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Zelda Producer Says Breath Of Wild Level Of Freedom Needs To Be Maintained In Zelda Games Going Forward

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild undoubtedly breathed new life into the Zelda series with its sense of open world and exploration and that’s something that producer Eiji Aonuma doesn’t want to let go off with the series moving forward. Here’s what he had to say on the matter.

“You know, I can’t speak to what other people, other companies will do in their own games, but I think for me, especially just in terms of the Zelda series, the incredible freedom that this game offers you and how well that’s been received…to me, it means that freedom, that level of freedom is something that needs to be maintained in Zelda games going forward. My eyes have been opened to how important that is,” Aonuma said.

“So one of the things that we definitely consider is that we always wanted to make sure the player could understand what their challenges or what their hurdle is. We always wanted to make sure the challenge could be challenged. So we always wanted to make a linear way of [overcoming] a hurdle.”

“So for example, if there was like, ‘you can’t do this because you don’t have the right tools’ or ‘you don’t meet the certain requirements,’ players are going to not want to do that anymore. So we wanted to very much incorporate that.”

“Going forward, I think we would definitely consider that way of thinking when we create something in the future,”



      1. The reception of the motion controls in Skyward Sword was very divided. Many people liked them, some didn’t. Personally, I think they worked great, but I also think the game would be pretty much equally good without them. Skyward Sword had lots of flaws, but I don’t think motion controls were one of them.

  1. Massive amounts of freedom leads to massive amounts of inconsistent quality when it comes to the game’s content. As gated as the last Zelda games were, at least they had a level of focus, where no part of the game should feel shallow (in concept).
    As cool as the exploration is in BoTW, I have a feeling the novelty will wear off after the next few titles become samey and generic open world fare.

  2. Anyone think I’m weird for wishing BOTW had more glitches? I’ve become fond of game glitches. The funny ones that is. In other open world games (like Assassin’s Creed and Witcher III), the glitches are sometimes hilarious. I actually look forward to them, and feel like it’s something special whenever I find one. As long as they’re not game breaking glitches.

  3. Focus on the story first before freedom. Botw had a lackluster story compared to the other zeldas because they wanted player freedom to be a thing everything is skippable and it bugs me. I hope they make a new Zelda that’s focused on the story more

  4. As long as weapons aren’t disposable (as in they’re permanent additions to your inventory, just like OOT and SS) and enemies aren’t OP and don’t force you to use stealth (or maybe this franchise is now supposed to be a spiritual successor to Metal Gear) rather than the traditional hack and slash.

    Apart from explorative freedom, this can’t be the future of Legend of Zelda. Or else we might as well forget we ever played Zelda 1, Zelda II, Link to the Past, Link’s Awakening, Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Oracle of Ages/Seasons, Wind Waker, Minish Cap, Four Swords Adventures, Twilight Princess, Phantom Hourglass, Spirit Tracks, Skyward Sword, and A Link Between Worlds.

    Because those games aren’t the true Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild and onward are! Everything before BotW is a lie, and you wasted your time!

    1. Surely you’re joking. Several if not all the past Zelda games could easily fit into this open world style of play. And on this scale? I would never stop playing Majora’s Mask….

      The weapon degradation is surprisingly becoming more enjoyable, but it would be nice to have at least one or two weapons from each class that didn’t break.

      Idk, I’m way behind but the game is extremely enjoyable so far.

    2. Did you play Breath of the Wild? Last time we talked about this, it sounded like you had not, since you seemed under the impression that armor/clothing could degrade and be lost and you didn’t know that magnesis, bombs, and such could be used to fight enemies. Or that stealth is just one of many options to approach an encounter (of course I think most or all 3D Zelda’s have had large stealth portions).

      1. I have enough games to keep me occupied before I go into a game I’m hesitant about. Why jump into a game full of cheap deaths and altered/abandoned mechanics when I can play comfortable titles such as Yooka-Laylee, Super Mario Odyssey, Sonic Forces, Poi, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove, Sonic CD++, The Magic Obelisk, Jett Rocket, several WiiWare titles, etc.

        I’m more concerned about EVENTUALLY going into a game that no one shuts up about (as well as a GAME OF THE YEAR), and the future of the franchise, since BotW came and changed everything.

        1. It’s just super weird for you to criticize the game for having “OP enemies” without playing it. You’re making poor assumptions about game balance, on the most critically acclaimed game of this generation, without playing it yourself. And a ton of your assumptions have just been wrong. Basically the only thing you’ve assumed correctly is that weapons degrade with use, but you’ve yet to actual experience the impact that has on the actual gameplay. So demanding a return to old mechanics, when sales, user reviews, critical reception, and awards have all told Nintendo to go the other way, seems presumptuous at best. And more importantly, the ones responsible for designing the game are excited about the new direction. They’re energized. They’re not just rehashing the same ideas that have been done for the last 20 years, and that results in good game design. Trust me, good work does not come from bored game designers.

          And if you do go into it, it’s going to be like when my 3 year old has psyched herself out about trying a new food. She’s decided she won’t like it before trying it, and is so upset about the idea of it, that she’s never going to have a chance to actually like it. She’s going to gag the moment the food hits her mouth and before she’s had a chance to actually taste it.

          1. Gameranx’s Before You Buy has told me all I need to know to turn me off. If I play this at all, it’ll be because of sheer reluctance (and not wanting to be left out of the only current direction for the franchise) or JGecko U/TCP Gecko.

            But then why do so many people hate Star Fox Adventures, Super Mario Sunshine, Federation Force, or Chibi-Robo: Zip Lash. They’re different.

  5. I agree with most of the stuff said here. Zelda always had options for the most part where you can tackle dungeons in various orders, but I agree that there needs some direction. Usually there are 3 or 4 dungeons prior to opening up the other dungeons.

    1. It didn’t really ( unless you didn’t use an ancient arrow on the lynel to get shock arrows for the zoro divine beast).

  6. I’m ok with this direction as long as they can incorporate items from previous games. I like the spiner from Twilight Princess and the magic spells from Ocarina of Time.

  7. “the incredible freedom that this game offers you and how well that’s been received…to me, it means that freedom, that level of freedom is something that needs to be maintained in Zelda games going forward. My eyes have been opened to how important that is,” Aonuma said.”

    This sums up the problem with Nintendo , I really enjoyed Skyward Sword it’s probally in my top 3 and I played them all multiple times in my life, and its my lifetime favorite franchise by far, but it already felt outdated compared to games like Skyrim and Witcher 2. I always feel Nintendo is living in the past and there not utilising there franchises to the best potential. No main console Pokemon after 22 years , no 3d Donkey Kong , Nintendo movies , Series more merchandise like Funko Pop for example , Amiibo was pretty late at the party aswell people had been asking for that for a long time when looking at skylander I mean the list goes on and on. They could be filthy rich by now if they listen to the fans.

  8. I want an open world Zelda with a great story. BotW had a bit too much freedom, though, as the story was weak because of it; the story was good but weak if that makes sense to anyone. If I want to play a Nintendo game with very little story, I got the Super Mario games for that. (Not to be confused with the first 3 Paper Mario games as I count those separate from the Super Mario series.)

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