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Tears of the Kingdom producer hints at more open-world Zelda games in the future
It looks like The Legend of Zelda will stick to its winning formula moving forward
I’m thoroughly enjoying my time with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and, obviously, I’m not the only one. In my Tears of the Kingdom review roundup, critics showered praise on Nintendo’s follow-up to Breath of the Wild, and it’s now become the highest-rated game on OpenCritic of all time.
Despite only releasing last Friday, fans may be wondering what the future of the franchise holds. According to series producer and director Eiji Aonuma, Zelda’s open-world formula may be here to stay, which is good news if you ask me.
In an interview with Game Informer, the Nintendo veteran was asked whether Breath of the Wild established a new blueprint or foundation for the next several Zelda games for years to come.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: The next Zelda game
👍 The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s open-world formula could feature in games for years to come
🪂 Series producer and director Eiji Aonuma believes it’s created a new format
🤯 Tears of the Kingdom is one of the highest-rated games of all time
🎮 It’s available now exclusively on Nintendo Switch
“With Ocarina of Time, I think it's correct to say that it did kind of create a format for a number of titles in the franchise that came after it. But in some ways, that was a little bit restricting for us,” Aonuma explained. “While we always aim to give the player freedoms of certain kinds, there were certain things that format didn't really afford in giving people freedom.
“Of course, the series continued to evolve after Ocarina of Time, but I think it's also fair to say now that we've arrived at Breath of the Wild and the new type of more open play and freedom that it affords. Yeah, I think it's correct to say that it has created a new kind of format for the series to proceed from.”
Aonuma was also asked whether all the creativity and player freedom that Tears of the Kingdom offers created any worry that the team may be changing the DNA of a typical Zelda game, and whether that causes any nervousness.
“Well, it's just as you said: Making sure that Zelda-ness or that Zelda feel is really in the game. I think that's a really important point,” Aonuma says. “Even if a game like Breath of the Wild has really big changes in it, as long as the fans and the players are able to feel that this is a Zelda game at its core when they play the game, that is something that is really important for us when meeting fans' expectations.”
There’s no doubt in my mind that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be making an appearance in our best Nintendo Switch games list, once I’ve had more hands-on time with the game. I adored Breath of the Wild, but Tears of the Kingdom offers the kind of unbridled freedom I’ve yet to experience in a video game before. It’s truly magical.
It’s also got me eyeing up some new additions to my amiibo collection. Nintendo’s little figurines can unlock all sorts of goodies and rewards in-game – check out the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom amiibo unlocks and rewards for a full breakdown of everything you can get.
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