I've had mixed feelings about
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U from the moment it was first unveiled at E3 2014. On the one hand, the world Nintendo has presented so far is lush, beautiful, and open in a way we haven't seen since Twilight Princess's Hyrule Field. If Eiji Aonuma is to be believed, this new world is basically a modern iteration on the truly open, “go anywhere you want” overworld from The Legend of Zelda. No complaints there—there hasn't been a Zelda game since, that has truly embodied the qualities of the original.
But while our first high-definition trip to Hyrule is sure to offer some great views, this new
Zelda game has a job to do. While most Wii U owners seem more than satisfied with their experience, the system has struggled—more than any other Nintendo console—to get people interested. And things aren't looking too hot for The Legend of Zelda series, either. Once the undisputed king of fantasy adventures, the series has trudged into a steady decline in recent years, even as unprecedented successes have emerged in the open-world adventure and RPG space.
The Legend of Zelda for Wii U faces both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge: to reclaim the crown as the best, most popular fantasy game on the planet. The opportunity: to capture an audience that is hungry for adventure. To succeed, the new Zelda needs to be modern, needs to be relevant, and most of all needs to represent the pinnacle of quality. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure the Zelda we've seen so far hits the mark. Click on to find out why.