The next Legend of Zelda game will come to Wii U in 2015, Nintendo announced.
Wii U’s first original Zelda will feature a vast open world and let players decide upon the order they wish to solve the game’s puzzles.
“In the earlier releases of The Legend of Zelda games, players got to explore a wide area scrolling up down left and right,” series producer Eiji Aonuma said during this morning’s Nintendo E3 Digital Event. “However, after the game transitioned to 3D and the hardware continued to evolve, it became harder to create that feel of being in a vast world.
“In Wind Waker, we used various techniques to create a wide world where you could freely explore many isolated islands. But it was very hard to create one large world where everything felt connected. We had to design small bounded areas with a defined entrance and exit. And putting them all together made them feel like you were playing in a large world. But you still couldn’t cut through teh boundaries whereever you’d like to explore in that world.”
Aonuma snaps his fingers to reveal the new world of The Legend of Zelda.
He continued, “It’ quite a vast world isn’t it? You can even reach those mountains in the distance, if you walk far enough. We couldn’t create such a wide world like this in the past. As far as what you can do with such a vast field to explore, as soon as those boundaries are removed, it means you can enter any area from any direction. So the puzzle solving in this game begins the moment the player starts to think about where they want to go, how they will get there, and what they will do when they arrive.
“This is a clean break from the conventions of past games in the Zelda series, where you had to follow a set path and play through the scenario in the right order. I believe this departure will create opportunities for new gameplay that have not been experienced in previous Zelda games.
“As you know from the Zelda series, the world in these games can be quite peaceful. However, it is a Zelda game, after all, so strong enemies will certainly appear, even in this setting. Powerful enemies appearing in such a peaceful world is one of the defining features of the Zelda series.”
Watch the first footage below. View the first screenshots at the gallery.