Nintendo Co. Ltd. this week demonstrated The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for Wii U and the Nintendo NX.
In the title, Link awakens after a 100-year sleep to find Hyrule Castle desolate and an evil called Calamity Ganon that grows in power.
First, Link finds the Sheikah Slate, a magical tablet that will unlock doors and guide Link in travel. The tablet is used as a map and users can mark an area with an icon to track it.
Link can equip an Old Shirt and Well-Worn Pants for his initial armor. Subsequent attire will allow Link to brave the cold or add defensive properties.
When out in the wild, users can choose their path to travel to the next destination. The final game will have 100 Shrines of Trials for Link to solve in any order. Some puzzles will require Magnesis, a new magnetic power that can be used to control large objects.
In addition to standard attack and jump options, Link must hunt for food and find weapons to survive. Animals can be killed for meat and meat can be held to a fire to be seared for extra health. Enemy weapons can be used after their death. Demo weapons included a club, spear, and tree branch. There are no hearts to find in the battlefield like prior titles in the series.
Combat is similar to prior titles with extra properties held to weapon weight. Link takes longer to swing a tree axe than a club, and the user can decide which weapon is best for the fight.
Link now has a stamina meter which depletes when he runs or climbs. Link can climb any surface but is limited by the stamina bar. Stamina can increase with certain foods in order to climb steeper mountains.
Controls are tight with great control in combat and movement. New abilities like climb, Magnesis and weapon throws are intuitive, and the new survival options add a level of warfare not found in prior titles.
The graphics engine is beautiful at 30 frames-per-second. The land of Hyrule spans as far as the eye can see to allow users to scout the land and approach the next destination as they choose. A combination of painted landscapes and cel-shaded characters create a wild work of art.
The Legend of Zelda is an open world RPG that will include trademark franchise features including action-based combat, Sailcloth gliding, and horseback travel and combat with Epona.
The final game will include the option to pinpoint locations in the open world via the Wii U GamePad and traverse to the area by several means.
Nintendo in Apr. said the Wii U and NX version of the title have been development in tandem. Both will be sold in 2017.