A reader suggests Nintendo’s new Zelda sequel should be an open world multiplayer game that takes influence from Apex Legends.
Like many I was very excited to hear the news about the new Zelda game this week, and while it’s not yet clear whether it’s a sequel or a spin-off the involvement of Monolith Soft, suggests it’s something pretty major and probably a mainline game. The logical assumption would be that it’s a follow-up to Breath Of The Wild and while it’ll surely add a whole bunch of new ideas and features the huge success of the last game – much more than any other modern day Zelda – means the most sensible thing to do is more of the same.
Except this is Nintendo, and they never like to do the obvious thing. Sometimes that’s to their benefit and sometimes not but I’m sure they’ll be able to cook up some inventive twist on the newly established formula. And I know what I want it to be: multiplayer.
All the mainline Zelda games have been single-player only games but there have been experiments before, with games like Four Swords Adventures and Tri Force Heroes. Both of these games worked very well, I thought, although their biggest problem was the difficulty in getting enough people together to play it, as neither supported online play.
What I’m imagining would be though. And while the previous games have focused primarily on puzzle-solving, something set in a Breath Of The Wild style open world could be a lot more varied. Imagine exploring the world with your own friends, sharing recipes and items, competing in races, helping out in fights, and completing puzzles that you could never have done on your own.
Even rock-climbing would be more fun with friends, since that’s never something you’d do on your own, while stealth would suddenly become a lot more tense as you have to rely on the nerves of others as well as just yourself.
I’ll ignore the technical issues with this, because I don’t know (or care) what they are, but on a basic level we’ve seen things like this plenty of times, with Ghost Recon: Wildlands being perhaps the best comparison. I don’t think there’s any obvious reason why something like this couldn’t be done on the Switch and since it wouldn’t necessarily need a lot of players at a time I’m going to assume that side of things is fine.
The problem, and I think this is one of the big reasons why Nintendo has never done something like this before, is how people act online. Nintendo is only ever one tabloid headline away from disaster when it comes to kids being subjected to the worst extremes of Internet behaviour and I don’t blame them at all for trying to avoid it as best they can.
They can’t stop people acting like idiots but they can stop them talking like them, which has meant no voice chat in any of their major games. That would make what I’m suggesting for Zelda impossible, except we do now have a good example from another game for them to follow. And that game is Apex Legends.
The Ping communication system is one of the unsung heroes of Apex Legends’ success, allowing you to communicate with other people in a fair amount of detail without voice chat or typing. This is exactly what a multiplayer Zelda would need and I’m sure Nintendo would be able to put a spin on it where it was some kind of story element and not just in-game chat.
Nintendo has already done games as a service really well with the Splatoon games but I do believe they could go a step further with a persistent Zelda world that’s populated by real people and continually updated as the months go by. In concept something like Fallout 76 would be pretty close to what I’m thinking, although obviously the execution would be a little better, I’d hope.
Sooner or later Nintendo tries every kind of genre and game concept, to put their mark on it, but they’ve usually resisted the idea of adding multiplayer to single-player games. I’m fine with that in general but I really do think it could be the next big step for The Legend Of Zelda.
By reader Onibee
The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
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