'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild' Preview: Their First Sandbox Zelda Game Will Be Popular

By Joe Marsalis , Updated Jul 18, 2016 08:27 AM EDT

The latest installment in Nintendo's iconic "The Legend of Zelda" series, "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," will be the franchise's first open-world game—and if other "sandbox" games (like "Grand Theft Auto" and "Red Dead Redemption") are any indication, this sequel in the series will go on to be massively popular.

Writer Anthony Dickens of Nintendo Life managed to get some time with the demo version of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," wondering if he, as a traditional gamer who prefers linear games with a clear beginning and end, could fall in love with the game. 

The "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" demo came in two modes: a mode that stuck strictly to the story, and a mode that allowed the player complete freedom.

In the demo's story mode, Dickens noted that the intro was "short but fascinating." The sequence keeps the Hyrule of "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" shrouded in mystery, revealing just enough to make you want to begin exploring all around. Like any "Legend of Zelda" game, the story gives you enough direction to steer you toward the places you need to go and visit, but you also still retain enough freedom to do whatever you want to do. That, at least, is intact.

Dickens also notes that "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's" control scheme is changed from what longtime "Legend of Zelda" players are normally used to. Dickens had a hard time getting the control scheme just right, and hopes that Nintendo would be able to fix it before the final release.

The most important takeway from "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's" demo is its total freedom. Link is programmed in such a way that the player is able to take him anywhere, make him run and climb anything, and do just about everything.

Everything that can be found in the game, including the environment itself, contain a million different ways of interacting with one another (also thanks to an amazing physics engine), so you're going to want to try anything and everything. Dickens notes that if there's any criticism he has for "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," it's that it doesn't do so well graphically on the Wii U. The upcoming Nintendo NX would be best for the game.

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" will release next year on both Wii U and NX. We'll have more updates on Gamenguide as we get them.

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