The open-world design of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild left many concerned when the game was first announced, but those fears ultimately subsided once reviews began shattering records within the gaming industry. The reception to the latest Zelda title has unquestionably been positive, with Breath of the Wild receiving a rare perfect score from Game Rant prior to its release this past March. There's little doubt that the changes helped push the series forward, and it sounds as if this "open-air" concept could be the new series standard as a result.
I was recently afforded the opportunity to have a few questions answered by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, where the possibility of future franchise installments utilizing the open-world formula was brought up. As it turns out, the team responsible for the latest entry still wants to explore what was started in Breath of the Wild, and as long as they can establish new experiences within it then it could very well become the new standard.
GR: Will this open-world design be a new standard for the Zelda series going forward?
"We can’t really say much at the moment but there are lots of things in this current game design we still want to explore. If, as a result of that exploration, we feel positive we can provide our audience with new experiences it’s possible this design could become the standard."
Fujibayashi and his team sound eager to explore the world they've only just created, which Breath of the Wild's upcoming downloadable content will allow them to do a little more. Still, these comments are sure to be received as a mixed bag for those that enjoy some of the nuances of older Zelda games.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is currently available on Nintendo Switch and Wii U.