After years of waiting, it’s finally here. The new Legend of Zelda game is called Breath of the Wild, and it looks absolutely incredible. I’m watching the E3 Treehouse presentation live, and writing down some of my thoughts here during the downtime between new segments, for whoever’s interested. This is going to be a lot of bullet points, so bear with me!
- Link wakes up at the beginning of the game. This is supposed to be a game about breaking Zelda tradition, but Link being asleep at the beginning is something that I think it’s OK to leave intact.
- The Sheikah Slab. This mysterious slab (named for the Zelda race) picked up at the beginning of the game helps to control certain objects that were referred to by the players as “technology”. The design of the Slab and tech seemed to resemble the Timeshift stones from 2011’s Skyward Sword.
- I waited over the part where Link exits the cave and sees the world for the first time. No spoilers!
- This game is absolutely breathtaking. The players were talking about dynamic weather effects, and the day and night cycle affecting things like climbing mountains or fighting enemies.
- Speaking of fighting enemies, the plateau that the demo restricts players to is huge, and also in Bokoblin territory. When Link emerges outside, and stumbles upon the Temple of Time, it can be seen that this world is very overgrown and wild, and monsters like Bokoblins have essentially taken control.
- One of the first things the players did (after Bill Trinen’s little “project”) was climb to the highest height on the plateau, which was a mountain capped with snow. Gorgeous.
- From what I can tell, copious amounts of clothing, weapons and shields can be picked up and used, each doing different things and degrading in different ways. I just hope that the Master Sword dosen’t degrade.
- You can also get consumable items everywhere, that do things like restore your health. There are no longer any hearts in the grass, but you can eat apples or steak, or other things to regain your health.
- I think it’s pretty cool how you’re able to use the Sheikah Slab to conjure up different types of bombs or use magnetic powers. You get the Sheikah Slab powers in shrines.
- Shrines are like mini-dungeons. Some are puzzle oriented, some are combat oriented, some, I assume, lean on both. But each use different Sheikah Slab powers, and there are apparently over one hundred of them throughout the world. That should also give a clue as to how many Sheikah powers there could be to be used.
- It was also stated that Shrines are not Dungeons. Dungeons are their own thing, and still serve their traditional purpose.
- In the distance, far off from the plateau, certain structures can be seen. A massive volcano (Death Mountain?) looms, and what appears to be Hyrule Castle (just my guess) can be seen with some sort of purple energy pulsing around it. In the trailer, as well as the Game Awards footage from 2014, I picked out a bridge that looked suspiciously like the Great Bridge of Hylia from Twilight Princess.
- The Wolf Link Amiibo, when connected, actually spawns Wolf Link into the game. He runs around with the health that you finished the Cave of Shadows in Twilight Princess HD with.
- There’s also an Archer Link figure, a figure of Link riding a horse, and an Amiibo with a Guardian that sports fully poseable tentacles. I don’t collect Amiibo, but really for no particular reason, so I might have to check some (including these newcomers) out someday.
- The guys at Nintendo keep insisting (with reason) that items will only give a little pop-up with an explanation of what they are the first time you get them. Ever. That’s nice, because I wasn’t too crazy on being reminded what an Amber Relic was for the fortieth time in Skyward Sword.
- That comes in handy, because we’ll be doing a lot of collecting. There’s a full fledged cooking/alchemy system in the game, giving Link the ability to combine any consumable items, and make brews, potions, or other items that do more impressive things. Red potion for hearts, stamina potion, items that add extra hearts or give you more time in cold or hot areas are all on the table.
- From what I gather, the music is mostly ambient. I’ve heard some specific tracks for battles and Shrines, but the overworld dosen’t really have a real theme. Instead, it’s some very light tunes mixed with real world sounds, like the wind over grass, or birds chirping. That sounds awesome in-game, but I’m worried it may be less memorable in the long term. I think that I might be less inclined to pull up the Breath of the Wild soundtrack (just to listen to) later, rather than The Wind Waker or Twilight Princess.
- Another Shrine from outside of the plateau was shown, and utilizes way more than one of the Sheikah Slab’s powers to solve a lot of puzzles. This is pretty nice, as I wouldn’t want the game getting too easy.
OK, that’s the whole thing! I spent most of my day watching in giddy glee as Breath of the Wild was shown off, and Nintendo promised more tomorrow. I’m not sure what that’ll be, so I can’t promise to write about it, but if it’s half as good as what I saw today, I’ll be happy.