Zelda: Breath of the Wild could be the refresh the series needs

Nintendo just revealed a good three minutes (and a bunch more gameplay during its Treehouse videos) of footage from its upcoming Legend of Zelda game, titled Breath of the Wild.

Much like Link Between Worlds was, this seems like a deliberate departure from the Zelda formula that’s been the standard since A Link to the Past. Those earlier games consisted of the player traversing through a dungeon, finding a special item and using the special item to defeat the boss at the end of the dungeon. That special item would then make it possible for the player to access further areas of the game’s overworld.

Link Between Worlds broke that gameplay formula by adding the ability to buy or rent the equippable items. This made it somewhat possible to explore the world and access the dungeons in almost any order the player chooses.

The upcoming Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, so far, looks to be much more open than previous games. The game still requires players to find items that will help them traverse the land, but unlike previous games in the series, their path is not predetermined.

Also noteworthy about the latest entry in the well-loved series is that in the gameplay videos and trailers we’ve seen so far, we haven’t seen Link’s traditional green garb once. Even promotional materials and Nintendo’s E3 2016 booth have shown Link in a blue tunic and without his trademark green cap.

More interestingly, players simply pick up weapons and clothes throughout the game’s world. Defeated enemies will drop their swords and axes, allowing Link the opportunity to equip them and use them in battle.

Of course, anyone who has seen some of Nintendo’s E3 gameplay videos will know that. At this point it’s not as if any of that is a big secret.

Still, it’s great to see Nintendo is ready to take what is one of its most popular franchises in an unprecedented new direction.

I, for one, look forward to these changes.

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