Posted on December 08 2014 by Jon Lett
We’ve now seen the grand scale of Zelda Wii U’s overworld. Many people are comparing the size and geography of this new world to that of The Legend of Zelda, and they are right to. It is not the first time the series has had such a sprawling country. That being said, is this entirely the best course of action? How will the size of this a huge Hyrule effect the detail and expression of the countryside? Join the discussion after the jump!
People have noted the linearity of recent Zelda’s, an their wishes for something more free-roaming. To fulfill this wish, Nintendo has done the obvious and made a much more open and massive world, as can be seen above, so that people can find their own way, seeing what the land has to offer. Personally, I am truly thankful that this has happened, but I have a lingering worry that this new land could suffer from something the original Zelda on NES sort of shared: emptiness. There are a few reasons for this.
In Skyward Sword, many fans looked down on the way the world was so linear and small, but in having a smaller world, I feel as though the amount of detail the land showed off was incredibly noticeable everywhere you went. The same is quite true about A Link Between Worlds. The land was doubled up with two universes, but both lands were honestly quite small, allowing even the finer details to stand out. The Legend of Zelda, meanwhile, had very little to offer in it’s grand world. I know that the NES could only do so much, but the same thing also occurred in the Oracle games to an extent. Many areas on the map were just boring, holding nothing more than enemies.
I have faith in Nintendo to make the world as detailed and full as any other Zelda game, but other great adventure games have suffered severe emptiness due to developers focusing too much on other things in the game rather than the overworld. While games like Borderlands 2 make a point to have loads to do everywhere you go, others like Darksiders II focus on boss fights and dungeons, and have empty, boring overworlds. With Zelda heading in the direction of having a Elder-Scrolls-style world, I just hope Nintendo balances their focus in Zelda Wii U, and treats their newest sandbox area with care. I am not saying that smaller is better, but just that Nintendo is thinking big, and while that is great, they need to put in that extra effort to make it all worth it.
So what do you guys think after seeing this new overworld? They still appear to be in early stages of development of the world, so what do you think will come of it? How might the geographical style, and sheer size, of the newest Hyrule change how detailed the world is? Leave a comment!