Israel Imru/El Observador
Despite Nintendo being the forgotten, fallen player of the big 3 console manufacturers, everybody – and I mean everybody – looks forward to their new AAA games. This time around it’s Nintendo’s most critically-acclaimed, most universally-loved franchise that is garnering attention.
Unveiled before a live-internet audience, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s 6th 3D, main-line video game from the Legend of Zelda franchise, and direct successor to the Wii’s Skyward Sword. This is the first peek into the game that Nintendo has shown us beyond a simple teaser; it appears to have been absolutely worth the wait. The trailer does a tremendous job of showing us where this new iteration differs from previous 3D entries and it has everybody in an absolute frenzy.
Through previous Zelda games, the over-arching formula began to grow a bit stale: Link explores a themed-dungeon, grabs the main item from a large chest, and then proceeds to use that item to gain access to new areas in sequential order. In their most-recent 3DS Zelda title, A Link Between Worlds (ALBW), Nintendo implemented a system in which the main items used for exploration — the ones typically found in dungeons – could be bought in any order. This change sounds insignificant but it was impactful and universally loved, namely because it allowed the player to focus on exploration of the world, something we had not quite seen since their initial release of The Legend of Zelda back on the original NES. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, Nintendo is using a similar design tactic with BotW.
With the recent slew of very-good games with heavy emphasis on exploration (Metal Gear Solid V, The Witcher 3, GTA 5), it appears as though Breath of the Wild (BotW) aims to bring some of those exploration features to a beautiful reimagining of Hyrule as an open-world. Nintendo, despite recent console woes, has proven to be among the best developers in the world, still at the top of their game. It is the sole reason why we as fans are so trusting in Nintendo’s ability to deliver on what appears to be new ground for the esteemed team. It is very easy to build out an open-world, but it a completely different story to flesh out that world and have it be enjoyable and feel alive. If Nintendo can pull it off, we may have an all-timer on our hands in 2017.
Going back to the trailer, it marveled us with shots of Link rock-climbing, parachuting off mountain-tops, and even cutting down trees to cross a river. From the looks of it, not only will there be plenty of traditional exploration, but also traversing difficult and varied terrain seem to be a major part of the game. The physics engine appears to provide us gamers with tons of sandbox-y fun, including creating large brush fires, among other things. Open-world exploration with world-class Nintendo puzzles using an advanced physics engine has me already looking forward to plunking down some money for Nintendo’s next console, the NX.
And so, despite recent struggles, despite the swift and early demise of the Wii U, Nintendo continues to impress with their un-matched talent to bring insane levels of excitement from even the coldest of fans. I truly believe that despite all of the criticism we shell out to Nintendo, the gaming industry — even the world — is a much better place when Nintendo is out there innovating and giving us 100% of their heart and effort.