Warning: The above video and post below contain mild non-story Breath of the Wild spoilers.
Fans have been waiting for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for a long time. The game was unveiled at E3 2014, then showed off in more detail in December of that year at The Game Awards. At the time, Nintendo was promising a 2015 release, but you know how it goes with Zelda release dates.
Considering the snippets of Breath of the Wild footage we saw in 2014 are nearly three years old, you’d expect them to be extremely rough and not reflective of the final game at all, but it turns out that’s not the case. The Nintendo fanatics at GameXplain decided to take the blurry, off-screen footage Nintendo showed at The Game Awards 2014 and compare it to the final game, and they found a surprising number of similarities.
For starters, it turns out Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s map was pretty much already set in stone in 2014. Some minor details have changed of course, but the overall layout was in place…
From there, the GameXplain guys tried to visit specific areas shown in the Game Awards footage, and in almost every case they managed to find them. There’s been various minor tweaks made, and obviously Breath of the Wild’s graphics have improved in a big way, but the overall landscape is very similar. It’s clear Nintendo’s latest version of Hyrule has existed in some rough form for years now.
So, why did we have to wait until 2017 for Breath of the Wild if most of the game was already built in 2014? Well, the Nintendo Switch port probably had a big hand in the delay, but this is also just how Nintendo works. They often get the basics in place quickly, then spend a long time tweaking and refining. Also, Shigeru Miyamoto may have been too busy climbing Hyrule’s trees to give his approval on anything.
You can read our full The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild review right here.