The Games of E3: The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

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 Legend of Zelda Wii U 1

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 Wii U 2

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.
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6 comments on “The Games of E3: The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

  1. While they said everything I wanted to about the new Zelda (overworld, exploration, etc), what interested me most surprisingly was that Link was using a bow, not a sword. Makes me curious if they’re really taking the gameplay in a new bow-focused direction. After all, in the original the silver arrows (I think that was them at least) were the special item, not the Master Sword. Could be interesting if rather than the Master Sword, there’s a legendary bow you need and the gameplay revolves around that.

    YEAR OF THE BOW indeed.

    • That is actually a cool idea. I could certainly get behind that. Might go along nicely with the more open world with it being a ranged weapon. Plus bows are just cooler than swords. Good call.

  2. I thought the reveal was real pretty and I like the art design but I need to see more before getting excited about this game. Having said that, Aonuma was definitely saying the right things. Bringing back that feeling of exploration, with only your skill and progression preventing you from going anywhere sounds excellent!

  3. The new Zelda is already looking as pretty as ever – I wonder if they’re changing from sword to bow because of the mechanics of the Wii? I remember a lot of people complaining that Skyward Sword was too physical (or maybe that was just me and my unfit friends!!) On the other hand, the gamepad should have solved this… But I can’t complain either way if there’s a new Zelda and anything that rewards skill is a good thing in my book!

    • Good question. I imagine the controls will be mostly traditional with the Gamepad. I must admit I liked shooting arrows with the pointer, so I will miss that, but maybe the gamepad will be used for aiming in some way. I personally found Skyward Sword’s controls a little inaccurate, so I won’t miss the motion based sword controls! I can’t wait to hear more about the game so we can figure out what it will be like!

      Thanks for checking out the blog and commenting!

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