The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most definitive open world game in the series to date. While previous Zelda games offered the illusion of an open world, there were often visible areas which the player would be prevented from exploring.
Speaking to WIRED, game director Eiji Aonuma explained his fears of allowing the player to have complete freedom to roam unguided - "I thought that making the user get lost was a sin".
Aonuma recalls his experience with the launch of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, "A lot of the feedback that I received from the players of Skyward Sword is that they saw these pockets of land, but couldn't explore what was between them". This criticism is something the Zelda team was determined to improve on for this joint Wii U / NX iteration of the popular franchise.
To overcome the issue of getting lost in Breath of the Wild and give players scope to explore unfettered, Aonuma says "Link can climb up high and look down from cliffs, It's kind of like 2-D gameplay". That's certainly been our experience in our own hands on time with Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Our man at E3, Morgan Sleeper says "seeing a far-off shrine in what would otherwise be the background, and actually making our way there by trekking over hills, across fields and through valleys was striking, and immediately made Breath of the Wild stand out from any other Zelda game we've seen. But equally impressive was how the game's mechanics back-up the seamlessness of that open-world design."
Shigeru Miyamoto remains a key influence, too, as Aonuma explained. "Miyamoto is God. So even when I say, hey, this is what I think should be done, they'll always question: 'Well, what would Miyamoto say?' Up until about two years ago, Miyamoto actually had a lot of comments and advice about Breath of the Wild."
There are a lot more interesting insights from Mr Aonuma into the design of Breath of the Wild in the WIRED article, including how the development team includes staff well versed in current-day Triple-A trends.
Do you relish the idea of exploring without limits in this new Zelda game, or do you fear getting lost? As always, let us know your thoughts with a comment below.