Easily extracting the biggest gasp during the conference, our glimpse of Zelda Wii U HD is strictly a tech demo. Link, a spruced up Twilight Princess character model, creeps through a huge cathedral before fighting a giant spider.
Typical Zelda stuff, in untypical HD. Certainly sexy: ornate wall carvings can be seen in startling clarity, dust-speckled light streams through the window and rippling water reflects and distorts the entire building. This is not two GameCubes taped together.
Interaction is limited to camera placement and day/night control. Switching to night reveals lip-wibbling lighting effects as torches cast long shadows and light up the underbelly of Link's arachnid attacker.
Streaming the game to the screen reveals how well the screen handles proper HD graphics. Not to knock New Super Mario Bros. Mii, but Zelda HD is pushing Wii U much harder and doesn't stutter, lag or struggle. If anything, condensing the visuals makes them look even prettier.
The demo raises an interesting question: what should an HD Nintendo game look like? Not to knock Wii's 480p, but Nintendo haven't had to massively reinterpret their beloved franchises since GameCube. Wii U demands that they do.
This demo? This is Twilight Princess multiplied by WOW. But do we want Nintendo simply building on the what they already have? Complete reinventions or shiny old favourites: what would you like HD Zelda to look like?
Legend of Zelda Wii U HD was revealed at this year's E3 2011. Click the link to keep up to date with all the E3 2011 news from the show.
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