The most ambitious Zelda game ever made is said to be heading to the Wii U -- for the first time in HD -- in 2014.
A Japanese source told Wii U Daily that the visual style will be similar to Skyward Sword, not the darker tone of Twilight Princess, as it appeals to a larger audience.
It's said to have the biggest development team of any Zelda game, led by Eiji Aonuma, who have been working on the game since 2010.
"It’s a 4-year development cycle with a new console, new technology, new engine etc. It’ll end up being the most expensive game they’ve made to date," said the source, who likened it to Grand Theft Auto and Rockstar in terms of funding and manpower.
The ambitious claims come as the new Zelda will apparently have about as many dungeons as previous games -- Skyward Sword took around 45 hours to complete -- but each will be considerably bigger and more diverse than anything we've seen before. Some are so big that they will be broken up into three parts, still take hours to complete, and the first could be an entire forest.
Audiophiles will be pleased to hear that the orchestral soundtrack is being completely redone with hours of new music.
Online features are mentioned, but that doesn't mean online multiplayer, as Zelda is inherently a singleplayer adventure.
Finally, the source claims that Zelda will demonstrate how to use the Wii U tablet controller better than anything else, as it was instrumental in designing the controller's functionality.
As we already know, it will be nothing like the tech demo shown at E3 2011. That was merely a glimpse at Zelda in HD, and was never intended to be a game. Nintendo had planned to release a Wii U Zelda game in 2013 to strengthen the line-up against new hardware from Sony and Microsoft, but that quickly become an impossible goal.
- Wii U Zelda in 2014
- Originally targeted 2013, but that isn't possible
- Been in development since 2010
- "Most ambitious" Zelda game yet with massive dungeons, considerably bigger than anything before
- Continues Skyward Sword's visual style in HD
- It will have basic online features, but no multiplayer
- A new orchestral soundtrack
- Likened to GTA in terms of money spent and size of the development team
- It has nothing to do with the tech demo shown at E3 2011. That isn't a game.
By Ben Salter