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'The Legend of Zelda' Wii U makes an open-world splash at E3 2014

The Legend of Zelda - Wii U
The Legend of Zelda - Wii UPhoto courtesy of Nintendo, used with permission.

The Legend of Zelda” for the Wii U is going open world and giving Link a new look. Nintendo showed off the game for the first time Tuesday during its E3 2014 digital event that appears to open up a slate of new possibilities.

In the Nintendo broadcast, it was discussed that the original “The Legend of Zelda” limited movement to up / down and left / right to create the illusion of an open world. This illusion of a larger world continued through each game of the series. For example, “Wind Waker” was broken into different connected areas,

For the Wii U, “The Legend of Zelda” will be completely open world in what appears to be a nod toward “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” In-game video was shown with Link sitting upon a horse looking over a vast landscape with mountains far away in the background. It was explained that whatever you see, you can travel to without loading different areas.

This opens up new possibilities and tactics in how to take on enemies in the world. Of course, this also gives enemies different ways of hunting down Link.

This led to a sequence where Link was attacked and then chased by a giant monster. Trapped on a bridge over a pond, the iconic character attacked back with a bow before leaping into the air to reveal a not so iconic look.

The action sequence looked entirely pre-rendered so it’s not clear how representative of gameplay it will be for the final product. Nintendo is currently targeting a 2015 release for “The Legend of Zelda” on the Wii U. It’s clearly still in the early stages of development though so it would be safe to assume that it won’t appear during the first half of next year. Instead, a late fall release is the most likely.