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‘Zelda Wii U’ open-world gameplay detailed, GamePad use discussed by producer

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

Nintendo’s Eiji Aonuma has disclosed new information about Zelda Wii U; particularly its open-world design, GamePad use, and new innovative ideas. Though small bits of information have been disclosed over the last several months, there is still much to learn prior to the title’s 2015 release date. Thankfully, we have new information courtesy of the latest issue of Edge. According to a post on the NeoGAF forums from Aug. 26, Eiji Aonuma, producer of Zelda Wii U, has spoken about the game’s open-world, how the player will interact with the game world, and how the title is only possible on Wii U.

At E3 2014, Nintendo and Aonuma confirmed that Zelda Wii U will be an open-world game, but neither would elaborate and explain what this meant. To help illustrate his point, Aonuma would often reference the scale of the world and how players could travel to the mountain range in the distance. Finally, after months of wonder, we have new information as to how Zelda Wii U will approach the open-world style of gameplay. While talking with Edge, Aonuma explained that Zelda Wii U won’t have an open-world in the same way as other games. Find his full comment below:

Since we're talking about open worlds, let's state upfront that we don't plan to have an open world in the same way other companies have been doing in recent years.

How Zelda Wii U will differ from titles like Grand Theft Auto 5 or The Elder Scrolls is unknown. Aonuma continued to discuss how the original Legend of Zelda allowed for players to explore and discover the game for themselves. However, as game design evolved and the worlds grew in complexity, developers soon had to assist players by pointing them in the right direction, thus leading to a more linear experience. Find Aonuma’s full explanation below:

In the original Legend of Zelda, there was no clear way to lead the character to his goal. The player was trusted to find it by themselves. As game worlds became more complex, we had to point players in the right direction. Consequently progress becomes more linear.

To recreate an experience similar to the original, the world needs to have a simple structure that players can understand intuitively. We need to make each part of the world real and connected so it doesn't look fake.

In order to achieve this vision, Aonuma feels that the Wii U GamePad will prove valuable. Citing an example of using the GamePad to depict the game map, Aonuma continues to share that the innovations found in Zelda Wii U are only possible because of the Wii U hardware. He doesn’t share any details as to what these innovations may be, but this hint will certainly get one’s imagination wondering what the development team has planned for Zelda Wii U. You can read Aonuma’s statement below:

We also need a game map that depicts the world as it is. The GamePad is very effective for this. Innovations in this game are only possible due to Wii U hardware.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U is slated for release in 2015.