Last night Nintendo revealed some brand-spanking-new footage from their eagerly anticipated Legend of Zelda title headed to the Wii U next year. If you haven't seen it yet, rectify that immediately!
While the footage shed next to no light on the actual story of the game, it did show some interesting new game play features as well as the absolute immensity of the game’s over world. While there is not a ton of juicy details to uncover, there are a few observations I made which merit being pointed out.
First of all, Miyamoto-san and Aonuma-san made it quite clear that this title will be released next year. Since it will likely be one of, if not the biggest title Nintendo releases for 2015 I would assume we can look forward to seeing this game released during the holiday next year. Miyamoto also casually remarked that Star Fox for the Wii U will also be released next year, before Zelda. If I were a betting man, I would say we are looking at a late summer, early fall release for Star Fox. They also reminded us that Majora’s Mask is being released for the 3DS next year as well. Take a moment to realize how incredible 2015 is going to be for Nintendo fans.
Now on to the footage of Zelda U. It’s obvious now that Nintendo is really pushing the immensity of the overworld as one of the game’s main selling points, and with good reason; it is absolutely massive! Judging by the map on the Wii U game pad I would say the new Hyrule is roughly the size of Skyrim, though it may be even bigger. Of course its hard to say for sure, but I believe the Wii U would be capable of handling a map that size.
Not only is the new Hyrule gigantic, it is absolutely beautiful. I think it was a brilliant idea showing the world off at sunset. When Link steps up to a high precipice overlooking the world, I thought it looked absolutely stunning. The fact that you can jump from high places and float down using the Sailcloth to land safely is absolutely brilliant, as it offers a pragmatic way to get around as well as a chance to see the world from a beautiful point of view while traveling.
The world also seems to be populated, at least with enemies and animal life. One of my main complaints with Skyward Sword was how empty the overworld (particularly the Sky) was. In the demonstration for Zelda U you can see apples on the trees (apples Link can eat), insects in the grass, and at one point, a herd of wild horses. All of these details lead me to believe that Aonuma’s team has taken Zelda back to its roots by crafting a game focused on unfettered exploration. Thank the goddess!
Lastly I wanted to touch on some new gameplay features showcased in the demonstration. The most noticeable is the fact that if you so choose, you do not have to direct Epona. She will keep riding, avoid trees and other obstacles, like a real horse. This makes aiming your bow, swing your sword and looking around much easier, which hopefully means improved horseback combat. One of the coolest new features, is Link’s ability to jump off Epona, in slow motion while aiming his bow. This means you can jump into a group of enemies, picking one or two off with your bow before hitting the ground. I am way excited to see this mechanic in action!
So there you have it. Did I miss anything from the demonstration? What are you looking forward to the most in Zelda U? Take a moment and let us know in the comments below!
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