“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” Demoed & Detailed
Nintendo went this long without really telling us a single detail about their upcoming Zelda title, and then they go and do a full gameplay demo for us at E3!
They keep reassuring everyone that what is shown at E3 is only a small fraction of the whole world and game – but remember to only take E3 promises with a grain of salt.
Breath of the Wild is all about “breaking the conventions of previous Zelda games” – though it does start with Link waking up, keeping some roots in their traditions.
“Open your eyes…”
The gameplay demoed live was played on a Wii U unit, which helps ease concerns that they might be showing us higher-end NX gameplay and Wii U owners might get a downgraded experience.
This is the first Zelda title to integrate technology in with the world, with a magical flair to it. It will be interesting to see how this effects the world. It also seemed like this would be the first time that voice acting was fully involved, but as the demo went on, only a single mysterious voice was used, no voices for Link or other NPCs.
Players will still play as Link, not Linkle. They did play with the idea of using Zelda as the main character, producer Eiji Aonuma told Gamespot.
“We thought about it,” said Aonuma, “and decided that if we’re going to have a female protagonist it’s simpler to have Princess Zelda as the main character.” “…if we have princess Zelda as the main character who fights, then what is Link going to do? Taking into account that, and also the idea of the balance of the Triforce, we thought it best to come back to this [original] makeup.”
I mean… why can’t we have a game with just Zelda or Linkle, and not Link? That’s kinda the point. But hey, I’m not Nintendo.
Players are thrown right into this wide, open world with minimal backstory given at first. The environment hints that something bigger has happened, and players can learn the backstories and concepts little-by-little at their own pace.
The game features an art style resembling Japanese animation and “open air painting” – which they’ve tried to blend into the music and sound effects to make “a truly seamless Hyrule.” They wanted to have the music truly represent what happens in-game instead of just looping the soundtrack, with sound effects blended in with the music.
You can equip clothes in the new Zelda!
— Twitch (@Twitch) June 14, 2016
“This is easily one of the biggest experiences ever created by Nintendo.”
Items & Combat
There are items scattered throughout the environment, and players can interact with and navigate through the environment in any way they wish – running, jumping, swimming, climbing, gliding, etc.
We also got a look at combat, learning that player gear will break over time. Players will have to continue to loot new weapons from the enemies they defeat. Player health can be healed by food items like the Hylian Shrooms. (Nintendo and their mushrooms…)
Players can come across enemy encampments and choose how to approach them, or to approach at all. If players get perfect timing to startle enemies, time slows, making it easier to perform combos or “Flurry Rush” attacks.
The game has many survival elements, requiring players to collect food and resources, and keep themselves alive.
“It’s not linear or anything, you just choose your own adventure.”
Players have a chance to surprise enemies before they grab their weapons, depending on how quickly or sneakily they approach.
Weather & Time
We also learned that there are dynamic weather events and night and day cycles that affect every aspect of in-game exploration. Enemies sleep at night, campfires are put out in the rain, rain also makes climbing slippery, areas that are too cold require thicker clothes to survive, etc.
For most of the gameplay demoed, no weather elements were present, but they did have some night scenes.
Dungeon crawling and shrines were also featured.
Nintendo will be showcasing the game all day, so I’ll continue to update as more details are unveiled!
Is this the NX? pic.twitter.com/MeoDfIV8kx
— ZhugeEX (@ZhugeEX) June 14, 2016
Like with the Twilight Princess HD, Wii U users can use the Wolf Link Amiibo on their Wii U gamepad (after using a Rune in their Sheika Tablet in-game) to summon Wolf Link in as a partner character.
Wolf Link will travel with players throughout their gameplay until he runs out of hearts. He starts with the same number of hearts as you last saved him in Twilight Princess HD. If Wolf Link runs out of hearts in-game, you can wait one real-life day and summon him back in.
Players can whistle to bring Wolf Link back to the player if they get separated.
Wolf Link still has the chain on his leg from his imprisonment in Twilight Princess HD.
The Wolf can assist in combat and hunt wild animals for the player to collect meat from. He can sniff out items, as well.
There are new Amiibos for Breath of the Wild, as well. These – such as Rider Link and Archer link – are incredibly detailed and still manage to represent the art style of the new game.
The Guardian Amiibo is the first Amiibo with opposable legs – all of the legs can be positioned as the player wants. (Though the pre-production model on-set could not do this.)
The most important change to the Zelda franchise is adding a skeleton arm weapon that tries to grab Link's butt. pic.twitter.com/C0gdjZTZMC
— Chris Person (@Papapishu) June 14, 2016
Instead of cutting grass to heal, players have to eat. They can eat meat from the various animals around them (which varies based on the time of day), or go veggie-only. Even fireflies at night can have some special benefits to eating them.
Players can cook their meat various different ways (on fire, in a pot, etc.) to get different final food with better heart-healing, and so on.
Players can combine foods in a pot for even more benefits for eating – such as full healing and temporary heart gains.
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