The Next Legend of Zelda

The time has almost come. E3 – the premiere videogame trade show – is just days away, which means the curtain will soon be lifted on dozens of games. Some of them will be known quantities – The Last Guardian, Kingdom Hearts 3, maybe even a new Halo – and others will be total surprises. Of all the games at the show, there’s only one that has me captivated, and that’s The Legend of Zelda for Wii U.

I’ve been a fan of the series for the better part of 20 years (starting with Ocarina of Time around ’98 or ’99), so naturally any new game announcement would be worth my attention. This time, however, there’s something else at play. The people at Nintendo say that they’re going “back to basics” and setting aside the conventions we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. They’re looking at games like Skyrim for inspiration. It’s intriguing stuff, to say the least, but it also means that for the first time in years no one is really sure what to expect.

There are rumors, of course. Each new piece of artwork or tantalizing quote seems to spark hours of speculation and/or hand-wringing on places like Reddit, YouTube, and the countless gaming blogs. “Link’s appearance will be customizable, a la World of Warcraft or Skyrim,” I’ve heard some say. “All the characters will be fully-voiced,” others have claimed. Some people have even said “Link is a girl this time,” which was a somewhat shocking idea the first time I heard it, but now I kind of hope it’s true (or that we’ll at least have the option). Basically, everyone wants this to be the ultimate Legend of Zelda game, filled to the brim with all their hopes and dreams for the series. No matter what is revealed at E3, someone is bound to be disappointed. It’s a real Schrödinger’s videogame scenario.

Naturally, I have my own thoughts on what I’d like from the next Legend of Zelda game, but I think I’ll save that topic for another time. Instead, I’ll say this: if the game is even half of what the rumors say, I will be overjoyed.