A large majority of this year’s E3 conference reveals were leaked, but I still found myself surprised by the games that were announced. My current most anticipated titles are Sea of Thieves, Scalebound, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Quake Champions, and Resident Evil 7. The game that actually surprised me the most however, wasn’t actually supposed to. Nintendo’s E3 was set for failure and honestly they didn’t have an actual presentation. Instead they gave time to a title that proved it deserved it The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Looking at the name should tell you a lot about the direction the game is going in. Since I was at work, I wasn’t able to watch the live stream so instead, it was an audio experience for me. For the first time ever, I heard a voice spoken in a Zelda game which threw chills down my spine. The score escalated as the trailer continued and set me ablaze with vigor. When I finally got the chance to watch it, I was stuck with the thought of how very reminiscent it was of the original Legend of Zelda.
The biggest complaint of recent Zelda titles has been too much handholding and a lack of freedom. The last 3D title, Skyward Sword, basically made it so you had multiple hubs within an over world to jump into. Don’t get me wrong, I adore that game since parachuting into the underworld was exhilarating to say the least. My biggest gripe was I couldn’t just run around smacking dudes like in the top down 2D titles.
What The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has (re)captured is similar to the old titles is the feeling of exploratory freedom. The original Zelda and Link to the Past had a few item gates but for the most part you could run around anywhere on the over world and get destroyed by creatures you just weren’t ready to fight. Instead of a high level of exposition, you’re given a high level of gameplay with the story as a bonus.
Breath of the wild seems to return to this tradition while pushing the series forward as well. The old formula is still there but now we have the option to grab weapons from enemies, use runes to wreak havoc, challenge shrines at our leisure, and discover secrets in the world in an organic way. Not to mention the sick cooking mini games they showed off!
There is so much more to say about what this game has gotten right but the proof is in the pudding. They were able to maintain and audience of ~198k people for three hours watching them just run around the ruined Hyrule, climbing mountains, killing gobs, and eating apples. If that doesn’t speak volumes of the new direction then nothing can.
Nintendo looks to be attempting to bring true exploration back to the series and I can hardly contain myself with glee. It’ll be a long hard wait for maybe one of the most ambitious Zelda title in over a decade.
Andron (or Ace as he likes to call himself) is the so called "Head Honcho" of Bombchu.com. He has a deep passion for video games primarily RPGs, Fighting or Adventure. When not gaming, he's furiously typing on his keyboard or coming up with new schemes.