Today at E3, Nintendo unveiled the new The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. This is a Zelda game unlike any other, and Eiji Aonuma states, “I’ve created this game thinking about breaking the conventions of Zelda.”
The game does contain a few Zelda mainstays as seen in the live gameplay demonstration. Link does wake up in the beginning, just like always, jokes Aonuma. But he wakes up in a Hyrule unlike any we’ve seen before, a wild, open land, with the ruins of the Temple of Time strewn about the grassy plain.
Some of the other series’ firsts are apparent immediately in the live demo: there’s a voiceover (although not all of the characters in the game are voiced), Link can jump, and he can climb on just about any wall or rock. You also won’t find hearts lying about after swinging around your sword; health is regained by eating food Link forages and cooks.
“It’s almost like a survival game, where you have to collect all these items so you can move on with the game,” says Aonuma.
Link can interact with the land in completely new ways, from chopping down trees for firewood to experimenting with moving barrels or large rocks you come across.
While so much of the gameplay is new to the series, you’ll still be breaking pots, opening treasure chests, and hearing a familiar sound when you find an item. But one thing you won’t hear is the theme song on a constant loop. The music has been integrated with the environmental sounds, along with soft piano music to evoke emotion in the player.
As Nintendo’s presentation opened, Reggie Fils-Amie promised The Breath of the Wild is “one of the biggest experiences ever created by Nintendo.” Just a few minutes of the E3 demo proved him right, with the expansive Hyrule plains open to explore–and open to all sorts of possibilities.