Nintendo's upcoming Legend of Zelda for the Wii U has been kept under wraps for such a long time. It's easily one of the most anticipated games of 2016 but we know so very little about it. Well, some of that has changed now that producer Eiji Aonuma let loose what they have in store for gamers and what direction they're taking with the game.
Techno Buffalo picked up the story about the direction Nintendo is taking with Legend of Zelda from a Kotaku piece that translated an interview that Aonuma had with the Japanese gaming magazine, Famitsu.
Aonuma explained that they wanted to reinvent The Legend of Zelda in a way that's equivalent to the milestone achievement they reached with Ocarina of Time for the N64. The producer stated in the interview...
I think the base of our secret sauce has always been Ocarina of Time. But this time, the change in flavor will be like going from Japanese food to Western style food. Perhaps, players will be surprised.
That's a very peculiar thing to say.
In a way it makes sense because Ocarina of Time was the first Legend of Zelda entry that was in 3D and it was the first game on the N64. It was such a massive departure from what gamers had experienced on the SNES with Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past. The game's 3D adventuring and semi-open world exploration was just such huge departure from most other games out during that time.
Aonuma comparing this upcoming Wii U release of The Legend of Zelda to Ocarina of Time is equivalent to saying that they're reinventing the wheel, which is basically what happened with the N64 release almost 20 years ago.
Based on what we've seen of the upcoming title, it's definitely very ambitious. The mounted combat looks really good and very dynamic; it almost has a cinematic quality to its design, with players capable of firing arrows or wielding Link's sword against enemies while on horseback and doing so in a way that one might expect to see in an anime. It's definitely a big step up, cinematically, from the combat in Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Also the game will use the “if you can see it, you can go there” modus operandi when it comes to traveling and exploration. The world is absolutely mammoth and Aonuma and crew seem to be channeling Skyrim with the latest Zelda title when it comes to world expanse and exploration. There are no complaints from me about that.
There have been some hints and speculation that this newest title may move away from relying as heavily on the puzzle elements that the series has been known for, but again we haven't seen enough to make any sort of final judgments about that. I'm more-so curious how NPC interaction will be handled and what sort of world interactions will be available outside of picking up fruit to restore health?
I suppose we'll find out exactly what they have in store when The Legend of Zelda launches for the Wii U sometime later this year. There is also a consistently present rumor that the game may be a cross-generational release on the Nintendo NX, but Nintendo hasn't said anything about that... yet.