Nintendo had quite a few surprises for gamers at E3 2015. One such surprise was the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes. Some of you have probably played The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, and Triforce Heroes feels like a spiritual successor to that title. It's a three-player cooperative Zelda game that requires all three players to cooperate with one another if you want to make it through the game. Of course you can also just make life miserable for the other players, but that won't get you very far.
All three players in Triforce Heroes play as Link, but you can earn new outfits that change the appearance of your character and give you new abilities such as a more powerful Spin Attack or bombs. While you can play Triforce Heroes with just one player (with the other two becoming AI that you can control via the touchscreen), it's not possible to play the game with two human players. You can play single player or with three humans, but communication is key.
At the beginning of each level all three players are presented with items. These items are used to solve puzzles throughout each dungeon. Triforce Heroes supports local and online multiplayer, with communication being handled by eight icons on the touchscreen. Playing local multiplayer is a little easier because you can tell the other players exactly what you need them to do. If you need one player to toss a bomb to the player with Gust Jar so they can knock the bomb into place, it's much easier to communicate that with words rather than a handful of button commands along the lines of "Over Here" or "Throw".
In addition to the items you receive at the beginning of each level, you can stack all three players like a large totem. This allows the player at the top to access previously out of reach areas, attack enemies high above, or perform a number of other actions. In some cases it's important to stack players in a specific order. You may need the player with a bomb to be at the top of the totem so that they can jump to a high platform and use a bomb to clear a path for the other two players. If the player with a Gust Jar is at the top of the totem, you won't be able to achieve this goal.
You aren't just working together for the greater good, you are tied to the other two players in almost every way. All three characters share hearts (life gauge) and lives. If one player falls into an abyss several times, they will take all of the additional lives, leaving the other two players with just their current life. Likewise, if one player takes damage over and over, they'll deplete the heart reserves of all three players. This is why it's vital to pay attention to your surroundings and the other players so you know what to do and when to do it. One mistake can cause everyone to start the dungeon over.
If you get sick of trying to play cooperatively, you can always hop into the Colisseum Battle Mode and go head-to-head with your friends or strangers. This is especially useful when you've had a traumatic experience trying to get someone to perform a certain action. Stop the game, save and exit, then head into the Colisseum Battle Mode to deal with your frustrations. It may not help you progress in the main game, but at least you'll be able to relieve some of that stress.
The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes is due out this holiday season for the Nintendo 3DS. Stay tuned to Prima Games as we continue to provide previews and tips as the game draws closer to release. In the meantime, you can check out our coverage of one of Nintendo's other holiday releases, Mario Tennis Ultra Smash!