The Legend of Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma has revealed the first details about the game’s Wii U debut during Nintendo’s E3 2014 livestream, including a first glimpse at the game’s more open nature and cel-shaded look.
According to Aonuma, the project has been underscored by the desire to recapture the more open-ended sense of the original, top-down Zelda titles. “In the earlier releases of Legend of Zelda games, players got to explore a wide area, going up, down, left, and right. However, after the game changed to 3D and the hardware evolved, it became harder to make that feeling of one large world,” he said. “We had to design small bounded areas with a small entrance and exit. You couldn’t cut through the boundaries wherever you’d like to explore that world.”
With the first Wii U Zelda, that will be changing. You’ll be able to enter areas from any direction and complete major sections of the game in any order you wish, eschewing the linear, dungeon-by-dungeon format of most 3D Zelda games. Exactly how that will play out in the game remains to be seen, but the one small portion of the game we saw made it seem like, well, Skyrim-style exploration in Hyrule. Hard to get more exciting than that.
Expect to hear more about The Legend of Zelda for Wii U in the future, if not at E3 than in the run-up to the game’s 2015 release.