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Nintendo Breathes the Wild into The Legend of Zelda

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Nintendo kicked off its E3 2016 livestream with a downright beautiful trailer for their upcoming Zelda game which will drop in 2017 on Wii U and their unreleased console, NX. It turns out Nintendo wasn’t making it up after all.

You really should forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda series because Breath of Wild is a whole new addition and it’s nothing like we’ve seen before.

The live demo showed off the new features of the game, giving us a taste of what we can look forward to in 2017. The most prominent aspect of the game is, well, the world is enormous. Hyrule feels more alive and vibrant than ever before; this is to be expected considering the demo only represented 1% of the game and the map is reported to be over 12 times the size of the entire area of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. 

Don’t fret though because Link has has some new features too. With Link’s new jump ability, he is able to climb trees and scale mountains as well as swim and glide around Hyrule. A stamina bar indicates how long Link can exert himself before you need to find a ledge and recover. A new tool has also been attached to Link’s belt, called the Sheikah Slate, which gives Link access to magical abilities.

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While health is still measured in hearts, spawning hearts and potions have been replaced by cooked or raw foods to replenish life. This leaves so many options open for recipes. Simply cut down a tree, get your fire burning and make yourself a gourmet meal that will heal you right up and give your stats and stamina a boost for a short time (depending on what you make). Cook up rock salt and insects, for example, and you’ve made a health potion. Similar to foraging, you’ll find tools all around the world to assist you in your quest, but note that weapons do break. A ‘rusty broadsword’ is one of the first weapons you’ll find which will break after a few enemy encounters so you’ll have to keep searching for new items.

From the glimpse we’ve had, the gameplay is more true to life than the previous games and brings a contemporary play style without losing its core values. Just from this teaser, it’s bound to be a success. Nintendo have taken this classic series in a refreshing new direction where you are simply thrown into a world and it’s up to you to find your way around. Breath of the Wild may be the open world Zelda game we have always wanted.