It started like any other convention day- wake up at 6, shower, eat breakfast, grab a coffee and hit the road. The traffic gods smiled upon me this glorious day, and me, the optimist, began to foolishly think that I might be able to actually try Nintendo’s only demo at this year’s E3- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
This was the sight that greeted me as I walked into the West Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Nearly all of these people, professionals and media alike were waiting for the chance to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. As the doors opened, what was once a calm, patient mob turned into something that can only be described as the worst Wal-Mart Black Friday stampede imaginable magically taking place in the freaking Thunderdome.
Within minutes, the line was capped off for the entire day, turning away hundreds of hopeful testers, including myself. Here, people would wait up to as much as seven and a half hours just to try the demo out. After seeing the line close, I sprinted (see: speed walking, with ambition) against the still rushing mob to the viewing only line and was pleased to discover it empty. My fellow line mates and I began to compare notes and rumors we had heard about this newest installment in the franchise and honestly, I started to get pretty hyped even though I won’t be able to play this until 2017 at the earliest.
About 15 minutes pass and the first group of viewers (that’s us) are led through a gateway, a glowing symbol of the Sheikah right above the entrance into “The Shrine”.
The room itself was dark and had its walls decorated to look like stone blocks, much like the ones we’ve become so accustomed to moving in our favorite RPGs, with glowing constellations of unknown origin scattered throughout the room. Once the shrine entrance closed behind us, the lucky testers and incredibly jealous viewing-only crowd were shown the then newly released E3 trailer.
After the trailer finished, the “wall” where the trailer was shown rose and doors opened into what can only be described as one of the most beautiful convention set ups I’ve ever seen.
Murals, statues, and constantly changing and engaging lights and ambient sounds that simulated and mimicked the time of day found in the Great Plateau area of the game, allowing everyone to get lost in the fantasy incredibly often.
It’s at this point that I feel the need to restate that I was unable to actually play the game. These are just my cursory observations I made while I frantically took notes and creepily looked over people’s shoulders for the greater part of an hour. These are my unabridged notes, reordered and translated because auto correct is a fickle mistress. Potential plot spoilers lie ahead, so turn back now and go back to the awesome pictures. You’ve been warned.
- Definitely Hyrule- Temple of Time, Hyrule Castle confirmed.
- Totally seeing an erupting Death Mountain in the distance.
- Stamina is back, can climb most textured objects it looks like.
- Sword combos/parries are back.
- Spin attacks with all weapons are possible.
- Crafting features will be important. Cooking looks like it will be exceptionally powerful.
- Old man talks about the Calamity Ganon wrecking house.
- Sheikah towers (the really tall ones) have been popping up more and more.
- No Hyrulian crests or Triforce imagery seem to be anywhere, but there is some bird imagery/gargoyle type things on the Temple of Time. (check out Skyward Sword if this sounds weird to you).
- Areas are locked geographically- additionally, according to booth staff, Link will need to dress for climates accordingly to perform optimally.
- There are no towns or NPCs in the E3 version of the game- likely to maintain secrecy about story elements.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on the WiiU and NX in 2017.