We hear that The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, out tomorrow, is pretty difficult. So difficult in fact that Nintendo included player-versus-player. What the crap?
Could a punishing, confrontational direction be the way the series is moving? Not just yet. For now, the game allows you to send a shadowy bounty hunter into another player’s game to vie for rupees by way of StreetPass. The perpetrating player doesn’t directly control his fate, but builds a computer-controlled automaton that does the dirty work for him. True, there are diminished stakes. You are free to decline a challenge from an invader, which from my understanding is not how invasion works.
There are even shades of Dark Souls in here, which goes along with critic Tevin Thompson’s internet-famous call out. “[Skyward Sword is] the culmination of years of reducing the world to a series of bottlenecks. . . But a world is not one predetermined sequence after another, and a world is not a puzzle with a single solution,” he wrote, longing for the mystery of the Souls games. A Link Between Worlds takes a stab at answering his request, giving the player the freedom to discover the world in any order they see fit. If this course continues, it may only be a matter of time before we see corpse-raiding, rupee-plundering bandits raiding Hyrule. The question becomes: do we want this?