Zelda Wii U's Open World Is as Big as the System Can Handle
Eiji Aonuma takes issue with the "open world" description, but not for the reason you might think.
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"A huge, seamlessly unfolding world is something that can't be achieved if the hardware isn't advanced enough," Aonuma told Gamereactor Magazine. "Ever since we made the very first generation of Legend of Zelda games though, we've had as large a world as can be realized with the hardware, so you could say it was inevitable that we've now done the same with the new Wii U title."
The new game, which does not have an official title as of yet beyond The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, was unveiled at last year's E3. Given the scale of what was on show, it was frequently referred to by the public as an open-world game. Aonuma, however, takes issue with that description, not because it's inaccurate, but because "Zelda games have always allowed you to roam and explore a huge world."
According to Aonuma, what distinguishes the open world seen in this game from that of previous Zeldas is that it's now one seamless world. "What's changed now is that the hardware has progressed to the point that you can now explore this vast world seamlessly; the underpinning of the game hasn't changed," he explained.
Along with Shigeru Miyamoto, Aonuma provided a demonstration of the game back in December. Miyamoto later put the size of the game world in perspective, saying that Twilight Princess' entire map would represent only one area in the new game. As you'd expect, given that scale, there will be plenty of side quests to do.
The new Zelda is expected out sometime in 2015.