What’s the first game that gave you that “Skyrim feeling?” That feeling that you’ve got a whole huge world to explore laid out in front of you and you can do whatever you want?
For me, and I’m sure for a lot of gamers, it was The Legend of Zelda for the NES. Zelda was always an “open-world” game, but as time marched on and the series moved into 3D, that openness shrunk more and more to manageable, bite-sized chunks that would fit in the memory of Nintendo’s consoles. And Elder Scrolls and other games were where I turned to get that sense of wonder I first felt playing Zelda on my friend’s NES on their 13-inch black-and0white TV.
But that seems to have changed in the 2015 Wii U Legend of Zelda title announced yesterday as part of E3. The first thing Nintendo showed is a character, most likely Link, on horseback standing in front of a vast open field. And just like in every open-world game demo ever, you’re told that, yes, you can go to those mountains in the distance.
Producer Eiji Aonuma says this scope is something Nintendo wanted to do for a long time, before revealing the beautiful vista that will be part of the game’s world. Aonuma says that without boundaries you can enter any area in the game from any direction, and that will play a part in the puzzle solving and create new types of gameplay that haven’t been seen in the Zelda series.