This year’s E3 will soon be in full swing but Nintendo’s involvement will be strictly minimal. The game-maker is not event hosting a special pre-recorded Nintendo Direct video presentation like it did last year. Nor will the company’s next console, the NX, be revealed to fans who have been clamouring for information on the machine.
Instead, the only thing that Nintendo will be talking about while E3 is underway is the next Legend of Zelda title. The game was confirmed to have been delayed until next year so that it could release on the Wii U and NX simultaneously. Details, much like the NX itself, has been scarce.
Thanks to the game’s updated listing on Amazon, however, fans can now admire a new piece of glorious artwork, that can be seen below. It is highly unlikely that this artwork will be the game’s final cover art, magnificent as it is. The vista of Hyrule is seen in its full glory, with Death Mountain visible in the far distance and other landmarks that long-time fans of the series may possibly recognize and identify as Castle Town and Kakariko Village.
The most interesting aspect of the image is what Link is actually doing. Dressed in blue, just like in the previous trailer and equipped with sword, shield and quiver, the Hero of Time is scaling a steep cliff face. The Legend of Zelda series has long been a user of an auto-jump system. Players have become used to running off edges and automatically hopping to the other side. Climbing doesn’t really get more complicated for Link than a ladder or a simple ledge. With this title expected to offer a more open-world experience, could Link finally be able to jump and climb a bit more like Nathan Drake?
This isn’t the first piece of Legend of Zelda Wii U artwork that has teased fans in the absence of real information. While promoting a Miitomo social media event, in which Nintendo promised new limited edition items for the app, providing a certain tweet garnered enough retweets, the developer also released a piece of concept art. This one (see below) shows a hooded Link, riding the horse Epona, with the animal rearing up on its hind legs. Both images could easily be popular choices for a pre-order bonus poster.
In addition to the Treehouse Live event, Nintendo’s New York store in Rockefeller Plaza will be giving some attendees the chance to play the new Zelda for themselves. From June 14, at approximately 3pm PST, those with appointments will be able to try out a short session of the game. Only about 500 people will be able to take advantage of such an opportunity at first, but more chances will be available throughout the store’s regular opening hours during the week (provided people are prepared to queue patiently).
The Legend of Zelda is expected to be released in 2017 for Wii U and NX.