonder how this will change how I look at the world and approach puzzles." It's the same from minute one.
So, BotW is great and a masterpiece, but as a 3D Zelda fan it doesn't give me much of almost anything I want/expect from a Zelda game. I'm hoping BotW 2 has more of a focus on unique dungeons and an epic story and more items as you go that change puzzles going forward. Find a middle ground between BotW and regular Zelda games.