So, I recently heard that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is going to have survival elements thrown in. I took a look at the trailer and It seemed to me that that was indeed the case.
Based solely on what I've seen from the trailer, Link will be able to tame and ride horses, hunt and gather, cook food, fish, climb, and wield different weapons. To the trailer's credit, it made the game look interesting. It showcased some stunning environments and locations and showed off what the upcoming NX System is capable of doing. However, there were some things about this trailer that I noticed after the second and third watch that bothered me...
Where are the towns?
In most Zelda games there were a few towns dotted about the map. In those places you could talk to people, play minigames, or stock up on supplies before you head over to the next dungeon. I didn't see any towns in the trailer. Now, just because the trailer doesn't showcase them doesn't mean that there won't be any. However, with survival elements being thrown in, I have to wonder what role towns would play in the game.
Will you have to rely solely on your survival skills to get the tools and equipment you need for the quest? Aside from their practical use as places to stock up. Towns also serve as places where you can mingle with NPCs and get a feel for how the people live in this world. If there are no towns, then that begs the question as to whether or not the player will be able to interact with any people, or if this will be a lone survivor quest all the way through.
I heard that the Korroks from Wind Waker will be returning so maybe I'm worrying too much here.
How will survival mechanics impact the usual Zelda gameplay?
What do I mean by that?
Well, most Zelda games are, to put it simply, centered around going into a dungeon, solving its puzzles, killing the boss, and moving on to the next one. From what I've seen in the trailer, this game will have a massive expansive map for the player to explore as they hunt and gather and all those other things to survive. So, how will these survival elements mesh with what we as Zelda fans have come to expect from a Zelda game? Will players need to travel across this massive world to get from dungeon to dungeon, similar to Shadow of the Colossus?
It's not just the large map though, survival games usually have mechanics for sleep, hunger, stamina, and other things. With that in mind, how will it effect the dungeons (provided there are any, I'll get to that later ). If Link needs to eat, sleep, and heck knows what else, those things will need to be looked after before you go into a dungeon. Otherwise one of your survival needs might wear out, incurring some kind of penalty as a result.
For example, you go into a dungeon but forget to eat and Link keels over from hunger in the middle of a puzzle. Now, the game might not be like that at all. However, this is what I can see happening based on what I've seen from other games with survival elements like Minecraft. It all depends on how the game handles these survival elements, but I still don't see them mixing all that well with going into dungeons and solving puzzles.
Will equipment be destructible?
Another concern I have in this is destructible equipment. Losing gear isn't new in the world of Zelda. Like-likes eating your stuff, wooden shields catching fire, the Giant's Knife, that f-ing thief bird from Majora's Mask, the list goes on. However, in most survival games, you have the ability to craft your own equipment and said equipment will break after being used long enough. I really hate this mechanic and I really hope that it's not included in this game.
Using resources to build your own stuff is kind of fun. Having that same equipment break on you and then having to use even more resources replacing them is not fun. At all. Personally, I find this particular mechanic to be a waste of time and could potentially set players back if they're in the middle of a dungeon. Also, I really, REALLY hope that the Master Sword isn't breakable in this game. Having a breakable Master Sword would be a terrible idea.
Where are the dungeons?
I think it's safe to say that dungeons are one of the biggest and most important aspects of the Zelda franchise as a whole. Even those embarrassingly bad CDI Zelda games had dungeons. So where are they here? I saw what looked like boss monsters in the trailer but I didn't see any actual dungeons. This worries me a bit, but only just. It's likely that this trailer's purpose is mostly to show off the survival elements that will be featured in the game.
I'll grant that something that has never really been featured in a Zelda game before should get the most attention when it comes to marketing. Still, a sweeping shot of a new dungeon or something would have been nice. If it turns out that the game has no dungeons, then I would consider Breath of the Wild to be a Zelda game with a massive piece missing. I really hope this isn't the case.
So, those are the major concerns I have with Breath of the Wild having survival mechanics. If you have similar concerns or you think I'm worrying too much, share your thoughts with me in the comments below!