– by Joseph Jammer Medina

This past year saw Nintendo get back on the gaming back in a big way. After the mammoth failure that was the Wii U, they released the Nintendo Switch, a console that doubles as both a home and portable gaming system. On the system (as well as on the Wii U), they launched the latest entry in the Zelda franchise, The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild.

Not only was this the latest installment in a long, ongoing video game series, but it brought a whole new level of freedom that we haven’t seen since the original Legend of Zelda on NES (and perhaps, to a lesser extent, Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds). Gone was the ridiculous linearity of games like Skyward Sword. Following the tutorial in the first area of the map, you can pretty much do whatever you want.

Speaking with IGN, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma discussed how important that freedom was, and stated that it’s that aspect they think is important to retain going forward.

“You know, I can’t speak to what other people, other companies will do in their own games, but I think for me, especially just in terms of the Zelda series, the incredible freedom that this game offers you and how well that’s been received…to me, it means that freedom, that level of freedom is something that needs to be maintained in Zelda games going forward. My eyes have been opened to how important that is.”

This is a pretty important statement, because if there’s one thing that the Zelda franchise has proven over the decades, it’s that the series doesn’t need to be one thing. The Wind Waker proved that we can get a more cartoonish style before directly jumping into something more realistic like Twilight Princess.

The same could have been said for the gaming style of the franchise going forward. Perhaps every other game would skew closer to the more traditional formula that’s been around since Ocarina of Time, rather than have the franchise go pure open-world. It looks like, based on Aonuma’s comment, that for the time being, freedom is the name of the game — at least for the foreseeable future.

What do you think of Aonuma’s comment? Do you think that freedom is the way to go in the future Zelda games? Let us know down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.