Nintendo is claiming The Legend of Zelda is moving away from some longstanding themes and practices, instead offering entirely new experiences that will be highlighted at this year’s E3.
The latest installment in the Legend of Zelda is being touted as a departure from series norms, according to Producer Eiji Aonuma, who promises “a clean break from the conventions of previous games.” What this means exactly is not clear, as Nintendo is notorious for holding its cards close to its chest, but the company’s upcoming presentation at this year’s E3 is expected to shed some light on things.
In an interview in the March issue of Famitsu, which was translated by Kotaku, Aonuma said his team is very busy and that development has been “progressing well.” He continued saying he remains hopeful fans will like what will be shown at E3 2017, as he feels his team is making something new and different – much like how Ocarina of Time was in its day. This might seem to be a lofty claim, but it could be the direction Nintendo needs to be heading in. Ocarina of Time set new standards for the series and is still beloved by fans today. In fact, people are still playing it; some know it so well they can literally beat the game blindfolded.
While what exactly will be shown at E3 is a mystery, one element of the series that has been delved into on a few occasions, and will likely be a focus of the presentation, is player freedom. In the 2014 trailer for The Legend of Zelda Wii U, Aonuma explained the non-linear approach they were taking with this new installment. While he has stated it will not be an open world game, it will still offer some components of one. There will be a vast world to explore, with smooth transitions, and fewer loading screens to make it all feel more cohesive. Players will be able to enter new areas from many different directions, which will add another element of strategy and realism – especially if the area is outdoors. In respect to story or other gameplay elements, Nintendo and Aonuma have been silent.
This upcoming presentation could be the kick in the pants Nintendo needs to reinvigorate fan confidence. Since The Legend of Zelda Wii U was officially announced three years ago, the game has released only one trailer and suffered two major delays; the first back in 2015 and the second which was coupled with rumors that the game could skip the Wii U altogether or possibly launch simultaneously with the upcoming Nintendo NX in 2017. With so much uncertainty, it would be a nice change of pace to know something concrete. At the very least they could give the game a proper title.
Regardless of the drama surrounding it, it is nice to to hear the newest Zelda is attempting to be a game changer. If everything pans out, fans could have a new favorite entry in the series. If not, it could be a huge hit for the franchise and for Nintendo. Knowing this, it is hard to believe the hardware manufacturer is not putting everything it has into this game and that is an encouraging thought.
All will be revealed next month on June 14 during the Nintendo Treehouse: Live event, where Nintendo will be live-streaming gameplay of The Legend of Zelda, which will be the first real in-depth look at the game. Pray to the three Goddesses that it was worth the wait.