Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Will Zelda Wii U be a Skyrim-like experience?

This month two fantastic games were released: The Legend of Zelda Skyward Swords and The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim. Both are similar and different in their own right: Both are set in a fantasy world filled with secrets, but while Skyrim takes a realistic approach to graphics, Skyward Swords is Cel-shaded and colorful; and while Skyrim asks for a more mature crowd, Zelda appeals to a broad crowd of gamers, and etc. Though Zelda can’t quite compare to Skyrim’s enormous nonlinear world - or can it? Could the next big console Zelda game be just as or even more nonlinear than Skyrim? With the Wii U I think it could be a possibility.

"Dang, should've brought my horse..."

Try not to soil your pants while imagining this: Hyrule - bigger than ever. Imagine the first time you ever played The Legend of Zelda on the NES and amplify that experience by 11. Imagine riding Epona, it’s mane flowing gently through the breeze, riding through an never ending Hyrule field filled with so many secrets you wouldn’t mind riding a bit longer to find each one! Never ending freedom. Who says you can’t do whatever you want? Want to go the 5th dungeon before going to the first? Yep, you can do that! Want to get the flute item before venturing out anywhere else important? Go right ahead! Want to study more about Hyrule? Go to the local castle Hyrule library and read full length books to your hearts content. Don’t like reading? Then get out there and explore! Travel by boat, travel by horse, and even travel by bird - the sky is NOT the limit! There’s no limitations! It would be the most satisfying Zelda experience ever crafted.

And all of this can be done. It’s just a matter of if or how it will be done. I know Nintendo is not one to borrow inspiration, but wouldn’t this bet the next logical step in the series? This will be the first time Zelda will appear in HD, sure, but graphics isn’t everything: we need something to knock our socks off. We’ve been pretty spoiled by the fantastic treatment the console Zelda has been getting now, so anything less at this point would be disappointing. And I think Nintendo feels the same way.

And the Wii U is the perfect opportunity to try a full nonlinear Zelda. Having the Wii U tablet as a map guide will ensure that this adventure would never get too confusing and you’ll know exactly where you are at all times (call it the Navigator). It will also double as a handy item storage device to quickly switch items on the fly. There’s just so much potential for making a quintessential Zelda game here.

"Eat steel, Dodongo!"

But I could be wrong, and the next Zelda game could turn out to be vastly different game than I imagined. Though could the next Zelda game be so nonlinear and vast that it could make Skyrim look barren in comparison. Probably not. But whatever the Zelda team has planned I’m sure it exceed all our expectations.