When Nintendo first announced the most ambitious game in The Legend of Zelda series - the upcoming The Legend of Zelda for Wii U - it's safe to say that the fanbase got pretty excited about the concept.
The first game in the series to be made with HD graphics, The Legend of Zelda Wii U will also encompass the biggest map ever seen in the games, moving the dungeon explorer closer towards being fully realised as a true open world game thanks to the advanced capabilities of the Wii U system.
The Legend of Zelda was first set to release sometime towards the end of 2015, but back in March 2015 we received the sad news that the massively anticipated game was to be pushed back from the original release date into an unspecified time in 2016. This meant that we didn't get to see any footage screened at E3 as had been expected, which dealt a blow to many a Nintendo fan's hopes and dreams.
The most recent teaser simply stated the release date as "2016", so whilst we know it's coming out sometime this year the specifics of the date are yet to be confirmed.
Part of the reasoning behind why The Legend of Zelda was delayed was due to the fact that new possibilities arose during development for the game, as explained by game producer Eiji Aonuma back in March. These possibilties gave birth to new ideas and concepts to work into the most ambitious instalment in the Legend of Zelda series yet, allowing the potential to create something to exceed even his own expectations.
A large part of this was to do with the "open world" aspect of the upcoming game (though Aonuma really doesn't really like using that world in relation to The Legend of Zelda). Back in October 2015 he spoke a little about the new game to IGN, revealing that The Legend of Zelda is going to have a "surprise" twist to the open world mechanics.
Open-world games usually contain similar base elements; a marked location map, the ability to fast travel between unlocked locations, a navigation system/compass, freedom of non-linear narrative movement, etc etc. It's hard to imagine a game that could come along with a twist to shake up the already established format, but possibly it has something to do with pushing the boundaries of the system as Aonuma explains that the "open-world" tag only really applies to the upcoming game because of the advanced capabilities of the Wii U.
The Legend of Zelda games have always involved exploring open-world areas and navigating dungeons but never with this kind of scope before, and Aonuma says that's all down to the Wii U:
"A huge, seamlessly unfolding world is something that can't be achieved if the hardware isn't advanced enough. 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."
Game Pad Map
As you're traversing the aformentioned open world upon your trusty steed Epona the Wii U game pad has a large part to play in the interaction. By tapping on the screen you'll be able to mark locations and zoom in and out, using the gamepad as a fully interactive map.
Aonuma also teased the possibility of The Legend of Zelda Wii U containing a multiplayer aspect, claiming that the game will be "more than just a single-player experience".
He said that we will see the series becoming more than just a single player experience at some point in the future, suggesting that the Wii U game would "maybe" be the one to take The Legend of Zelda to the next level.
Puzzle solving has long been a central facet of the series' games, but The Legend of Zelda Wii U is set to "reconstruct" the mechanic itself. Aonuma has previously discussed the idea of moving beyond traditions associated with the series and the puzzle games are no exception to this.
"As a player progresses through any game, they're making choices. They're making hopefully logical choices to progress them in the game. And when I hear 'puzzle solving' I think of like moving blocks so that a door opens or something like that. But I feel like making those logical choices and taking information that you received previously and making decisions based on that can also be a sort of puzzle-solving. So I wanna kinda rethink or maybe reconstruct the idea of puzzle-solving within the Zelda universe."
Again Aonuma has remained quite coy about how exactly he plans to shake up the format for the upcoming game, but expect some noticeable adjustments to what we've seen before.
Weapons & Enemies
We saw some of what to expect in the 2014 E3 reveal, which featured Link facing off against a tentacle waving Peahat looking enemy shooting energy beams all over the shop and wrecking the landscape, but beyond that not much information yet on other characters and enemies has been released (though doubtless Princess Zelda and likely Ganondorf will show up at some point).
But the E3 reveal also showed Link wielding a pretty snazzy looking new weapon, a modified bow with a transforming arrow which unfolds and shines with a blue light, used to destroy the Peahat like enemy. It's likely that we'll be able to use different types of arrows with this bow, as Link also appears to use Bomb Arrows in his fight against the enemy.