About a week ago, I posted an op-ed about how Eiji Aonuma doesn't understand emergent gameplay. A few days ago, Edge published an interview with him in which he says EXACTLY the things I was worried about. First I'll show you an excerpt from my op-ed (the images and captions are part of the article), then I'll show you a quote from the interview:
"And this is where The Legend of Zelda: A Breath of the Wild should make us worry. Let’s take a look at shots from the debut trailer:
These successive screenshots show Link shoot a bee hive, and then the angry bees attack the Bokoblin resting right next to the tree the beehive was hanging from. In the next shots, you see a couple of boulders precariously perched above a pair of resting enemies; Link pushes one of them down and, just as planned, the boulder takes out the enemies.
Sure, you could fight the Bokoblin’s directly, mano a mano, but there’s also clearly a “right” way to kill them each time. The developers created tools that should serve emergent gameplay, but they are just using them to make classic puzzles all over again. It’s like taking the batteries out of an electric razor and trying to shave by scraping the blades across your chin."
So that, in part, was what I said. Then just days ago in the interview with Edge, Eiji Aonuma said this with respect to how he's learned his lesson about designing a modern Zelda game:
In the past titles, if a player found a different solution to the on we’d intended, we’d call it a bug. But for this title we created puzzles with multiple solutions. Even battles against enemies have a puzzle element: you can push a rock off a cliff and defeat them that way, or have bees chase them away so you can sneak up and take their weapons. Even if it’s a strong enemy, there are a lot of strategies, and it’s not just about battling.
Aonuma literally used exactly the same examples I used to show he doesn't know what emergent gameplay is, and used them as examples of emergent gameplay! It's analogous to claiming to be a great burger chef, then proudly showing off the two worst examples.
I know speaking ill of a hyped Zelda game won't win me any popularity contests, but it must be said.
*raises flame shield