Some of you have asked me what my favorite game of all time is, to which I always, always, respond “Legend of Zelda … the original NES game.” For that reason, I’m excited to talk to you about the most exciting thing about E3 and the future of the Zelda franchise.
But first, the current release date is (an extremely vague) 2017 on Wii U and the new Nintendo NX console (which will itself launch in March 2017).
If you haven’t watched the three-minute game trailer, I’ll just leave it for you right here:
Producer Eiji Aonuma has stated that he wished to break with some of the conventions of the Zelda franchise. For one, the art is reminiscent of Japanese anime. The game play style resembles the original exploration-driven open world play style.
The game itself starts in a very familiar way. Link hears a female voice calling to him to open his eyes. There are no items, no story prior to awakening, and no real direction about what to do. The similarities end there. He wakes in a room that appears technologically advanced and in a bed that resembles cryotechnology. He finds a device resembling an iPad, called the Sheikah Slate. The Slate seems to gently guide Link, open points of interest to him, and lets him fast travel between points of interest that it has connected to.
The game is part of the existing timeline. In fact, Link has been asleep 100 years, although it is not yet clear what marks the beginning of the hundred year lapse. Ruins abound in the revealed world. The Hyrule Castle is shrouded in the darkness of Calamity Ganon.
Additionally, the game sees the use of acquisition of weapons, armor, and gear. Weapons have durability, as yet, there is no repair function in the game. Players can steal or gather items and weapons throughout the game.
This game sees the inclusion of a green stamina bar, which the player will have to manage as Link dashes, swims, and climbs. There are some voice-overs, but according to Aonuma, it is undecided whether the entire game will be voiced or whether it will utilize the subtitles as have previous games in the franchise. Some scenes, like this one, include the audible voice-over.
One thing that absolutely remains the same—the puzzle features. In addition to the dungeons, there are the trials of the shrines like this one:
… which houses the aptly named Magnesis Trial that grants Link the ability, Magnesis.
So far, it appears that these shrines and trials are placed for Link’s benefit to aid him in defeating Ganon, as in previous games.
At least that much is familiar!
I can’t begin to talk about how excited I am for this game. While I enjoyed the Wii Zelda games, sometimes the controls left something to be desired. Having watched several videos of gameplay from the lucky E3 attendees, this does not appear to be the case on the Wii U. We all await the results of the Nintendo console, code named NX.
If you haven’t, I highly recommend watching the entire E3 segment. It’s roughly 18 minutes, but they are 18 minutes well-spent!
You can also view this interview/open gameplay with producer Eiji Aonuma, roughly 30 minutes in length.