The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo get a bad rep sometimes for churning out essentially the same game but with minor tweaks. The new Mario Kart isn't far removed from those before it, the latest Mario was very similar to 3D Lands and there's not a world of difference between the last two Donkey Kong Country games.

They get away with it because of that Nintendo polish, charm and the near-guarantee that the game will be great. Very rarely does a top tier Nintendo title disappoint.

Compared to most Nintendo IPs, The Legend of Zelda has seemed the most stagnant for some time. Not since Wind Waker has a game in the series really inspired its fans, despite games since enjoying great reviews as well.

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda games tend to be classics on arrival, but not since that GameCube game – recently remade for Wii U – has one really been special.

Since Skyward Sword was released in 2011 there's been a hunger for something different from the series and during their E3 online event Nintendo, in a rare moment, gave their fans exactly what they wanted.

Series producer Eiji Aonuma introduced the segment following a simple new logo that indicated the new direction that was about to follow. Aonuma spoke of the original Zelda games and the sense of adventure they had.

Exploration of an expansive environment has been a key element of the series that has diminished with recent iterations. For this new Zelda it is a key design element, perfectly encapsulated by our first glimpse of Link atop his horse on a vast, expansive plain unlike anything seen in the series before.

Suddenly Hyrule Field in Ocarina of Time looks like a front garden.

A more open Zelda that doesn't hold the player's hand as much is what the fans want... and last year we got that game. A Link Between Worlds allowed us to tackle dungeons in the order we wanted and there was a weapon rental system as well allowing us to customise our inventories for each dungeon.

The Legend of Zelda

It shook the Zelda formula up against the backdrop of a classic Zelda's version of Hyrule, a decision made to ease fans into the new with the promise of something old and cherished.

Were Nintendo testing the waters for similar changes to the console Zeldas? That's the popular theory, and if that was the case then that game's success sets things up nicely for the new game.

Just that one beautiful image of the new game would have been enough to quench our thirsts but as Aonuma wrapped up that first image gave way to some serious action as a strange, spider-like... thing... approached Link and opened fire with a laser. A chase gives way until the thing catches up and Link begins to fight, firing off explosive arrows as the trailer wraps.

The new Zelda was always going to be one of E3's most talked about games, but it looking this good makes it one of E3's best.