The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been a critical hit, cementing itself as one of the best reviewed games of all time. Helmed by director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and long-time series producer Eiji Aonuma, the duo were key in the development cycle of the game and with that the success that followed.
In the recently released official guide for Breath of the Wild both took the time to reflect on their experience, giving an interesting insight on how they wanted to evolve the series. Mr Aonuma spoke of his "desire to keep evolving and growing" and how he hopes "that this feeling of wanting to keep on growing and changing will be a driving force for future Zelda games"
The full quote from Eiji Aonuma reads:
In re-examining the convention that Zelda games are played on a set path, we decided to implement a groundbreaking new play style that would allow players to go wherever and do whatever they want. This has been achieved for the first time in the history of the series in its newest edition, Breath of the Wild. In order to attain this goal, we spent most of the production time creating the game as we played it.
The process of "creating while playing" went like this: first, we placed a countless number of "points" throughout the vast world of Breath of the Wild. Then, as we went through and actually played the game, we would make those "points" larger, smaller, or move them around, incorporating the things that we felt, while playing deeper into the game itself. In truth, this production style is very similar to the method Miyamoto used in the very first The legend of Zelda. Nonetheless, as games became 3D and people wanted more realism from game worlds, it became necessary to have a concrete "blueprint" of our game world from the very start of development. In essence, what became known as the quintessential Zelda experience, following a path set by the developers from start to finish, ended up being a product of the demands placed on the developers by that blueprint.
However, since this approach of creating a game while actually playing it means that the game continues to grow and evolve over time, it makes it very difficult to decide where to place the ending. Even now, after development has finished, I still get the feeling that there are so many things left that we didn't get a chance to achieve.
Although this feeling isn't new to this particular work, for past games, it was more a feeling of disappointment.
For this game, in contrast, it's more of a desire to keep evolving and growing. I feel like that's a big difference between this Zelda game and previous versions.
I'm not sure what lies before us, but I'm positive that this feeling of wanting to keep on growing and changing will be a driving force for future Zelda games. I hope that you'll keep your eye out for whatever comes next in Zelda."
Hidemaro Fujibayashi then left his thoughts on the monumental project:
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a project that we started in an effort to completely re-imagine the conventions of The Legend of Zelda to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series. I tried to imagine what that would look like: a new Legend of Zelda, utilizing new technology, new hardware, and new ways of playing that we had never done before. I contemplated this for a long time, and my staff and I spent day after day trying to come up with an answer, but for what seemed like an age, we couldn't find one.
When we went back to the essence of what it was that originally made The Legend of Zelda so much fun, we realized the answer was in the very first Zelda game: venturing through wide open fields, using your imagination and trying out different approaches in order to overcome problems… Was this the answer? Was this the essence of The Legend of Zelda? What if we tried making a game where there was a response to every single one of the player's actions? What would we need in order to make that happen? After we started asking ourselves these questions, we came up with a vast variety of playstyles that served as the basis for everything that was implemented in the finished version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Most of the natural phenomena that occur in the world of Breath of the Wild are based on physics, and they affect all forms of life that appear in the game. In addition, depending on the choices and actions of the player or the effects from the items that they use, there are various kinds of reactions that can occur. Due to the mass of possible combinations, we have on occasion observed things happen in the field that not even we, who created the game, could have imagined. For this reason, there is no one way to beat this game. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the number of ways that you can tackle and solve any problem is limited only by your imagination.
Unique characters, powerful enemies, and challenging puzzles that can only be found in the world of The Legend of Zelda are waiting for you. This time, our hero Link uses an item called the Sheikah Slate to aid him in his adventures, but with this strategy guide by your side, I hope that you too will be able to venture forth with confidence into the vast world of Hyrule and experience your own adventure to the fullest."
A nice touch by the duo considering the amount of hours both will have spent creating the game. It will also be interesting to look back once the next entry in the Zelda franchise has been released to see if this message still resonates and how much of Breath of the Wild is carried forward.
What do you think of the message left by the developers?
"Keep evolving and growing", so this is where dlc comes from...( not that I'm complaining)
The game is stunning, truly incredible. My son are both playing separate files and our experience and journey so far is completely different, we could be playing two different games lol. I lay down with him one night last week and he said 'Dad... do you want to talk about Breath of the Wild'? Lol amazing
I can't wait for the sequel.
I have been playing video games since 1982 (on my good old C=64) and I have to say that this is the most stunning title I have ever experienced in a video game. I spend most of the time just staring open eyed at the sunsets, the weather elements, the time and attention taken to this simply MASSIVE open world is mind boggling. I am having the best time ever just pottering around and exploring this world at my own pace. It is just so vast. And it's am experience I don't want to end. Incredible efforts to all involved.
Really think you should be able to play in the past!
Imagine each memory being a sectiond off part of gameplay!
Escaping castle town with Zelda from the guardians or escorting her to mount lanaru.
I hope the DLC really adds a lot to the story!
the possibilities of using the vast word created here as a basis for forthcoming DLC expansions is really very exciting and I hope one that is really utilised for years to come.
The thing is, if i had seen this game and it didn't have the Zelda name to it, i probably would not of bought it.
I'm really glad i did, but still ... i kinda miss the old style dungeons
Zelda Breath of the Universe.
What I do like is how they have gone back to the original zelda game, ok not in sense of graphics but in sense of open world you make your own game fully complete it when you want
Love the game. Wondering, since they already have the engine, if we may get a MM type situation and get another Switch Zelda game in 2 or 3 years. I wouldn't mind maybe going back in time to try and avoid the 100 years of destruction and seeing less ruin, or maybe that is the DLC.
I know the "dungeons" are a sore spot for some, but I liked the quick challenge of the Shrines.....for someone who can't devote hours at a time to the game, it is much easier to keep the flow of the game going in 30 min chunks then constantly saving in a dungeon and coming back to the same over and over again.
Still totally hooked on this game and starting to become concerned if I'll like, or even play, another game ever again. Like others, I have limited play time, so the open world nature of the game suits me well, and I don't miss the big dungeons of Zeldas past.
Edit: Yesterday, while walking in the park with my daughter; I realized after some time that I was keeping my eyes peeled for Hyrule herbs and cool safflina. Maybe I need a break?
I absolutely love Breath of the Wild and it's new direction for the series. I do however miss the dungeons of past titles. Maybe in the next game their are only 60 shrines and the rest of that space is used to create a few dungeons. A mix of the old and new seems like the most logical approach.
I think some cop-op shrines to play with friends would be nice. kind of like portal 2, I think it was. Co-op puzzling is fun.
"first, we placed a countless number of "points" throughout the vast world of Breath of the Wild. Then, as we went through and actually played the game, we would make those "points" larger, smaller, or move them around"
This is exactly how I thought they built the game, I think I even mentioned it in an earlier comment I made. It did feel a little painfully obvious, especially areas that they obviously put a lot of care into, but you could easily climb over and bypass the whole area (like the Lake Hylia tower).
@Anti-Matter Universe can be the Metroid game based on Zelda engine. Includes space flight and dogfighting.
Great to see stuff like this.
This game had the best overworld of any video game I've ever played (easily). But it had virtually no underworld. Both are very important parts to Zelda gameplay. I needed caves, crypts, and dungeons to explore to break up the pace in this vast world, but I never found any. It's still a masterpiece, but there's no doubt in my mind that it's missing a very important Zelda element.
@Aurumonado Agree. They've created a freakin' Masterpiece, but I feel it's lacking a lot of story-based content.
I'm not complaining, of course. It's a HUGE game, and it's absolutely wonderful to just aimlessly wander around the map, picking mushrooms and preparing a meal!!! I haven't done "none-gaming" like that since the days of Ultima Online.
They say this is the future for Zelda titles. I can only hope they can integrate more story into the next one.
Let be realistic. Is VERY VERY improbable the next Zelda game can be good or even better than BotW. Lets face it. BotW is a 1 in 20 years game.
But, improbable doesnt mean impossible. They have the skills and the means. Two masterpiece titles consecutively ... that can be real epic. Lets hope and see.
I hope they get back to making real Zelda games sooner rather than later. Already the sandbox model has tainted too many franchises that weren't built for it. It's as much a blight on video game quality as anything.
I've been playing for 35 hours according to my switch and to be honest I am not interested in helping Princess Zelda and am happy wandering around doing my own thing. Compared to my experience with Skyrim, Breath of the Wild is far the better one and you do feel a sense of freedom to do and go where you want.
@bimmy-lee I keep looking at buildings and landscape and wanting to climb them...
I've put a couple of hundred hours at least into BotW so far, and I'm still finding new places. Yesterday was Fort Hateno and a Bokoblin camp on the river there.
I would second the call for a bit more underworld, maybe some passages between certain shrines, a few bomb-able walls leading to cave systems, underground short cuts between areas, things like that. Maybe with some different enemies, mining opportunities, or wildlife. Given that all the shrines are so far underground, wouldn't there be a system of passages between them?
@JH64 "Escaping castle town with Zelda from the guardians or escorting her to mount lanaru."
That may be the first time I've ever heard anyone actually request an escort mission in a video game
Please evolve back into a game with cutscenes.
I love nice personal commentaries like this. I can't wait to play BotW myself!
@Spoony It would be awesome to play co-op with one player as Zelda and one as Link. Heck, in yhis game they could have even done co-op Divine Beast and Ganon fights with the other Champions, tbh...
@DizziParadise - Ha, yeah, there might be a Korok or some bird's eggs on top of that telephone pole, hope I have the stamina to make it to the top.
My daughter and I like to flip over rocks in the park to look for bugs, and I've laughed to myself a few times while doing this that there will be a tiny puff of smoke, and a Korok appears to give us a seed.
While the game is a masterpiece, I agree with you and others above that it would be fun to do more subterranean exploration. A loftwing and the King of Red Lions would be pretty cool too.
What will the sequel do? As much as i adore BOTW don't make it so open air style, prefer to follow solid story with lots on way, i only had a few criticisms with BOTW but it is still one of the best games ever made
Speaking of dlc: Some people say, just throw in some extra shrines and dungeons. But if you place them everywhere where's there no shrines/dungeons yet, wouldn't that spoil the landscapes. On the other hand, they could place them underground...
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