A reader offers his thoughts on new features for the next Zelda game on Switch, including what to do about dungeons and combat.
Now that we know for certain that Nintendo is working on a new Legend Of Zelda game, and that its almost certainly going to be for the Switch, I, as a fan, naturally start thinking about what Id liked to see from it. Except… Im not sure, because Breath Of The Wild was like nothing I would ever thought of asking for and yet now that it exists its one of my favourite games ever.
Nintendo has already hinted that the next game will take a lot of inspiration from Breath Of The Wild, by which I think they mean it wont be as different from it as it was from everything else. That makes sense, given its huge critical and commercial success and doubly so because the open world can be the foundation for just about any kind of game you want.
But I think its fair to say that there were too major areas of contention with Breath Of The Wild that are the obvious place to focus on, and which would at the same time help to distinguish the game a lot from its predecessor.
The first is dungeons. I was perfectly happy with the shrines and Divine Beasts (except for them all looking the same inside) but I would be fine with a new game going back to having five or six much large dungeons. However, just going back to the way things were done on the N64 does not seem a good idea to me for a forward-thinking franchise.
So instead I would make the dungeons less self-contained than usual. In previous Zelda games they almost felt like separate games, so Id like to see you having to go in and out them a lot more; so that youre going out in the open world to get a tool you need or coming round at the dungeon from a different angle. Maybe have it moving, like the Divine Beasts, or so that you can only complete so much before moving on and doing other stuff, including other dungeons, and then coming back to it.
Basically, make them more dynamic and less like a closed puzzle box. Weve had enough of those over the years and I dont think its healthy to just turn the clock back.
The other issue most people complain about is the weapon fatigue, which again I was happy with. Although I didnt like the way they fudged how you couldnt use the Master Sword all the time. I also felt the combat itself couldve used a few more moves and variety, as it didnt seem any major advancement over previous games.
So my suggestion would be to focus less on constantly changing between different swords and instead make more of a difference between the different types, like boomerangs, lances, staffs, and so on. You rarely needed to use specific weapons on specific enemies or in unique ways in Breath Of The Wild and I think that would be a good direction to go in for a future sequel.
The other big issue is the setting. Hyrule has been visited so many times now Im not sure what they can do with it, so they either need to move elsewhere (the future always seemed a good idea) or do something to Hyrule itself. Theyve already sunk it, flown it into the air, and destroyed it though so Im not sure whats left. Except maybe start it off nice and have it attacked and destroyed throughout the game? Maybe make a bit of a strategy meta game out of defending towns and villages? Thatd be neat and something new.
Majoras Mask shows that its not new tech or graphics that makes a great game but new ideas and thats what Nintendo needs to focus on. I know theyre going to be far better at me than thinking up new concepts so I only hope they dont listen too much to the Internet, whose one idea always seems to be to keep things old-fashioned.
Zelda has stayed the best franchise in gaming for so long because its always changing and thats what Id look forward to most from a new entry.
By reader Soldner
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