Sunday, December 18, 2016

Breath of the Wild: Potential Seasons

The latest trailer for Breath of the Wild also brought along another topic - a potential change of seasons or at least seasonal areas:

With a giant open world Zelda game I always imaged having a dynamic change of seasons inside the game world. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a big gameplay element like in Oracle of Seasons, but something that makes the world feel more alive by simply altering the visuals of the environment. It could work like the fishing pond in Twilight Princess, just in the grand scale of the entire game, instead of being constrained to a single area. Realistically only the winter would make any real difference with frozen waters and snow masses. The other seasons would simply be there for a visual change.

It could even tie in to the internal clock of your Nintendo system, similar to Animal Crossing, but this would just make people change the clock around. It's better as an ingame system, but where you also want something like the Rod of Seasons to change between seasons. It could be as simple as "sleeping" through many days or it could be an item / ability or even something in the environment that manipulates the seasons, like some Sheikah weather control system.

However, it's doubtful that Breath of the Wild will offer actual seasons and a way to change them. It's more likely that we simply have areas in different seasons. In the trailer the transition from green trees to a Fall color doesn't happen in the same spot, they show us different trees. This week they also released a screenshot on Facebook that gives as a different look at colored trees:

It might be that this is just a junk in an otherwise green environment. Unless of course that those are simply a type of tree that gets colored leaves first, which would be pretty impressive, if they took this all into consideration.

But if you think about it, the game already has snowy / winter areas like the Mt. Hylia and the Hylia River at the Great Plateau. They would lose some of their meaning, if all of Hyrule could look like this. On the other hand, in Winter you could potentially go snowboarding everywhere, which would be pretty awesome. And even in Oracle of Seasons the game world had areas, which weren't affected by the seasons, like the Samasa Desert and Goron Mountain, where the latter was always in Winter as well. There are also deserts in Breath of the Wild, which wouldn't be affected either, and it simply could be that the change of seasons is something going on in the "normal" areas.

It's hard to tell at this point. Realistically we probably should only expect areas with different seasons, but Nintendo has teased it in a way, where a dynamic change of seasons also comes to mind and with it some fun potential, mainly through the Winter.

1 comment:

Marandahir said...

Skyrim pulled that same "region defines the season" bullcrap (The Rift was autumn, the other southern regions were spring/summer, and the northern regions were all winter).

I would love dynamic seasons, but it just might not happen with a game this size.