UPDATE: Nintendo has confirmed that Tri Force Heroes will release for the 3DS in North America on October 23rd.
Even though Nintendo decided not to bring Zelda for Wii U to E3 this year, the venerable franchise will still have a presence at the show. Link, Link and Link made an appearance during Nintendo’s Digital Event in the newly announced Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes for 3DS.
Borrowing the art style of 2013’s amazing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, the new title is part four swords, part fashion show. It’s a cooperative game that tasks three players with employing a variety of ability-imbuing costumes to traverse dungeons, solve puzzles, and of course, defeat bosses. A samurai costume enables Link’s spin attack, a bomber outfit allows the use of bombs, and “Lucky Loungewear” gives Link the chance to avoid damage. Players will use these costumes, and presumably many others, in various combinations to tackle what look like traditional Zelda-style dungeons. Challenges can be approached in a variety of ways, depending on which costume layout you and your friends go out adventuring in.
Eiji Aonuma, Tri Force Heroes’ producer and longtime caretaker of the Legend of Zelda franchise, and Hiromasa Shikata, director, discussed the game’s ideas and mechanics a bit further. As opposed to past multiplayer Zelda experiences, which skewed more competitive, the focus of Tri Force Heroes is to be a truly cooperative experience. An example of this is the “totem mechanic”, which allows players to stack up on each others shoulders to reach higher places. “A four player totem was too tall” according to Shikata, hence the decision to make it a three player game.
Despite its multiplayer focus, Tri Force Heroes will allow for a single player experience as well. The void of the second and third players will be filled by two “doll-like” characters. Outfitting and switching between Link and his two doppelgängers will allow one player all the tools needed to play the game, but we can probably assume that it will be much more fun and interesting with friends.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force heroes launches for Nintendo 3DS in Fall 2015.