It’s safe to say that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is like nothing fans of the franchise have ever seen before. And the game’s reveal trailer only scratched the surface of what’s possible in Link’s next adventure.
That includes the Shrines of Trials, magical areas hidden around Hyrule that’ll reward players with Spirit Orbs:
Shrines of Trials: More than 100 of these locations are scattered around the world for players to find, and in some cases finding the Shrines can be a puzzle in itself. As a result, Shrines offer more compact challenges that can be solved in a variety of ways. In order to earn a Spirit Orb from the monks who designed these challenges, players must overcome challenges or solve puzzles.
Shrines will also contain Runes, powerful items that grant special powers to Link:
Runes: While exploring Shrines, players can earn Runes. For instance, the Magnesis Rune can help Link lift and toss metal objects. The Remote Bomb has two different types of bombs: rolling spherical ones and cubical ones that stay in place. The Stasis Rune briefly stops moving objects, while the Cryonis Rune freezes water and causes an ice pillar to appear.
Link has always carried a large arsenal of weapons in his fight against Ganon, but Breath of the Wild will add breakable weapons to the series for the first time, and give Link the ability to temporarily slow time with special offensive and defensive maneuvers:
Weapons and Combat: The game contains a wide variety of weapons, many new to the series. Players must find weapons or take them from enemies, but weapons wear out as you use them. Players can also time offensive and defensive maneuvers to temporarily slow time and connect with a flurry of strikes against their opponent.
But perhaps the biggest chance to the Zelda formula is the addition of food consumption and changing weather. Instead of gathering Hearts, Link will search for fruits and vegetables or hunt animals for meat. Players can also experiment with different dishes to create a meal that provides a temporary boost. And with the changing weather patterns, Link will need all the help he can get. Especially since his sword can channel lightning:
Food: In another break with conventional gameplay for the series, players hoping to replenish their Hearts or score some easy Rupees will come up empty when they cut grass. Link can forage for a variety of foods in his environment, including apples and mushrooms. He can also hunt for food. Consuming uncooked foods gives him a modest health increase, but cooking different kinds of ingredients together will result in dishes with different effects, such as cold or heat resistance, for a limited amount of time.
Climate: From snowy areas to desert heat, Link must dress appropriately for the weather. If he needs to stay warm, he can don appropriate clothing, warm himself with a fiery torch or even eat food to maintain his body temperature and his health. Link also needs to be careful during lightning storms – if he is equipped with metal equipment during a downpour, he can find himself attracting deadly lightning bolts.
Finally, Breath of the Wild is compatible with three new Amiibo figures, as well as the Wolf Link figure from Twilight Princess HD.
There’s a lot more to digest with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but we’ll have plenty of time until it’s released for the Wii U and NX sometime in 2017.