The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Trailer and Gameplay Shown at E3
If you had asked me last week if I was looking forward to Nintendo’s E3 showing this year, I would have probably answered “Nah, not really interested in Zelda, and that’s all they’re showing besides Pokemon”. I was not excited, but the new trailer and gameplay shown for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild really got me interested, this game is truly shaping into something special and worth the wait.
The most impressive thing to me was the sheer size of the world you can explore. The playable demo at E3 looked huge, had so many things to explore, yet was only a small fraction of what will be in the final game. Almost everything in the world can be interacted with; mountains can be climbed, trees can be cut down to make new paths, the fires that start can spread, the weather will change, the climate of the environment will affect Link. It all feels like a living, breathing world. A lot of small features that are inspired from western RPGs have been added to this title as well. Rather than cutting grass to find hearts, Link must now hunt and scavenge for food to replenish health. Raw ingredients found can also be cooked together to make more effective healing items with added effects, such as heat or cold resistance.
Of course, exploring the world is not all there is to do, there will be plenty of puzzles to solve and enemies to fight in combat as well. During the gameplay at Treehouse Live, it was shown that there will be small dungeon-like areas called Shrines of Trials. These will not replace tradition Zelda dungeons, as there are over 100 of these scattered around the world. The Shrines hold items to collect, such as Spirit Orbs, and players much solve puzzles or challenges to obtain them. Many puzzles will use the new abilities, known as Runes, to traverse the Shrines. These Runes vary from standard bombs to a Rune that lets you lift metal objects magnetically.
During combat, there will be a huge variety of weapons for Link to use, from traditional swords and arrows, to being able to take weapons from enemies, such as clubs and pitchforks. However, these weapons will deteriorate over time, so players should be on the lookout for new weapons at all times. As well as there being new weapons, stealth elements have been added to sneak up on enemies, featuring a sound meter which shows how quietly Link is sneaking around the terrain. Players can also perform new offensive and defensive manoeuvres to slow time and strike the opponent with multiple blows.
New amiibo have also been revealed for Breath of the Wild; Rider Link, Archer Link and the Guardian, which is an enemy found within the game. Their use ingame has yet to be revealed, but the Wolf Link amiibo from Twilight Princess HD is also compatible, and gameplay with it was shown on Treehouse Live. When the amiibo is tapped, Wolf Link will join Link as a partner to help attack enemies on his own. The amount of hearts Wolf Link has can be raised completing the Cave of Shadows on Twilight Princess HD. It’s nice to see old amiibo being used in a significant way in newer games, it is personally one of my favourite amiibo functionalities to date.
There is so much more to see just from the demo shown at E3 that I would recommend you check out the gameplay yourself on Nintendo’s YouTube channel. For someone that has found it difficult to get into the Zelda series before, I am excited that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be a game that could sway my opinions. I’m looking forward to seeing more from this game before its release in 2017.