Nintendo brought their big guns to the 2014 Video Game Awards (TGA) last night and surprised the audiences and viewers around the world with the second-ever look at the upcoming The Legend of Zelda for Wii U (working title) game coming in late 2015.
Legendary Nintendo game designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma walked through several snippets of gameplay designed to show the massive open world that Hyrule has become and how Link might traverse that world. The demo opened with Link on a tall cliff, then using a telescope to look far into the distance and take a shot at something in the distance with his bow and arrow.
In a surprise move, Mr. Aonuma has Link step off the cliff and deploy a new Sailcloth item that allowed link to parachute, for lack of a better term, down to the woods below. Mr. Aonuma was able to control Link’s descent to a certain extent by moving him left and right.
Once on the ground, the camera switches to the Wii U GamePad that displays a map of the world. Markers can be dropped on the map that produce beacons on the main screen for players to follow to their next destination.
Next Link hops on his horse Epona and Mr. Aonuma demonstrates that Epona is smart enough to run and dodge trees and other obstacles without player input. This allows players to attack enemies while mounted and moving on Epona rather than trying to double-task with steering Epona and shooting simultaneously.
Link also gets to attack a few enemies with a new slow-motion move that freezes him while jumping in the air so there’s time to use the Wii U’s gyroscopes to aim by moving the GamePad and firing an arrow. The gimmick critics won’t love this move, but there may be options to bypass the use of motion controls altogether. It’s simply too early to know.
Speaking of early, Hyrule — or what we presume is Hyrule — was sparsely populated in the demo, and some of the ground textures looked like they needed a lot of work. There’s still another year between now and when The Legend of Zelda for Wii U is due in stores so it’s best to not take this demo at face value. It was designed to reveal several features of the game, not be indicative of the final product.
Watch The Legend of Zelda for Wii U gameplay demo below.