The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will be the first game in the series to launch with an HD release, and the second HD Zelda experience after The Wind Waker HD. Nintendo isn’t giving us too much information about this upcoming action-adventure game, and there’s not even a mention of it on the official Zelda website, but we still know enough to give you a preview of what to expect.
The Legend of Zelda definitely set the standard for a adventure games back in the day by having the most open-world experience you can get on a SNES or Nintendo 64 console, but there later releases have somewhat failed to innovate when it comes to an open adventure. Nowadays, we have dozens of games that give us the ability to choose our own path in a truly open-world environment. If you’re a fan of the Zelda series then you will buy their games just because, but if you’re not, it might be hard to comprehend what’s so great about it.
This upcoming Wii U game will feature an open-world where there’s more than one way to get to a specific place, and where players will have much more freedom than they did in the previous titles. You get to choose your destination and how you want to travel across the land. If you want to walk that’s okay, and if you want to move faster with your horse Epona, that’s okay too. From the previews we’ve seen, it looks like Epona has had a nice upgrade, and the horse can avoid obstacles for you while you focus on taking down enemies with your bow and arrow. Turns out, Link is really good at multitasking!
Link can also hop off Epona and enter what they call bullet time, which allows him to have better aim when shooting his bow.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U will feature the largest open-world possible, and it has been confirmed that the world in this Zelda game is as large as the Wii U will allow. During the preview at E3 2014, Aonuma say he wants to take the game back to its roots with a continuous open world, where players are able to visit all the areas in whatever order they wish. “That’s a convention we should keep.”
Right now, we understand the Wii U has hardware limitations that will prevent the world from being as large as other open-world titles, but it’s definitely going to be the largest world in a Zelda game to date. During The Video Game Awards, Aonuma showed us how the gamepad can be used to view the map, and we got to see him zoom in and out to get a glimpse of how large the world really is.
During that presentation, we saw various landmarks, one which we think is Death Mountain, although we aren’t sure what it is at this point. It was a volcano area surrounded by rivers of lava, so it sounds like Death Mountain, and there was a lake on the map with a small island in the middle. Some of the stuff on the map looks familiar, but Zelda has had so many changes over the years its hard to say what is what until we know for sure.
Eiju Aonuma teased fans by saying the character in the game’s trailer may not be Link, and as you can imagine this caused a great deal of speculation as to who the character actually is. Later on, Aonuma did admit that the main character is in fact Link, so don’t panic! “Having someone think ‘Huh? Is this Zelda?!’ at first, then ‘Oh, it is Zelda,’ is what we’re going for. Something that wouldn’t make it matter whether Link or Princess Zelda appear in it or not. Something where it wouldn’t even matter if Zelda is actually a princess, or not.”
Aonuma made it very clear that they’re interested in making The Legend of Zelda different from the other titles, breaking the series’ tradition and changing the character’s roles in the game. It isn’t clear if they went that far, or if they just want to make the plot a little more unexpected, but we can expect to see some ‘different’ stuff in one!
Just like in the previous Zelda titles, Link will equip himself with a bow and arrow, as we can see from the E3 2014 reveal. This time, his bow is a little more powerful than usual, and in the preview we see the arrow transform into a bird-like shape and take down a lone enemy. Speculation suggest it might have some relation to the Skyward power if you’re familiar with The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword then you will understand.
Besides the transforming arrow, the only other weapon we know about right now are the bomb arrows, as we see Link load two of them into the bow before exploding the enemy on impact.
Right now we don’t know the details on the enemies, all we’ve seen from the E3 2014 trailer was a single Peahat-like enemy with a glowing head and tentacles. It had a cool ability to emit beams and set the area on fire, but right now that’s all we know. Hopefully Nintendo will start releasing more information on the characters and enemies as the launch date gets closer.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is coming next year, hopefully during Q1 or Q2. As of now there isn’t an official release date for the game, but make sure you get a Wii U for Christmas if you’ve been waiting for it! We know it will have the largest open-world of any Zelda game yet, more cool weapons (although we only know the details of two, we expect to see more cool stuff as the release date gets closer), and better graphics than ever. If you watch the preview videos you will find the cell-shaded, colorful textured graphics look perfect for the The Legend of Zelda and the open-world looks outstanding!