Hiromasa Shikata, director of The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes, has explained why the game contains three instead of four-player co-op.
Speaking on Miiverse, via Nintendo Everything, Shikata said the team felt there would be a more natural sense of cooperation with three players, compared with four as an even number of players tend to divide into separate teams.
“When three players are split up and, say, two players have to catch up with the third player or one player gets lost and the other two have to work together to try and find them, all three players naturally develop a sense of cooperation,” he said. “Four players divide evenly into two teams, and I think that they might sometimes lose touch with the spirit of cooperation.
“We wanted to focus on cooperation in Tri-Force Heroes, and the concept of a triangular relationship between three players was something we talked about a lot. The core gameplay mechanic is that players can lift one another to form a totem and work together to solve puzzles.
“These totems are less complicated to form with three people than with four, so it was perfect.”
Producer Eiji Aonuma added that players could become “frustrated in online multiplayer mode,” so they should make use of the communication icons in order to overcome some of the more challenging puzzles.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes is out on 3DS systems today.