Remember the glorious HD Zelda teaser Nintendo showed off at E3 2011? Well, I hope you didn't get too attached because rumor has it that the series' next installment won't look anything like the jaw-dropping image above. According to a report from Wii U Daily, the same inside source that accurately predicted Nintendo's online hub world Miiverse has now informed the site that the next installment in The Legend of Zelda is expected to launch on the Wii U in 2014 and sports graphics akin to Skyward Sword.
While the artistic art style of Link's latest outing on the Wii is nothing to scoff at, I think we all were hoping for something that looked a bit more like what Nintendo teased us with at E3 last year. According to the source, Nintendo believes "they’ve found the sweet spot with Skyward Sword, and they’re continuing this approach with the Wii U Zelda game.” That said, it surely doesn't come as a surprise, considering they pulled a similar stunt like this several years ago on the GameCube with the launch of Wind Waker.
But if there's one thing Nintendo has proven time and time again, it's that they know what they are doing. In fact, the source reports that “they’re using a new, state-of-the-art engine that’s being built from [the] ground up in parallel with the game. It’s got the most advanced visual features Nintendo has ever made, and includes a lot of third-party tech like Havok for physics and rendering middleware from Umbra.”
In addition to this tidbit of graphical info, the source goes on to add that Nintendo is investing in this title on a level they never have before. “They got hundreds of people working on the new Wii U Zelda game. It’s a 4-year development cycle with a new console, new technology, new engine etc. It’ll end up being the most expensive game they’ve made to date. It’s a huge investment for them [Nintendo] in money and manpower, this is Rockstar/GTA territory.”
As for how the game controls, it appears that Nintendo plans to take advantage of all the features of the Wii U GamePad. “Every single feature in the controller is used to its full potential. Some of this stuff is still in early stages of development, but they’ve already implemented enough to show just what’s possible with the new controller. They showed some of this stuff to key third-party devs behind closed doors last year to get them to realize the possibilities of the new tech.”
Initially the game was supposed to launch next year, claims the source, but because of the game's massive scope, Nintendo has pushed it to 2014.