Nintendo yesterday revealed a huge amount of information about its next Legend of Zelda game, titled Breath of the Wild. The publisher went on an all out assault, showing off a huge amount of the new gameplay mechanics players will be able to find in the game.
Some of these new mechanics are simple, yet revolutionary when placed in the context of a Zelda game. Link can jump now, for the first time in the series. He can also climb to reach new locations. While these two innovations to Zelda’s core gameplay may seem simple, it paints a picture of a game that is undergoing a massive transformation.
Almost every aspect of the Zelda experience has been tweaked in some way. The biggest change is still the one we already knew about – the open world. Upon waking, Link steps out into Hyrule. From there it’s entirely up to players where he goes and what he does. There isn’t really a path shepherding you to your next story mission. Once you emerge in the huge open world, it’s yours to explore as you please. What happens next is up to you.
There are plenty of reasons to explore – for starters you need food to survive. If this were any other Zelda game, all you’d need to regain your health would be a few hearts from killing enemies or mowing the lawn. Now Link needs food to charge his health up. You’ll have recipes, but you’ll need to scavenge for the ingredients.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind is a huge departure for a series that was perhaps becoming too familiar, too set in its ways. These are just a couple of examples as to how the game is looking to fundamentally shake up its entire ethos and offer its players something new, something exciting, but still categorically Zelda.
There are many more examples of these exciting changes in the gameplay videos above (courtesy of Gamespot) – I highly suggest checking them out. This is probably the most excited I’ve been about an incoming Legend of Zelda game in many years.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind launches in 2017 for Wii U and NX.