Nintendo's Switch presentation last week was streaked with doubt and optimism in equal parts, but at the end of it we all said the same thing in a single, ringing voice: "Holy frijoles, that new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is freakin' awesome."
It sure is. The trailer is a strong sales pitch for the Switch (or the Wii U if, y'know, you're going to go that route), and it's just one of the best trailers Nintendo's ever put together, period. This is the same company that successfully drip-fed us Super Smash Bros hype through iconic character reveal cinemas, don't forget. Even Nintendo can't easily leap over the bar set by its own media.
The trailer, which is three minutes plus change, works so well for a few reasons. First, Breath of the Wild is an inherently gorgeous game, and Nintendo reminds us with a minute of gentle opening scenes and music. It's nice to look at, but there's nothing about these sweeping shots we haven't seen before (save for some cool visual touches, like the dregs of a sunset reflecting off a waterfall pool). That's fine because it's a perfect setup for what we get in the second half of the trailer: Exposition.
Nintendo's been keeping Breath of the Wild's characters and story a guarded secret, but it finally fed us some tidbits in the new trailer. Granted, it's a familiar song for long-time fans of the Zelda series: Ganon, a centuries-long headache for Hyrule's Royal Family, is making waves again – and that's no small problem, because at some point the big pig got the title "Calamity" stapled to his name. People don't use a word like that unless they have a reason to. Nobody calls you a "Calamity" if you just stick to small evils like taking up two parking spaces.
The trailer really shines in its home stretch, though. We're introduced to a flurry of new and familiar faces (totally digging the new Zora designs over here) interlaced with intense action shots. The bond between Link and Zelda is what powers the last act's "Wow" factor, though. We know very little about what Link and Zelda mean to each other this time around, but given how Link holds her after an unnamed campaign has gone terribly wrong, it's clear they have a bond that's worth being interested in.
It's erroneous to say Zelda games have never been big on story or character development. Hyrule's had a rich history since Zelda II: The Adventure of Link for the NES (even if space limitations meant that story had to be relayed through the game's instruction booklet). While the series' narrative is rarely at the forefront of each quest, there's always more than enough to keep you moving.
Up until now, the trailers for Breath of the Wild reassured fans that Link's new world is expansive and filled with foes just quivering for a chance to hack up the hero. Its last trailer is the final bit of assurance: Proof that there's a good reason to get out there and get close to the people who live in the shadow of Calamity Ganon.
So, is it March 3 yet?
…How 'bout now?
Got questions about Link's first adventure for the Nintendo Switch? We have answers. Check out all our guides, tips, and articles about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.