For the first time, Nintendo showcased gameplay for their flagship Legend of Zelda franchise this morning at E3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an expansive new entry to a series which helped pioneer open-world gameplay, and it draws considerable influence from games like Ocarina of Time.
From what we’ve seen so far, the game is beautifully rendered, drawn, and animated. As the presenters noted, the style and bright colors of the landscape are reminiscent of art painted with gouache, a type of thick water paint. Music is more sparse than in previous Zelda games, enhancing the feeling of being lost in the great expanse.
An anime-inspired Link is immediately greeted with a sunswept grassy plateau, and meets a mysterious (and voice acted) old man who tells him that this is the birthplace of Hyrule. Link quickly gains access to an axe, which is not only a weapon but also a tool for chopping down trees for resources. Trees, by the way, can be climbed, and long grass can be cleared with a sword. Link can switch quickly between his sword, axe, and other usable items.
Players will soon be faced with combat situations, which are well animated and appear to control well. Enemy weapons can be stolen and used to the player’s advantage. After his first fight, Link comes across stunning Hyrulian ruins, but it’s worth noting that the player might go a completely different direction than the presenters.
Breath of the Wild plays, at first glance, like an open-world survival game, in which finding food and resources is essential, and exploration is key. The narrative isn’t immediately apparent: instead, Nintendo takes a page out of From Software’s book and focuses on environmental storytelling.
The presenters have promised no-spoilers gameplay all day, so feel free to tune in to the Nintendo stream for a taste of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Image credits: comingsoon.net