Eiji Aonuma’s Favorite Non-Nintendo Game Of 2016

by Kyle Hilliard on Feb 20, 2017 at 08:00 AM

Our chat with Zelda producer Eiji Aounuma unsurprisingly focused on Zelda and Breath of the Wild, but we did get a chance to talk to him about a topic Nintendo developers don’t often discuss – games they didn’t make.

“In the past I didn’t play many video games. But then I realized, this isn’t right, I have to. So nowadays, I actually play a lot of overseas titles,” Aonuma says. In research for Breath of the Wild, Aonuma played games like Far Cry, The Witcher, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though he said Grand Theft Auto is a little too violent for him. “While playing those games, I do find some ideas, but it’s not that it connects directly to Zelda to where I would take something and use it in Zelda, but it’s more of something I keep in the back of my head while developing the game,” Aonuma says.

Last year was busy for Aonuma, as he was wrapping up development of a new Zelda game on a new console, but he did make tome for one game, even if he probably shouldn’t have based on his workload. “I was too busy in 2016, so I couldn’t play a lot of games [laughs], but I did play The Last Guardian,” Aonuma says. “[Fumito ] Ueda and I go back, so when he completed that game he sent a copy to me. It was actually a really busy time so I shouldn’t have been playing the game, but I just couldn’t resist, and it was really good.”

There aren’t many direct comparisons to be made between Breath of the Wild and The Last Guardian, but Aonuma didn’t identify at least one kinship it created between himself and Ueda. “Flying in the sky is very similar to paragliding in Breath of the Wild, so it kind of made me feel like, we’re friends, and we’re kind of doing a similar thing.”

For our review of The Last Guardian, head here.