E3 2016: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Hands-on)

by: Matt -
More On: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild E3 2016

The obvious hot ticket this E3 was the latest Legend of Zelda game, subtitled Breath of the Wild. With over 100 demo stations set up on the E3 show floor, and thirty minute demos for each player, the lines easily swelled out of control. We we're able to get a chance to go hands on with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and can report that while this game isn't coming out in 2016, the wait will be more than worth it.

Coming out for the WiiU and the currently codenamed NX, Breath of the Wild features a sprawling open world. Our first demo just kind of dropped us out into the middle of the world, with the option to go anywhere, and do anything. A camp was set up to allow players the chance to cook, a first for the series, though I was more inclined to see what the world had to offer. So I was off and running with a little more than my starting inventory. 

You'll find plenty of items to collect out in the wild, whether they're used for cooking, crafting, or fighting. Enemies will drop gear that can be equipped, including weapons. As I dropped bokoblin after bokoblin spears, bows, and even sticks dropped, along with items that could be used for other gear, though I didn't spend time crafting since there was exploring to do. With the mini-map, I could see enemy encampments that were sparsely populating the map, and upon defeating all enemies within a camp area, a special chest can be unlocked, which usually contains something useful. In this case, it was a fire rod, and that's when arsonist Matt came out to play.

The world of Breath of the Wild doesn't spare on minor details, so using a fire-rod in an area with dry grass means it's going to burn, and after starting a small inferno to trap and wipe out enemies I was off to climb to the highest point I could reach, which wound up being way lower on the map than I was expecting. In the distance I could see a few temples that undoubtedly will be part of Link's grand adventure, but right as I spotted them, my first demo came to an end.

The second demo was a bit more story driven, showing Link awakening from a 100 year slumber, in some sort of tomb. Upon awakening, Link discovers the Shiekah Slate, a device that curiously looks like a WiiU gamepad. Exiting the tomb, an old man was on hand to give us some pointers on where to go, leading to a tower that showed Hyrule castle off in the distance, though not quite the Hyrule castle we remember, this one was covered in a powerful Ganon force, that would eventually consume the land. 

Unfortunately the demo came to an end shortly after getting a chance to reach my first dungeon, which gave me the power to move metallic objects, using the Shiekah Slate, after it was imbued with the power of a rune, which I'm sure there will be plenty more of.

The WiiU visuals look like they're getting pushed to the limit, which means there's going to be a few plain looking elements to the game, but at the same time the game looks beautiful, so they've definitely struck a balanced with the art style and functionality. Controls are also pretty intuitive on the WiiU gamepad, climbing is a breeze, it's easy to swap between different weapons, and some of the 'cool tricks' that Link can do are easy to pull off. 

After playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, I must say that this game is looking great, and March is looking even farther away now. I'm curious to see how much better this game can look on NX hardware, but that'll be for another time. 

 

 

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fortunately the demo came to an end shortly after getting a chance to reach my first dungeon, which gave me the power to move metallic objects, using the Shiekah Slate, after it was imbued with the power of a rune, which I'm sure there will be plenty more of.

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