Nintendo surprises with Zelda: Triforce Heroes coming this year

A surprise for Nintendo fans at the company’s Digital Event this Tuesday morning when Zelda: Triforce Heroes was announced for the 3DS.

Designed with the same art style as 2013’s A Link Between Worlds, the new title is a three-player co-op adventure in the Zelda universe. It returns to the multiplayer mechanics of games like Four Swords but reduces the need to be competitive and heightens teamwork as a strategy to succeed in the game.

The newest mechanic in the game is called totems, in which players can climb on each other’s shoulders to reach new heights. Totems can be either two or three players high, allowing the three characters complete different puzzles. The heroes in the game will also be able to throw items to each other from across platforms, allowing unreachable areas become accessible.

Triforce Heroes will also include a fashion element, director Himoasa Shikata said in the presentation. Collecting new outfits will give the heroes different abilities. Some outfits include the Big Bomb Outfit, a Zelda Dress, and something called Spin Attack Attire. This is likely the way Nintendo is reasoning that each character will have slightly different abilities to force players to work together.

The single-player game will not feature three Links as were feature in Four Swords or Four Swords Adventures, but rather a single Link and up to two doll-like companions. They’ll be swappable in-game so that the game can be completed just as well as would be possible if there were three people playing cooperatively.

With the game launching later this year, though no specific date has been revealed. We expect to get some hands-on time with the game on the E3 show floor in just a few hours, and we’ll report back with our impressions.