Just minutes into the E3 2016 demo for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, we can’t help but notice how Nintendo’s back-to-basics approach impacts the overall experience. It’s a refreshing move for the series, one that recaptures the free-roaming sense of exploration and danger that made the first Zelda so memorable.
But what’s new in this vast open world? Plenty. There’s a jump button (!) that Link can use to cling on surfaces and climb tall mountains. He can stealthily sneak up on enemies. Weapons and resources have to be collected out in the wilderness (and they can even break). A new tool that hangs on Link’s belt, called the Sheikah Slate, uses runes to give Link access to special abilities. He has to cook meals to regain health (and you can’t get hearts from slashing away at grass anymore). The list goes on and on.