Earlier this year, The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma said that he felt more recent titles in the series had been quite linear, and that for the next Legend of Zelda game he wanted to create a return to the spirit of the original game, with a more open world and unexpected encounters.
That tease was more than enough to get Zelda fans eagerly watching Nintendo's E3 2014 Digital Event closely, and sure enough Aonuma proudly presented the first teaser footage from a new Legend of Zelda game that's coming to Wii U in 2015. After a peaceful opening with Link on horseback surveying a vast and beautiful landscape of waving grass, trees and distant mountains, the young hero of the series is then shown racing through this world, dodging and battling an attacking enemy with his bow and magic arrows.
Although there is only a couple of minutes of game footage shown (and some of it seems to be cutscene material rather than gameplay), Aonuma does offer some details as to how the new open world will affect how players progress through the game.
"You can enter any area from any direction, so the puzzle-solving in this game begins the moment the player starts to think about where they want to go, how they will get there, and what they will do when they arrive. This is a clean break from past Zelda games, where you had to follow a set path and play through the scenario in the right order. I believe this departure will create opportunities for new gameplay that have not been experienced in previous Zelda games."
The footage also represents the different moods that are common in the Legend of Zelda series: sometimes everything is relaxed and tranquil, and sometimes Link is forced to flee for his life from a huge, many-legged creature that shoots laser beams that cause massive fiery explosions. It's a delicate balance.
This is an impressive and downright beautiful first look at the next Legend of Zelda game (we look forward to finding out the official subtitle), and makes for a strong start to Nintendo's E3 2014 showcase. There many more games announced today, so stay tuned to Game Rant for all of the latest news.
The next Legend of Zelda game will be available on Wii U in 2015.