Last week was E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo). Most years, there’s something that catches my interest, and this year was no exception. I had heard rumors that there would be more information on the newest Legend of Zelda game, but I had some major concerns.
One of the things that separates Zelda from other games is the way that it feels like being inside of a book. And like in the pages of a book, the characters don’t (generally) speak aloud. They grunt, gasp, and giggle, but all of the dialogue is written, not spoken aloud.
More recently, some companions babble (specifically Fi and Midna) when giving the gamer direction. And there’s no forgetting Navi (from Ocarina of Time), who had three phrases that she repeated over and over again. (“Hey, listen!”) But that’s been the extent of it. Otherwise, I get to read the dialogue at my own pace: racing through when I’m ready to get to the next action sequence or slowly digesting the words when I want more time.
So when I heard that there was voice acting in the newest game and that the general formula was being changed, I got worried. Would they break my favorite game series?
The answer I found at E3 looks like a resounding no. It looks like the Zelda franchise is going to be okay. Not only that, but it’s about to make a shift, like it did from the days of 2-D gaming to the 3-D Ocarina of Time.
In the couple of hours of gameplay that I watched (… wow, it really was a couple of hours… I’m not sure how I feel about admitting that), only a narrator-type character spoke English aloud. Link encountered another person who used the same dialogue boxes that I’ve come to love. And the changes look more like a shift closer to modern RPG’s than anything. There’s food instead of heart containers. There are some options with clothing/armor and weapons. There are more natural sounds and some ambient music. But that’s about it so far. At its core, it still looks and feels like the game I love. Just one that’s had a breath of fresh air. (Perhaps the inspiration for its title?)
Want to see what the new game looks like? Check out some real gameplay here:
Are you looking forward to the new Zelda game or any others mentioned at E3?