Yes this is definitely true, and it comes up a lot in reviews, and also in criticism from people, particularly those who haven’t played it, or who are used to high-speed shooters.
What I’ve heard from my friends who have played it, none of whom are “SRS GAMERZ!” note, is that they love the pace, the animation, but most particularly the immersion of it. I’m not one to big-up R*. I’m not an R* fan at all in fact (though I do tend to enjoy their games), but I find it fascinating how they seem to have totally nailed this “general audience” which is vastly larger than self-declared “gamers”.
Yeah that sounds like the sort of thing I’ve been hearing from friends (most of whom are in their 30s, with kids, note). They seem to see the game as a sort of holiday, as relaxation. Not as a challenge.
I mean, dare I say it? It’s kind of a walking simulator. There have been many articles, even reviews, comparing it to indie games, and that seems to be right. Sure, there’s shootin’, heistin’, huntin’, ridin’ and so on, but it’s all at a relatively glacial pace, so people with slower reflexes or less gaming expertise are less fucked, than say they are in Far Cry or the like. And the main experience is just wondering around a beautiful world seeing shit happen and interacting with people, animals and so on.
I’m not even saying Tixxy’s criticisms are wrong. BotW is almost certainly a better open-world game in terms of actual gameplay. I’m sure his plot criticisms make some sense. But both of those facts are irrelevant to the core audience, which seems to be “people who play computer games occasionally, aged 30-60”. I notice that lots of friends who don’t buy the GTA games DID buy this, too! I mean, my best friend, who is loving it, he has BotW in his house - they have a Switch (mostly used by his daughter but he can use it), and she (at 16) is a huge BotW fan (she was doing some sort of hardcore run on it last time I was over, I forget what but it sounded tough), but has even bothered to play BotW (Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for people wandering)? No. He played it slightly at her request but he’s not interested in such a game-y game. Which is very different from me, but reflects this audience who have time for walking simulators with a bit, but not too much violence and excitement (the same friend plays a lot of Skyrim SE and FO4) but for whom overly game-y games aren’t appealing.
(Though I note one of my work-friends who is keen on Fortnite is also keen on RDR2, so there’s that.)