Back in late 2014, such innocent times, we got a good look at what is now The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild during The Game Awards. It was an enjoyable segment, during which Eiji Aonuma and Shigeru Miyamoto showed a decent amount of off-screen footage, though the game has certainly changed a fair amount since that reveal.
A couple of delays and an E3 2016 blow-out later and we're now looking forward to this title appearing once again at The Game Awards. Whether it'll be a 60 second trailer or a nice showcase featuring Aonuma-san or other Nintendo executives is unclear, though it does seem that Reggie Fils-Aime will also be on hand to talk about the Nintendo 'experience' a bit.
Breath of the Wild is a contender for the title of most highly anticipated game in 2017, across any platform, and that's well deserved. There's plenty we still haven't seen, however. Nintendo has stuck fairly rigidly to showing areas and gameplay included in the extensive E3 demo, with occasional snippets of extra details and footage on the official website. Ahead of the upcoming appearance at The Game Awards, then, we thought we'd outline some things we'd like to see, though obviously we won't get them all. One or two would be exciting enough.
So, to the list we go...
Other key characters to the plot, like Zelda...
Before anyone panics, Nintendo has made clear that the Hyrule Link finds himself in will have characters and all that good stuff; a lot was apparently stripped out of the E3 demo. We don't doubt that, either, as Nintendo has shown an eagerness through the series to develop and flesh out the IP's cast, typically, rather than strip it back.
If the upcoming footage decides to truly get pulses racing, then some timely snippets of vital characters could do just that. Zelda is an obvious one, while a menacing look at Ganondorf (Calamity Ganon was spotted during E3) would also send the internet into meltdown. There are lots of established races and tribes that could pop up too, with descendants or predecessors of series favourites being an option. Basically, we love Link and the bearded man, but more would be nice.
A broader sense of the plot and timeline
This is an interesting one, as the structure of the game is likely to play a part in how overt the actual plot is. In demos we've played there's scope to simply mess about in the world, but we've also played the 'narrative' version that follows a relatively linear structure. What we do know is that Link has been asleep 100 years, has no memory and needs to rediscover his destiny. We've added that last bit because, well, that's how these games normally play out.
It's not that there aren't a lot of theories out there, of course. Remarks by Aonuma-san and clues in the demo environments have generated some interesting ideas, namely that this follows from The Wind Waker or the 'downfall' timeline of Ocarina of Time. We don't expect that mystery to be solved right now, but if the new footage introduces some story elements or characters, there'll hopefully be more solid evidence to work on to start figuring out the narrative. After the impressive storytelling in Skyward Sword (in this writer's opinion) it'd be great to see the sandbox open-world elements of Breath of the Wild combined with a good adventure yarn. After all, some Zelda fans enjoy the adventure and aren't overly worried about experimenting with game physics, so an enticing story would be fantastic to have.
Also, we really want more insight into the technology in the world and that mysterious ship spotted in the distance.
New areas of the world
For the story to be interesting, of course, we need a big diverse world to enjoy. What we do know about Breath of the Wild is that its world is enormous, the biggest yet in the series. We can see Death Mountain in the distance, and a little while ago Nintendo started some fun 'then and now' Hyrule comparisons.
The potential joy of varied environments - perhaps including the likes of Zora's Domain and so on - is in how they'll play into the game's immersive survival mechanics. With Link now responsible for living off the land, with aspects such as his diet and clothing dictating how he handles different environments, there's huge scope for interesting game design. More glimpses of this in action would certainly keep us warm in these cold Winter nights (in the Northern Hemisphere, if you're reading this in Australia it's probably humid and hot right now).
It is worth remembering that the original trailer did show a number of intriguing areas and enemies, we're just hoping for more sustained footage with less teases and quick cutaways.
Towns, villages and NPCs
As a follow-up to that point above, it'd be swell to see Link strolling into some towns and mingling with the locals. It's worth reminding everyone again, as we did at the top - towns and NPCs are expected to be present, they just weren't included in the widely seen trailer and demo earlier this year.
With Breath of the Wild all set to be an ambitious and modern progression for the series, with its impressive world and all of the underlying physics and mechanics that make it tick, there's scope to go further with additional characters and their homes. When you consider the approaches taken in various triple-A open world games, there's a lot of new things Nintendo could do here. Characters that engage more substantially than trotting out a few lines, loyalty systems, maybe even clans that seek your favour above others in what could be a slowly rebuilding Hyrule. Then there's the technology found throughout the world; where does that come from, do different clans scrap over control of it?
The game may not do any of these things, but in any case we hope the footage will give us a glimpse of some of the smaller characters and groups that will populate Hyrule.
Are there dungeons, in the 'traditional' sense?
One for traditionalists, perhaps. We know there are 'more than 100' trial Shrines located throughout the world, and it seems likely that they'll be a key part of progression. We also know that the world Link inhabits is daunting in its size and the depth of mechanics at play; the whole world, in a sense, is one enormous environmental puzzle to solve.
But are there traditional dungeons? You know the type, large sections when a door closes behind you and you have 1-2 hours of fighting and puzzle solving ahead, at the end of which is a boss with a glowing weak spot. Some love them, while there's no doubt a contingent of gamers that think the time has come to move on, fully embracing the systems-driven open-world as one mighty dungeon.
It can be argued either way, frankly. This writer's instinct is that there may not be traditional dungeons at all. There'll probably be those trial Shrines, no doubt some scripted boss fights and narrative sections, and of course a large world that gives the player a staggering level of freedom. Is there room for standard 'dungeons' in that? Maybe not. Now that we've written that, it'll probably be the first thing shown in the trailer.
There are other things, of course. Like Epona, we want to see that lovely horse once again. In the original E3 trailer we do see Link riding a horse, but that's something that can never be over-played - more horseriding is a must.
Let us know what you hope to see in the comments; we'll be livestreaming and blogging The Game Awards here on Nintendo Life, as always. The pre-show starts at 5.30pm Pacific / 8.30pm Eastern / 1.30am UK / 2.30am CET, and our blog will start a little before that point.
What will the rest of the amiibo do exactly? They never touched upon it at E3.
I'd like to actually see some kind of plot because all we've seen so far is Link messing around with things!
@Furealz Wolf Link allows you to bring in a Wolf Link companion to help fight and hunt.
As for the other 7... we don't know.
A release date.
I'm just hoping for some good side quests and little hidden secrets and characters. I enjoy narrative games, but it's good to be able to go off the beaten path sometimes, too. That's what makes games like Skyrim so great.
I can swear I've read on multiple locations and occasions the verification of dungeons. They are supposed to be ginormous.
I'd really like to know if links tablet will be replacing all items found? We've seen old items be turned into just regulary found, breakable weapons(deku leaf, fire rod ). Maybe items they always want you to have access to will be programed to the sheika slate?
Nice write up of how I've felt all along, we haven't really seen a "game" yet, only a graphics and physics engine tech demo. All 5 of those points could be sewn up into "Show us the GAME."
What I'd like to see more of is stuff flying around. We've seen ducks in a pond, but all those beautiful sky scenes are so empty. XCX had tons of flying creatures always in view, from insects to giant flying whale things. This game is called Breath of the Wild, and breath makes me think air, but so far this breath is empty. I'm hoping we get something to ride thru all of that breath, birds from Skyward Sword, a hot air balloon, eagles, a Wright brothers type plane. I just finished Lego City Undercover the other night, anybody who played that knows sailing down on a sailcloth isn't the same as flying around at your leisure to take in the sights or traveling one place to another.
So I'll be watching tonight with both eyes squinting at the skies for any signs of breath and or transportation.
I hope there is a massive forest area to explore! Also who thinks the will be a big water mass like a sea or ocean to explore too??
Green. Tunic. Link.
That is all.... Oh... get a haircut as well... you look West Virginian, Link.
@Xaessya 2017 And hope they don't delay it until 2018. We won't get a date until Switch gets a date, but a season would be nice tonight. Spring? Summer? Holiday? I'd settle for "first half of 2017". They've had their chance at giving us "years" and twice already they've screwed it up, time to narrow it down a little bit.
2018 is only 13 months away and the game is already 11 months overdue, surely at this point they should be able to have some idea, if it really is coming out next year, when next year it's coming out. Clocks ticking.
They'll get slaughtered if they make a massive world without any massive dungeons and towns. I hope the all new footage isnt confirmation of Tingle
A little hint as to what place int the timeline we are. I've read both theories about it being in WW's timeline or it being the downfall timeline, and both have pro's and cons.
And obviously, a release date.
Of course I want to see NPCs. Even the first Zelda had them to an extent.
I think the thing we all want to see most is some life to go with the breath. Twilight Princess had a huge world but most of it was empty. This looks so big that it will still look sparse, even if they put the most side quests, npcs and dungeons ever in it. I've got a feeling they'll pad this game out well because they've got Monolith helping and their games actually make me want to waste time.
Still not sure whether to Wii U, Switch or double dip.
I want an online mode to stir trouble at my friend's Hyrule as... Doppelganger Link! Or Linkle
Traditional dungeons and towns are the things I want to see most.
The beard dude is called Daphnes Johansson Hyrule. He's the king.
NPCs, Zelda, towns, and confirmation of a solid plot. That's all I want.
Is the preshow worth tuning in to?
Wait, people think it's possible they'll make a mainline Zelda title without dungeons? That seem ridiculous to me. Heck, I thought I remember them comparing this to modernizing the style of the original game, which definitely had dungeons.
@Nintenjoe64 All I need is Tingle confirmation and my life is complete. He doesn't get enough love. Last mainline game with him was Wind Waker, if I'm not mistaken.
Switch gameplay would be nice .
I hope they go more in depth in the Great Plateau area. I feel like there's a few blades of grass we haven't seen yet
I want to know how the Switch version will be different/better.
I'd love for amiibo to be completely scrapped.
@SLIGEACH_EIRE Same. Buying little toys to go along with games does not tickle my fancy. Just let us have Wolf Link in the game itself.
@Xaessya Don't worry, probably only the Wii U version as they have to retool it to make it work w/o the Gamepad to match the Switch version. Either that or they release it November 24 but each store only gets 2 copies of the game that they sell online the day before.
What I would like to know is how storyline and the layout of the game will align. If this is a Hyrule in ruins, a Hyrule more given to nature, then how does that translate in regards to towns and NPC? Are we gonna have vibrant towns or a more postapocalyptic like feel?
@SLIGEACH_EIRE Or you can completely ignore amiibos or just not use them.
Ultimately a demo would be great as something to give to Wii U owners who are now completely starved for content since Color Splash.
Not a fan of the graphic style, too much flat and cartoonish and the PG seems covered in glass... I hope it will have many secrets and explorations.
I would rather they kept as much secret from us as possible... they've already commented on some of those things having not been shown to avoid spoilers, so I'm happy to leave it at that for now.
Just quick glimpses of other areas/enemies is all I'm really hoping for at the moment... maybe a bit of a look at the first dungeon... but don't really want to much to be spoiled.
I want most things to be saved for when the game is actually released... but I am particularly interested in the timeline placement... so a few hints at that would nice.
The game is coming out Q3 2017 for the Wii U and Q4 2017 for the Switch
@therealgamer Please stop pretending you have insider information. We all know you're not actually developing Wii U games. If you were, Nintendo would have a serious beef with you for "leaking" all this info.
@KirbyTheVampire First yes I am making a Wii U and PC game called I.E.L Indo European Languages. Want proof here is my facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/PGStudioss and my Twitter - @Phantomgames. The game is coming out 5/2017 for PC and Wii u and maybe the switch. Nintendolife is going to make an article this month. The official trailer is coming out in 3 weeks.
Second Zelda is coming out in Q3 2017. How I know this because its common sense. Nintendo did not say that Zelda is a launch title for the switch and neither coming out in March. The game is not finish yet. They need to polish the game that why they hire Monolith Soft to help them finish the game. Proof the Wii u is not dead. Nintendo still going to support the wii u until 2018. Mario golf wii u is a real game. So stop call me fake.Right now I am working hard to finish the game. I am making this game about 3 years. I am almost finish the I.E.L : Indo European Languages.
I hope that Nintendo puts me in this one!
I already know enough about the game - I don't really need to know the details mentioned in this article before I get the game. I just want to know when it's coming. And how long after the Switch version comes out will us Wii U owners have to wait to get our version?
I'd like to see a "Coming... right now" at the end of the trailer. Not only because I really want to play this, but, just imagine the chaos! Would be so hilarious.
@Tingle_The_Great That will be amazing
My list (keeping in mind I haven't watched all the footage)...
1) The Mirror Shield
2) A mountain course to snowboard down
3) Darknuts, and to be able to pick up their swords
4) Lots of secret areas to glide to
5) Moblins like the Wind Waker ones
@SLIGEACH_EIRE I like amiibo, so how about we even things out. Tell me something you like so I can hope it gets taken away from you rather than just letting you enjoy it in peace and leaving it alone because it doesn't affect me.
That desert area looks really cool and would love to see it!
@Manjushri Why would they do that when barely anyone owns a Wii U? I know for certain that even though I'm really excited for BotW, I wouldn't be willing to buy a Wii U just for that game, especially with the Switch coming.
@PanurgeJr To be fair, it does affect gamers who don't want to buy the amiibo. There are features, sometimes significant, that are unreachable without purchasing a toy you may not want which could be offered (theoretically) with a simple digital unlock.
I really enjoy Amiibo myself, but I do think there should at least be a less expensive card version for unlocking features that corresponds with every toy released.
We shouldn't forget that Amiibo may be fun and interesting but it was also a method to make money from Nintendo IP during a desperate financial situation for the company. So erasing it would mean higher losses from the Wii U debacle overall. Along with DLC and a foray into mobile, Nintendo was able to quickly return to profitability and keep from having to make even more drastic changes as a company.
Anyway, I hope they continue on. A card in the base of future amiibo that was removable might be nice. So you can easily take it with your Switch if you prefer.
I'm curious what Nintendo thinks of amiibo overall. It certainly seems to be supporting it with software when needed as can be seen by the refresh of Animal Crossing.
Good article! I've been wondering a lot about the information presented here myself; my hype has worn down a bit since we haven't seen much new info since E3. I'm particularly interested in further details on plot and some of the towns/characters.
I'm not getting my hopes up much for this evening, but I'll still be keeping an eye on things.
@therealgamer I'm technically not supposed to say this, since I'm under embargo, but I'm actually the old man. I bet old al and miya will forgive me, since I'm such a popular character.
@ShadJV I do have time for Tingle but he is better saved as a surprise than a big reveal.
I think we all just want to be reassured that there's more to the game than just the demo and that the world is filled with fun things to do.
I think they can create hype for the Switch if they reveal the Switch Version at the Awards show. Sure it's probably not going to look drastically better then the Wii U version but hell maybe Reggie can wipe out a Switch console out his jacket and show the game running so well on the system.
The quality of the dungeons have always been the defining feature of a Zelda game, for me. I think I would be very disappointed if there were no traditional dungeons.
Dungeons with puzzle-solving are one of the core gameplay elements that make a Zelda game. If you just twitch your way through the dungeons, it may as well be the Witcher.
I'm watching the Game Awards right now. Looked like there was this flying eagle machine thing?
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