The next Legend Of Zelda is finally calling itself an open-world game

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Zelda Wii U

I have way too much love for The Legend Of Zelda. It’s a franchise which has been consistently impressive, even when games in the series haven’t been instant classics. Ever since the series hit the NES, The Legend Of Zelda has always prided itself on being a massive open-world game of dungeons, actions and adventure. But it has never called itself an open-world game until now, with the latest chapter in the saga finally attaching itself to that label.

“When I first showed off the new Zelda game on the Wii U, it seemed everyone was very excited and started proclaiming that a Zelda game had at last become open world! Zelda games have always allowed you to roam and explore a huge world,” series producer Eiji Aonuma told Gamereactor in a recent interview, where he explained the difference between traditional open-world games and his vision for an open-world Zelda game. “What’s changed now is that the hardware has progressed to the point that you can now explore this vast world seamlessly; the underpinning of the game hasn’t changed,” Aonuma said.

And seeing as how this is the first Zelda game for the Wii U, it looks like we’re in for a massive new world to explore, as Aonuma explained:

Ever since we made the very first generation of Legend of Zelda games though, we’ve had as large a world as can be realised with the hardware, so you could say it was inevitable that we’ve now done the same with the new Wii U title.

Nintendo seems to take umbrage with the label of open world. Back in 2014, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto explained that the company preferred to avoid using the term if possible:

I prefer not to use the generally used term ‘open world’ when developing software. This term means that there is a large world in which players can do numerous things daily.  In the traditional Legend of Zelda series, the player would play one dungeon at a time. For example, if there are eight dungeons, at the fourth dungeon, some players may think, ‘I’m already halfway through the game,’ while other players may think, ‘I still have half of the game to play.’

We are trying to gradually break down such mechanism and develop a game style in which you can enjoy The Legend of Zelda freely in a vast world, whenever you find the time to do so.

Well alright then. Bonkers it may be, but so long as the end game has some of that sweet Legend Of Zelda action that I’m craving, they can call the game a freemium MMORPG racing game for all I care.

Last Updated: February 18, 2015

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