. We got us our big new flagship Zelda reveal for realsies, and it is time to get properly hyped
Sigh. All right tell me about this new Zelda.
Will I ever!
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
is Nintendo's response to concerns about their flagship adventure series becoming stagnant over time. A lot of the conversations surrounding the series in the last few years has focused on how Zelda has become "more of the same," retreading the same ground walked by Ocarina of Time
nearly twenty years ago, and Breath of the Wild
has been built specifically to shake things up.
We gonna hit monsters with big swords. That part's the same.
All right, so what makes Breath of the Wild different from every other Zelda since Link to the Past?
The principle behind Breath of the Wild
is that it's returning to the design roots of the original Legend of Zelda
, reimagined and updated for a modern game-playing audience. Essentially the player is free to explore the world however they wish and approach a given problem in multiple ways. See an enemy encampment where Bokoblins are waiting to wreck you as soon as they see you? Well, you can just charge in and outfight them, as is the tradition for the series since the beginning. Or you could use the game's new stealth mechanics to enter undetected and take all of your enemies down silently. Or you could set up a series of environmental traps and blow them all to Hell with exploding barrels, or smush them with boulders, or not engage at all and just ride on by!
That principle, where one is free to explore in the way one chooses and make one's own path, is a core part of the game's structure. The world is segmented in that moving between different zones can be difficult, but any part of it can be tackled in any order, with or without being directed toward it by the narrative. The exact degree and nature of that freedom isn't yet known, but Aonuma has said that a particularly determined player could make a fairly straight run toward the final boss from the word go.
Cool, but what are some more specific things this game brings to the table?
- A wholly open world where challenges can be tackled in any order, with or without being properly equipped.
- The ability to climb nearly any surface, opening up exploration options in a way that no Zelda game ever has. See a wall? You can probably climb it. A tower, a mountain, whatever you please, you can try to get to the top. You are only limited by...
- The return of the stamina system established in Skyward Sword and refined in Link Between Worlds. Dashing, climbing, and various other actions all consume stamina, which replenishes over time.
- Actual physics, where every object in the game (even Link when he's hit) is a physics-based object, which ties into how to solve many puzzles.
- Stealth mechanics, including a noise meter and the ability to sneak up on enemies and perform stealth attacks.
- Enemies of different strengths roam the world, including the return of Blue Bad-asses from Zelda 1. Particularly dangerous enemies can kill an early-game Link in a single hit.
- A dynamic weather system that affects environmental interactions. Rain will affect one's ability to climb, the temperature will drop at night, different enemies will be active at different times of day, thunderstorms mean you can get struck by lightning, etc.
- The overworld is dotted with critically powerful enemies that function as boss battles you can engage in (or run away from) while exploring.
- A survival system has been implemented, including the ability to gather resources and build campfires, a cooking system, and different survival factors being affected by the weather (dress warm when it's cold).
- You can cook food items gathered from enemies and the environment to create healing or stat-enhancing items.
- The game has different weapon and armor now, with stats! Different weapons will have different movesets and attack ratings, while clothing will have defensive stats and ability modifiers. Also, all of it looks different, so you can play Fashion Zelda at last.
- Link got Witch Time now.
- The weapons degrade over time, and need to be replaced on the fly with weapons scavenged from enemies.
Gotta love that mushroom-and-mushroom kebab smell.
Wait, weapon degradation? I hate weapon degradation!
It's not like Dark Souls where you end up having one weapon you upgrade all the way and have to worry about it breaking, and then spend resources repairing it. The rhythm of the game is that you take a weapon, beat up enemies with it, then take their weapons to beat up more enemies. Think of it as being like picking up ammo in a shooter; the weapons are disposable, and stronger weapons can still be saved for beating up stronger enemies but in general you'll be slapping somebody, taking his club, and then using his club to beat up a few of his buddies.
All right, that all sounds pretty different. What's it coming out on?
All footage of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
so far has been seen on the Wii U, but the game is also launching simultaneously on the NX. Differences between the two versions are completely unknown at this point.
When is it coming out?
2017, but we have no idea when. After the NX launch, so we'll probably have a date when Nintendo talks about the NX.
Is there a trailer?
The game isn't going to be out for at least 9 months. This isn't... this isn't just a Breath of the Wild thread is it.
No! Talk about Twilight Princess
and Wind Waker
and all the others, as you please! It'll be a while before we hear about Breath of the Wild
again, so let's talk about all the Zelda we can in the meantime. Love us some Zelda!