After two years of teasing, the upcoming Zelda title for the Wii U and NX has an official title, new gameplay trailer, and over 4 hours of additional footage.
Two years after a seemingly spontaneous reveal, the open-world Legend of Zelda title finally has an official title, and over four hours of gameplay content to boot. Though it was originally projected to release this year, the newly titled “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind” was delayed into 2017 to allow for Nintendo to both further polish the game, and have a simultaneous release on the Wii U and upcoming Nintendo NX. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind is the first confirmed game for Nintendo’s new console, alongside Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2017.
With the initial E3 2014 reveal and E3 2015 gameplay preview now distant memories, Nintendo pulled no punches with E3 2016, showcasing more than four hours of gameplay from Breath of the Wind during their Zelda-themed Nintendo Treehouse E3 broadcast. The debut trailer spans across what appears to be an overgrown Hyrule, with iconic monuments of the franchise showing signs of weathering. Fans are given a better look at the latest incarnation of Link, who- despite previous rumors regarding Linkle’s return– will be male in the new game. Breath of the Wind includes survival gameplay elements, such as Link hunting and cooking in the wilds of Hyrule. While previous games in the Zelda franchise enabled Link to climb up vine-laden surfaces, it appears that the new “Hero of Time” can now climb most surfaces, akin to the protagonists of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It’s worth noting that within the 4+ hours of gameplay footage, Link is never seen wearing his trademark green tunic; the new version of Link can be seen wearing the blue tunic from the debut 2014 footage, a light-green shirt and shorts, and shirtless as he swims through a river. Interestingly enough, Link is shown multiple times sporting a full set of armor- minus the helmet- swinging a new sword and shield.
As with Nintendo’s other high-profile releases, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wind will receive exclusive Amiibo figurines- plural, as in three. Their in-game properties were not shown during Nintendo’s Zelda-extravaganza, however the “Archer”, “Rider” and “Guardian” Amiibo figures are expected to launch alongside the game in 2017; the Archer Amiibo depicts Link with the bow as seen in the 2014 teaser, Rider with a cloaked Link on horseback, and the self-explanatory Guardian featuring flexible limbs. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD‘s “Wolf Link” Amiibo will be compatible with Breath of the Wild, allowing players to summon Wolf Link as an AI-controlled animal companion:
Obsessed fans are already dissecting the Breath of the Wind footage, frantically searching for any additional clues regarding the plot, and location in the official Zelda timeline; the Zelda franchise has one of the more confusing video game timelines, as the series branches into three “What If” paths following The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time– the “Child Link”, “Adult Link”, and “The Hero Fails” timelines. Breath of the Wild has yet to be placed into the timeline, however fans have already noticed several locations and nods to other titles, including Twilight Princess, The Wind Waker and the 1986 Legend of Zelda.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will release for the Wii U and Nintendo NX in 2017, alongside three new Breath of the Wild Amiibos. The full set of gameplay footage can be found strewn throughout Nintendo’s official YouTube channel, or in a currently updating Breath of the Wild playlist.