Following an incredible new trailer, Nintendo debuted the first look at live gameplay during its Nintendo Treehouse livestream. During the stream, Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma was on hand to walk through the gameplay session, confirming a ton of new features.
The demo, which will be the same as that played by those in attendance at E3, begins at the very start of the game, with Link waking in a mysterious shrine full of water before finding an item called the "Sheika Slate" - which interacts with other technological elements of the environment.
The demo (embedded at the foot of this article) confirmed custom clothing with apparent armour attributes, and a dedicated jump button to help Link traverse and climb - a first for the series. Link is able to climb walls and surfaces for as long as a stamina metre isn't empty. Said metre also dictates what items - such as boulders - Link can push, how long he can sprint for and how far he can push himself in combat.
Moving through the world, Link is seen collecting items like branches, Hyrlian mushrooms and apples. Apples and mushrooms can be eaten, while branches can be used as torches and for spreading fire. Link than happens across an old man. It becomes apparent here that the game's voice acting seems limited to the narrator speaking to Link, and not NPCs in the world. The man points Link toward a nearby temple in a state of decay, which it transpires is the Temple of Time.
Link soon finds an axe he can use to cut down trees and as a weapon. He later encounters a group of enemies he dispatches of, but not without breaking his wooden sword. Yup, breakable weapons. Presumably the Master Sword can't break (we hope). Combat also includes a "Flurry Rush" which slows down time, allowing Link to unleash multiple attacks.
Aonuma confirmed that players will no longer replenish health through collecting hearts from items, but instead from collecting and eating food that can also be cooked.
At this point the demo stopped due to a time restriction that applies to trade show attendees, but was mistakenly not turned off here. These fifteen minutes are embedded below. The demo continued after a break, but ran for a few hours - revealing a whole lot of information.
Nintendo kicked off their E3 Treehouse livestream with a new gameplay trailer and confirmation of the game's subtitle - Breath of the Wild. Nintendo debuted the first gameplay from upcoming 3DS titles Pokémon Sun and Moon before getting to the Zelda discussion, prompting a predictable impatient backlash online.
The new Zelda was first announced in 2014, with gameplay debuting during Nintendo's E3 2014 Nintendo Direct broadcast. Nintendo has made it clear since the announcement that this new title would shake up the established Zelda formula.