Lets see what all the fuss is about for Nintendo’s newest Legend of Zelda
The Electronics and Entertainment Expo was in full swing on Tuesday and Nintendo was at the forefront with their newest Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild. Video game fans may think Nintendo is dying or on the way out but E3-goers were going to the Zelda booth in droves. To play the demo, you needed a ticket that you received in the extremely long line. By the time you got into the booth and look at your watch, you realized you waited 2.5 to 3 hours inline but was the wait worth it?
For starters the booth area was decked out in decorations for the newest installment in the franchise. Combine that with the t-shirt and the commemorative coin received for playing both demos and Nintendo was the talk of the E3 show floor! The first demo let you get your feet wet in the new surroundings, without a real purpose to what you were doing. The second demo had more of a purpose and it let you see the beginning of the main story. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Breath of the Wild as the game and Nintendo did the best they could by letting you get a taste in the demo, which lasts about 30-45 minutes.
It wouldn’t be a Zelda game without challenges and puzzles and by the looks of things; this game will have them in spades. You will have to use all your knowledge and skills to get through this adventure. You might need to find a certain weapon that an enemy is carrying and the only way to get it is to defeat said enemy. This time around, you can return enemy fire with their own weapons but there is a catch to the weapons, they’re fragile. This type of gameplay reminds of the Big Goron sword where the first one could break and the player needed to get the better blade that wouldn’t break.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is taking a lot of the norms in the LOZ universe and taking them in a different direction. You’ll be able to cook and use your culinary skills to replenish health. This adds another puzzle solving element by not knowing where your next food source is going to come from. This will force players to think on their feet by deciding what to cook and how often. There is a slight RPG element to the game where you can equip new clothes to “Link.” You’ll be able to find new articles of clothing to boost your defenses for example.
Link is able to climb mountains or other surfaces he comes across during his journey. You’ll also be able to jump for the first time in the franchise’s history and that might not seem like a big deal but trust me, it is. Your stamina meter will decrease the more you do things like climb the side of a mountain or run. I have never been a fan of stamina but it keeps the feel of semi-realism Nintendo is going for. Players will also be able to explore shrines to discover new treasure for their adventure, such as runes. Runes are special power-ups that will make your adventure easier such as the Magnesis Rune that allows Link to lift metal objects.
The landscape and locations of the game look fantastic. Sometimes Nintendo takes heat for the graphic direction they take the Legend of Zelda games but the graphics fit the game! Nintendo adds items to the Zelda franchise in a way that feels like they have to. They did it with the Stone of Agony in Ocarina of Time and it appears that this trend continues with Breath of the Wild. The Sheikah Slate is Link’s GamePad that works as a map and guiding device. You’ll be able to activate/unlock locations with the Sheikah Slate. Who knows what else the in-game GamePad can do?
For all the praise I’m heaping on Breath of the Wild’s demo, there were something’s that didn’t rub me the right way. For starters, the stamina gauge is back in the fold. It was in Skyward Sword and like I mentioned before, it adds to the semi-realist feeling Nintendo is going for with this Zelda game. If the in-game world is as big as it looks, being able to run without worry about your stamina would have been great. The weather/climate affecting the landscape could also affect your stamina. Only time will tell how much of a factor stamina will play in the final version of the game.
The controller layout didn’t do it for me either. What I mean by this is the controller scheme felt like it was trying to do too much. There were times where I wanted to use one weapon, like the bow and arrows, and I would take out the bombs. At least you can detonate them when you feel like and there are different types of bombs to use. A few times, I found myself throwing my weapon rather than attacking with it.
It will be interesting to see how the Breath of the Wild changes over the last months of development. It was lagging a little bit in the demo sessions and there wasn’t a whole lot of action on screen. The game looks and sounds great but I didn’t expect anything else from Nintendo on this one.