That Zelda game from Nintendo’s best team? Not happening.
Retro Studios is working on … something, but it’s not a Legend of Zelda title
Look, Skyward Sword was a good game and everything but Nintendo didn’t really shake up the formula. The motion controls were genuinely interesting and accurate, but the actual content was largely traditional (fetch quests, how I hate you). The frustrating feeling comes from the dungeons, which showed glimpses of what a creative Zelda game can produce and what a team like Retro Studios – considered one of the Nintendo’s best – could deliver.
Speaking to IGN, Shigeru Miyamoto said it’s not an impossibility. He added traditionally the Zelda team has had close contact with developers making a title, and with Retro U.S.-based communication could be difficult. While Retro are too busy, working on its next title, if the studio developed a Zelda game Miyamoto would have to be in the U.S. a lot.
Since Donkey Kong Country Returns, we haven’t heard from Retro. Recent rumors said the studio was working on a Star Fox-Metroid crossover title, which was at least a suggested idea, while there have been rumors the studio could be working on a new Metroid game. The latter’s unlikely I think; maybe, just maybe, they’re working on a new Mario title. That would be a surprise, wouldn’t it?
Learning From The West
As for the criticisms Zelda has received since Ocarina of Time released, it’s becoming time for the title to evolve. The Ocarina of Time formula was great – it held up for over ten years – but discovering dungeons across areas with distinct environments feels dated. You can look at games like Uncharted which are very action-centric, or RPGs such as Skyrim which are a complete open world and let the player do anything. Imagine that formula with Zelda dungeons, a weapon, armor upgrade system along with dialogue choices that are dynamic.
It’s been done before, but combined with the fantastic art style I think you’d have a very unique product once again. I don’t see an RPG replicating those epic, long dungeons which bring complex puzzles and the back-and-forth struggle when you’re trying to figure out solutions. An open world Zelda? Where do I sign?