by Matthew Thompson (Images-Nintendo, this game’s E3 site can be found here)
(I was trying to work out how to discuss E3 this year (Note: I was not there, just watched it from home) and I’ve settled on rolling out about 10-15 small blogs over the next two weeks. Each will focus on a game shown or announced at E3 that caught my eye and will be presented in alphabetical order. I will include some other impressions when appropriate as well. You can find all of these blogs archived here. Enjoy!)
The look we got at the next Zelda game at E3 was short, but oh boy was it sweet! If you have talked to me about Zelda over the past few years, you have likely heard me grousing about Nintendo’s handling of the overworld lately. Ever since Twilight Princess, Nintendo has seemed to be avoiding creating a large fully explorable overworld in the series again. The two DS games broke up the world into chunks and had you using a boat or train to get from area to area. Skyward Sword tried something new for the series giving pieces of the overworld more depth. It was a good idea in theory, but lacking a little in the execution department. And the overworld still felt very segmented like the DS games. A Link Between Worlds returned to the classic overworld design, but re-used a bit too much of A Link to the Past‘s map for my liking. So my big wish for the new Zelda was a big, fresh overworld to explore in three dimensions on foot or horse. No broken up world. No weird vehicles required. And lucky for me, that is exactly what Nintendo is doing.
The Legend of Zelda won’t be releasing for the Wii U until 2015, so this was an early look, but Aonuma was saying all the right things. He’s going to give us a big open world and let us explore it how we want. And the brief glimpse we got of that world was really breathtaking. The new artstyle is better than I could have imagined and the shot of Link sitting on his horse in the middle of a large field, grass swaying, mountains off in the distance… it was just beautiful. It depicted a world that was begging to be explored. I was also impressed with some of the animations and designs shown when Link and his steed were chased off by a monster and he broke out his trusty bow.
There wasn’t much else to take away from this new Legend of Zelda‘s initial showing at E3, but it excited me all the same. I like where this thing seems to be headed and I can’t wait to see more.
Another Zelda E3 note:
- Hyrule Warriors looks like a lot of fun. I love the way they are incorporating all the series items, weapons and characters into Dynasty Warriors-style gameplay. Zelda was confirmed as playable, an expected but extremely welcome piece of news, and so was Midna! Twilight Princess is my favorite game in the series and I love Midna, so this was great news.