After several years of teasing, Nintendo finally gave fans their first look at The Legend of Zelda (Wii U) at E3 2014. The trailer wasn’t long, and it didn’t show much, but that brief tease was enough to sate fans that had been dying to see their beloved franchise make a triumphant return.
At the same time, The Legend of Zelda trailer brought with it a lot of questions. Early on, there was talk of whether or not the hero in the trailer was Link, or even a boy, but since then Series Producer Eiji Aonuma confirmed the bow-wielding protagonist is Link.
However, while Aonuma was putting one rumor to bed, he unleashed a brand new one with talk of multiplayer for Zelda on Wii U. To be fair, Aonuma’s quotes to CVG are quite vague, but they do suggest that some form of two-player experience will be headed to the franchise next year.
Aonuma contextualizes the concept of multiplayer within the framework of Hyrule Warriors, the other Zelda release coming to Wii U. As the Series Producer explains, the two-player implementation — one on TV and one on gamepad — used in that game has sparked a curiosity in the Zelda Wii U team.
“The two-player functionality of Hyrule Warriors is actually something that has traditionally been done in the Dynasty Warriors series, but they’ve changed because of the hardware and the second screen on your GamePad. Instead of having a splitscreen on the television, you have one-player playing on the television and one on the GamePad. When I was talking back about making Zelda more than just a single-player experience? That’s something you will see in the future, maybe next year.”
Unfortunately, that’s all we are going to get when it comes to multiplayer Zelda talk. And based on Aonuma’s comments it doesn’t sound like the game will necessarily include multiplayer in the traditional sense. It could be that the game uses the gamepad for a support role, like having a second player control a Navi-esque character, but that would be slightly disappointing.
At the same time, the idea of introducing multiplayer into The Legend of Zelda in any form could be met with some resistance from hardcore fans. That isn’t to say multiplayer is a completely alien concept to the franchise, but the main games have been largely single player experiences.
Regardless, it seems pretty clear that Nintendo is looking to change things up with The Legend of Zelda on Wii U, both because the franchise has hit a rut for some people and also because the modern gaming landscape has changed. Hence the inclusion of an open world in the game. The game certainly looks good, but we still don’t know enough to render even a verdict on its potential.
Do you think The Legend of Zelda on Wii U should include multiplayer? How would you like to see it implemented?
The Legend of Zelda is targeting a 2015 release on Wii U.
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