Nintendo's campaign of extreme secrecy has whipped up fan fervor again as by the time the curtain went up on today's E3 announcement for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, everyone was ready to finally see what the creative team had cooked up this time. Showcasing a ruined Hyrule where technology had made progress against magic, a slumbering Link awakened in a mysterious chamber and was sent out into the untamed wilds of the E3 demo. Check out this trailer to see what everyone is talking about:
I'm intrigued by the new additions to the Zelda formula. Link's weapons and clothing have RPG-style statistics attached to them, he can only regain health by finding and eating food, basically everything in the environment is interactive in some way (burnable grass, choppable trees, etc.). The traditional eight or so dungeons have been scaled down to a mere four with dozens of smaller puzzle shrines filling the gap. They added a dedicated jump button! There's so much potential here for something new and engaging. Maybe I'm just not in the E3 zone this year because while I like what I see here and am looking forward to playing the game when it releases next year for Wii U and NX, I can't say that it rocked my world or that "2017 seems so far away!" or any of the other usual E3 game preview boilerplate we writers use to pad out word lengths when running on a deadline with little sleep. I'm not interested in getting caught up in the online debates about whether or not Link should be female this time or if the E3 demo region is too empty or if the changes to the formula will Ruin Everything Forever. I don't want to analyze every single frame of the trailer and gameplay videos. All I can say is that I like what I see, Hyrule looks like a fun place in which to get lost, and I will happily show up to play the game whenever it's finished.