How do you feel about an open-world Zelda game?


Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2013
I've noticed some particularly interesting comments coming out of the Zelda machine lately. It seems the Wii U's Zelda game may feature less of a linear progression through dungeons and have something more like an open world scheme.

I think this is a really interesting idea! I've always been a fan of sandbox worlds where you are free to go out and just interact with the environment, apart from "questing" the main game's story line. My mind sort of arranges this as being a cross between elder scrolls style game play and Zelda gameplay, which over loads me with awesome.

So what do you all think? Is this a good direction to go with the franchise? Can a zelda-esque story be told with this type of gameplay or is it okay to abandon old preconceptions about what a Zelda story should be?
Legend of Zelda (NES) was pretty much an open-ended game, at least the first few levels. You could easily go into the early dungeons and defeat bosses out of order, although it wasn't the easiest thing in the world.
True, but then there wasn't anything to do in the game beyond completing dungeons. I'm talking about a Hyrule that is genuinely open world, a sandbox kingdom where you can have as much fun just milling about the world as completing the game's core objectives. Skyward Sword took the concept of linear progression to a new extreme in the Legend of Zelda series, and most of the series' games have required you to move along a predetermined path. Personally, I love the idea of there being an organic world beyond the story, and that's something LoZ has never had.
Not sure how it'd work for a Zelda game being open world. It might work....but the real question you need to ask yourself is this: Would gamers want it like that? and would Nintendo be willing to take the risk of doing something like that with one of their biggest IP's?
But think of most open world games - the greater majority are something like GTA or Saint's Row and those lines are by definition constrained to a central location that is fairly small. A single city or else a mostly faceless world with a few spots of interest. Beyond that you have Beth's Fallout and Elder Scrolls. While Beth does a much better job fleshing out their sprawling world they are also afflicted with bugs, glitches, and errors. Beyond that they often get slagged for enviroment repeats and the like.

And of course this is completely ignoring the what? feeling I guess of Zelda. Zelda is not about picking ingredients or reading books or watching folks hold mutant mole races. Nor is about wandering for the sake of wandering. Zelda is about completing a quest and people love that. If you took away that quest based functions what would that really serve? If you added this beside the quest function would it really improve the game? I don't think it would.

I love sandbox games, however I long ago realized they work better in some worlds/ with some genres then with others. An open world Silent Hill sounds cool, but I don't see how it could really work all that well. An open world Mario works awesomely, but an open world Pokemon isn't much better then what is already on tap. You see? Not all games benefit from the ability to wander.
I think that the Legend of Zelda series could do with an open-world type of game, as long as it's done right. Ocarina of Time felt like an open-world game, and in a way it was, but I still feel like it could be a bit more free than that. Some of my favorite games are non-linear, so it's something that I personally would be interested in. I know they probably aren't all that interested in messing with a formula that obviously works, but it may prove to be a smart move if enough people end up enjoying it.
Yeah, it seems like an interesting venture actually.
I tried to picture how this would work in my head but I can't.
I don't think there is truly any game that is 100% open ended is there?
Even the GTA games get to a point where you have to complete various story mission in order to progress further.
Minecraft is as open as open gets. The Elder Scrolls are pretty open as well. But Minecraft is 100% open ended.
The idea is very interesting. The thing most people liked about the Elder Scrolls series was the open world you could play in. I also remember Ultima Online had a pretty open setting. Zelda in an open setting if definetly worth a shot, if they do it right.
Sometimes having a linear game is good too. A Link to the Past often saw the player needing a certain item to get to the next level. In effect, that linear system of playing balanced the difficulty of the game. When you were forced to get items in a certain order, it made the game get progressively more difficult (in theory). I can see the pros and cons of both systems, and would be willing to give open Zelda a try.
If it were similar to Ocarina of Time, only bigger, I think that could work. There would be specific places that aren't accessible at certain times, but that would periodically open up once you progress far enough. I don't think they should stray too far from what has already worked in the past, but a little bit of risk could pay off big time.
I agree with Young Link. I think to make it completely open-world like Minecraft would not help reinvent the Zelda franchise nor would it attract new players. I think if you could find a style that is somewhat open-world but not completely then it could work and could be quite interesting. It needs to keep the story alive somehow though because I would get tired fast if I went 5 hours wandering aimlessly in a Zelda game. They could combine riding a horse and sailing a boat and any other means of transportation for exploring the open-world.

I would really love to see Nintendo completely rethink Zelda games as long as the trademarks are there. Things like puzzles, various weapons, unique characters, and epic sword fights are a must.
The original LOZ is an open world game that has dungeons that don't need to be completed in order. Unless you are skilled you will most likely die if you try some of the later dungeons early, and there are certain dungeons (or parts of dungeons) you can't access until you've gotten the item out of a previous dungeon.

I hope that the new Zelda is more like the original... it is my favorite of the series after all... a gorgeous HD game that feels like the original Zelda would rock my world.
I just realized I never answered the question haha

I would like a Zelda game with an open world similar to OoT. I liked being able to see the water temple, and fire temple, and forest temple from the beginning of the game. It made me want to keep playing to figure out what they were, same with wind waker, majoras mask, and twilight princess, in both of those you could see a temple, or see a chest, but couldn't get to it. It made you want to play and play and play so you could get to these things. That is all I want out of the next zelda game.
Making an open-world zelda only makes sense. After all, when they were making Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda, they literally had a bucket of idea that they divvied between the two games as to what would be fun in a linear game, and what would be fun in an open-world game. Unfortunately, that's the only time they did something like that, and things have changed a lot for what works in an open world and what doesn't.

Zelda 1 and 2 focused mainly on the overworld featuring secrets, including the dungeons, and not much else past traveling (the DS portables did the same). Link to the Past got the overworld right in which every screen is deliberate and has SOMETHING to do, and Windwaker and the Oracle games emulated the same to great success. That helps promote the exploration and scope of the world. Ocarina featured the overworld as more of a hub between zones, though Majora and Twilight Princess really expanded on that in bigger and better ways. Skyward Sword focused less on an overworld and went back to it being a hub between areas and zones (missed potential, in my book).

So, I say mix a little bit of all three types of overworld approach and see what we get.
Hmmm...I haven't played any of the LoZ games for any of the hand-held devices because, frankly, they are a bit hard for me to see. I have played all the others and am working on Skyward Sword, (no I haven't beat it yet), and I love them all. Not sure what is meant by Open World? What exactly does that mean?
I don't think an open world Zelda game would work at all. The reason it's so popular is because of the set Zelda game formula. With an exception of the first and second games, they are all the same set up. Straying from that would be a bad idea.
well we got one years later with botw and its awesome

Latest posts

Latest threads