Nintendo's iconic Zelda series will arrive on the Wii U in 2014, according to a new report at Wii U Daily. A source from Nintendo's Japanese office claims that the company has assembled the biggest team in company history, numbering "hundreds" of developers, to work on the most expensive project in company history.
"This is Rockstar/GTA territory," the source said.
Development on the new Zelda project, which does not have a full title yet, is being led by series producer Eiji Aonuma, who has reportedly been working on the project since late 2010. The game was supposedly planned to arrive during fall 2013 in order to help Wii U sales in the face of new competition from Microsoft and Sony. Both companies are believed to be launching new consoles during that window. However, Nintendo's original launch target has since been abandoned.
As for the game itself, the source claims Zelda for Wii U will feature about the same number of dungeons as previous Zelda games, but these areas will be "vastly bigger in scope" and vary greatly. The game is reportedly going to have mini-games and side quests, but these endeavors are "still on the drawing board." Additionally, the source says Zelda for Wii U will feature a new orchestral soundtrack with "hours of music."
Concerning the game's story, and where it takes place in the Zelda timeline, the source did not have information about this. The source says the Link in the new Zelda project is "grown up," but did not share further information.
Further, the source claims Zelda for Wii U will not have online multiplayer, but will work with Nintendo's new social networking service Miiverse. According to the tipster, the game's online component has only been in development since summer 2012 and remains "on paper only."
The insider adds that Zelda for Wii U run in full high-definition, with a new "state of the art" game engine that was built from the ground up. The game reportedly boasts the "most advanced visual features Nintendo has ever made," and includes various third-party technologies, including Havok and Umbra.
The source also claimed that the Zelda demo Nintendo showed during its 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo was merely a technology presentation made by a different team with an older engine.
Lastly, Zelda for Wii U will rely heavily on the console's tablet controller, according to the source. The game was reportedly built from the ground up with the controller in mind, with "every single feature in the controller used to its full potential."
The most recent Zelda game was 2011's Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which launched for the Wii to a strong critical reception.