Zelda: Breath of the Wild pushes Wii U hardware to the limit

Drawing perhaps the longest queue in E3 history, it’s fair to say that The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild was quite the crowd pleaser at the show last week. It’s no surprise either – fans have been patiently awaiting the release of a new Zelda title on Wii U for years and having spent hands-on time with the game, not to mention poring over all available media, the reasons behind the lengthy development cycle become clear.

Simply put – Breath of the Wild might just be Nintendo’s most ambitious in-house game to date. It’s a systems-driven open world game that manages to sidestep many of the weaknesses that often dull this kind of experience on rival titles, while presenting players with a level of freedom never before seen in a Zelda title. Having suffered the effects of ‘open world fatigue’ as of late, we certainly approached the game with some trepidation but it’s clear that Nintendo is taking a smart approach to design here.

Right off the bat we were impressed with the introduction – Link wakes up in a strange cavern, grabs his gear, and heads off into the great outdoors. With typical 3D Zelda titles having become known for bombarding players with countless tutorials, this cold open feels fresh. In many ways, this feels like a true sequel to the original The Legend of Zelda on the NES. The original game dropped players into the world and simply let them run free. This new game does that as well, returning a sense of freedom and exploration that was lacking in most other games in the series.