The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been a resounding success not just for the series but for the Nintendo Switch itself, earning several top-tier awards including the prestige of being Shacknews' own game of the year 2017. It's a great game for a number of reasons, not the least of which being its vast open world and peerless sense of exploration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the formula has proven to be so successful that producer Eiji Aonuma has expressed interest in keeping Breath of the Wild's sense of freedom while moving forward with new games in the series.
Speaking with IGN, Aonuma expressed his belief that this sense of freedom was paramount to Breath of the Wild's success, and stated a desire to keep that feeling intact when designing future games in the series.
“You know, I can't speak to what other people, other companies will do in their own games," Aonuma said, "but I think for me, especially just in terms of the Zelda series, the incredible freedom that this game offers you and how well that's been received… to me, it means that freedom, that level of freedom is something that needs to be maintained in Zelda games going forward. My eyes have been opened to how important that is."
This was further reinforced when considering the company's main design focus for the game, most notably including the ability for players to forge their own paths and approach obstacles and challenges with their own unique solutions:
“A big theme of [Breath of the Wild] was that there should be multiple answers, multiple methods, multiple ways of doing anything," he said. "All the dungeons, we wanted to make it so that the players would be able to solve problems in any way they wanted to without us even being able to know what they would do to solve it."
It's hard to say exactly what the notion of freedom might entail for various gamers, but it's safe to say that whatever the specific criteria may be, Breath of the Wild got it right. And though we don't necessarily feel like the next game in the Zelda series should be predominantly similar to Breath of the Wild, we certainly won't be complaining that winds up being the case.
It might be a while before we get any sort of concrete details regarding the next game in the series, but until then, players can at least enjoy the brand-new Champions Ballad DLC and all of the fantastic challenges and rare rewards it offers, including the chance to earn the shiny new Master Cycle Zero motorcycle.