By Tyler Smith
If you’re a Nintendo fan, you’re probably in a pretty good place right now. Nintendo every now and then releases something called a Nintendo Direct. It’s basically a showcase of all of the new and upcoming projects and games from the company. New games, updates in game developments and even new consoles and hardware are usually revealed in these videos that are posted on Youtube. This Nintendo direct, however, was a special one. You see, another event that is big in the gaming community, E3 took place from June 12-15. E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is basically a giant press conference where AAA (read triple A) companies like Bethesda and Ubisoft announce upcoming games and release trailers. Some years for this event are notably better than others, and with such things like simulated gameplay leading to false advertising and developers making promises they end up not being able to deliver, for some, E3 doesn’t mean a whole lot. This year’s E3 was shaping up to be only mildly eventful, seeing as though it was coming after a year of pandemic-related delays and still being 100% online and lacking the usual fanfare that comes with a crowd cheering for in person announcements.
However, Nintendo, with their special “Nintendo E3 Direct” dropped a bombshell: they announced a sequel to what The Verge calls one of the most “acclaimed games of all time” and for what it’s worth, one of my favorite games ever.
The Legend of Zelda is a 35 year old franchise at this point. The series is famous for (and can probably attribute most of its success) to being extremely formulaic since it hit the scene in 1986. In the most popular iterations the game progresses something like this: 1) Link (the character you play as) is minding his business. 2) Some catastrophic event happens to Hyrule (the place Link lives) that usually involves Zelda (the namesake of the series that isn’t usually a playable character) gets kidnapped or otherwise trapped somewhere inconvenient by Ganon or Ganondorf (the bad guy). 3)You control link in his iconic green tunic through a couple of dungeons in a specific order, including an annoying water dungeon. 4) you get the Master Sword, a mainstay in the series that is a sword that only you can use, 5) defeat Ganon or Ganondorf and 6) save the day. We have been doing this for 35 years.
The thing that makes the most recent entry Breath of the Wild so unique is that Nintendo completely obliterated that formula. Link doesn’t even wear green anymore. From the moment you start the game, you can go wherever you like in whatever order you want. You start out with nothing but a scrappy set of clothes (which is optional to wear, concerningly enough) and from there you can go anywhere in the massive map, collecting weapons, food, and clothes and completing whatever tasks you want whenever you want. If you like, you can even go straight to Ganon in your underwear with nothing more than a stick and a pot lid. Even though this usually goes very poorly, the groundbreaking thing was that you could. The game is filled to the brim with tiny details and endless things to do. You can ride a horse, cook, blow things up with bombs, get kicked by a horse, accidentally set yourself on fire standing too close to a campfire, shoot a bird with a flaming arrow and turn it into a cooked chicken thigh, buy a house, get struck by lighting, eat questionable foods and get chased into a river by bees among other things. All on your quest to save your home.
The new trailer is honestly kind of terrifying, and full of promise for even more innovations that breathes new life into a beloved series. Even though the release date is 2022, fans- myself included- wait with bated breath for a sequel that we have already been excited for since the moment we finished the first game.
You can watch the trailer here, if you like