(Pocket-lint) – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most celebrated games of the last generation, an instant open-world classic that’s having a major influence on game design years later.
It feels miraculous to play through, giving the player a level of freedom, and a lack of overbearing guidance, that is entirely rare in the genre, while telling a classic Zelda tale through flashbacks. The good headline news is that Nintendo has confirmed it’s working on a follow-up, but the project is still shrouded in mystery. We’ve gathered everything you need to know about the hotly-anticipated sequel right here.
Breath of the Wild 2 trailer
Nintendo showcased the trailer above during E3 back in 2019, stoking up massive levels of anticipation and excitement. The project hadn’t been rumoured a huge amount before the reveal, for once, with speculation rife but proof thin on the ground.
Now, though, we know it’s real and on the way.
Breath of the Wild 2 release date
When it comes to a release date, though, we’re in the dark – Nintendo didn’t append any such details to the development announcement, and also didn’t clarify how far along the game is.
Nintendo is increasingly playing around with how it announces release dates, though. We often get a reveal, then hear nothing for a good while before getting another trailer and a fairly imminent release date. By that logic, we hope to see a bit more about Breath of the Wild 2 in mid-2021, presaging a release late in the year.
In February 2021 Nintendo held its first full-size Nintendo Direct in over a year, and we were hopeful that Breath of the Wild 2 could be shown off. It wasn’t, sadly, but Nintendo did say that it hopes to give more details later this year. That does make us a little worried that the release date could end up being 2022, though!
However, this is all speculative, with various leakers indicating different timelines and all of them short of actual proof. We will have to wait and see.
Breath of the Wild 2 platforms
This is another interesting open-ended area – the strong assumption would be that Nintendo is building the sequel to one of its most well-received Switch games for the same platform.
However, we also know that there are really strong indications Nintendo might be working on a more powerful Switch Pro, which would have the power to run its games in higher resolutions to keep up with modern TVs.
If that more powerful console is real, it’d be a good bet that Breath of the Wild 2 will aim to take advantage of its beefier specs. However, we also think it’s almost guaranteed that the sequel will still work on current Switch models, too. Nintendo’s unlikely to box itself out of the enormous market it’s created, after all.
Breath of the Wild 2 story
This is where the teaser trailer is the most enticing – we were pretty satisfied at the end of the first Breath of the Wild, having uncovered exactly what happened all those years ago, and successfully defeated Calamity Ganon once more to free Highrule from his reign of terror.
Now, though, we see that the tale continues, with Zelda and Link seemingly delving into ruins below Hyrule Castle to find out more. It looks like the darkness that plagued the land hasn’t been banished fully, and there’s clearly something nasty going on down there.
The trailer seems to show some sort of power reviving the body of Ganon, and that power bears resemblence to the one featured in the Wii’s Twilight Princess. It’s all looking mighty spooky, and the tone of the trailer is impressively eery.
It all suggests that we’re in for one of the darker Zelda tales so far, along the lines of a Majora’s Mask, rather than the cartoony fun of something like The Wind Waker. Sign us up, because we can’t wait.
Breath of the Wild 2 gameplay
What those story hints mean for the game’s actual style is hard to know, but since it’s a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild we can assume that it’ll once more be a fully open-world adventure game.
We expect to still be able to gather different abilities and weapons throughout our playthroughs, too, although we’re very much hoping that Nintendo might make the weapon durability system a little more forgiving this time around, or get rid of it entirely.
Another prominent feature in the trailer is the central presence of Zelda throughout, which has fuelled the idea that she might be a playable character in the next game, something that would be incredibly cool to see. That said, there’s not exactly a lot of evidence for it, although you could surmise she’ll definitely have more of a role to play than last time out.
Regardless, we’re hoping for more emergent gameplay and gentle player-led discovery, along with a range of tools that let you interact with the world in novel ways – more of the same, basically! If the setting can also feel fresh and new, we’re in for a total treat.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.