Breath of the Wild 2 is the biggest upcoming game, but it’s not coming out in 2021.
Nintendo announced the sequel back in 2019 with a spooky teaser trailer that collectively dropped jaws. It contained no release date, leaving fans begging for any new information. Nintendo was mostly silent on the game for over two years, only occasionally mentioning that they were not ready to talk about it.
As part of The Legend of Zelda series’ 35th anniversary, a new trailer for the game was finally shown during E3 2021. It even included gameplay and a release year! Following that showcase, here is everything you need to know about the still-untitled sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
When is the Breath of the Wild 2 release date?
At E3 2021, Nintendo confirmed that they are aiming to release Breath of the Wild 2 in 2022. No further date was given, so we don’t know if it will be released earlier or later in the year.
Breath of the Wild 2 is deep in development, so some were hopeful it might drop this holiday season, but that wasn’t meant to be. The fact that Series Producer Eiji Aonuma also says that it is only “aiming for” a 2022 release means that it could be later in the year or slip into 2023 if the team ran into development issues.
It could be released alongside the Switch Pro, though this seems unlikely, especially if the upgraded system comes out this year. For now, we just have to wait patiently for a more specific date once again and be happy at we at least have a release year to go on now.
Is there a new Breath of the Wild 2 trailer?
Yes, there is! A brand new trailer for the game was shown off at E3 2021. It shows Link gliding and falling through the air, revealing that players will be able to explore islands in the sky. It also highlights some of the new powers Link will have at his disposal, including one that allows him to phase through objects.
It’s an exciting trailer and way more revealing than the mysterious teaser from E3 2019. Check it out below!
What is the Breath of the Wild 2 story?
The E3 2021 trailer didn’t confirm much in the way of new story details. Still, we believe that Breath of the Wild 2 will follow up after the events of Breath of the Wild. The announcement trailer hints at a darker tone during certain parts of the adventure as Link and Zelda team up. It also looks like players will be staying in Hyrule based on the trailer.
It’s unclear exactly what’s happening in the trailer, but plenty of fans have guessed that Link and Zelda may have discovered the dried-up corpse of Ganondorf deep below Hyrule Castle. Assuming that’s the case, it seems something will go wrong, freeing the villain from whatever spell had been used to contain him and plunging Hyrule into darkness yet again.
One thing’s for sure, BOTW 2 looks a lot spookier than the previous game. If that sounds similar to Majora’s Mask, the bizarre and beloved sequel to Nintendo’s groundbreaking Zelda game Ocarina of Time you’re not entirely wrong.
Like Ocarina, which moved the franchise from top-down 2D graphics to a three-dimensional world, Breath of the World broke the old linear formula to create an open-world experience. This sequel could do something similar to Majora’s Mask, taking everything its immediate predecessor accomplished and injecting an extra dose of weirdness.
However, as IGN reported from E3, you shouldn’t expect to see too much of Majora’s Mask in BotW 2.
Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma was only able to share this with IGN at E3 2019: “The new Breath of the Wild, or the sequel to it […] it’s not necessarily going to be related to Majora’s mask or inspired by it,” he remarked, continuing, “What we showed you currently is a little darker.”
What will Breath of the Wild 2 gameplay be like?
We finally saw gameplay for Breath of the Wild 2 at E3 2019. It looks similar to the first game, with players exploring a large open world, fighting enemies, and solving puzzles along the way. That said, there are a ton of islands floating in the sky above Hyrule now, and Link will be able to explore them. These parts of the game definitely call back to Skyward Sword.
In an IGN report, Aonuma opened up about what other games inspired the sequel creators: “I did hear that a lot of people were playing was Red Dead Redemption 2,” he said.
There is a chance the influences of Red Dead Redemption 2 will be felt within the world of the Breath of the Wild sequel since other games played by creative team members during Breath of the Wild’s production are arguably felt in that game.
For example, Aonuma recalled to IGN, “When I was working on Breath of the Wild, the director [Hidemaro Fujibayashi] was playing Skyrim.” As players of both Breath of the Wild and Skyrim can attest, there are certainly similarities in the feel, setting, and rules of these open, fantasy worlds. The same could certainly go for Breath of the Wild 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2.
It’s unclear exactly what that might mean, even now that we’ve seen gameplay, but it could add up to a more impressive story (Breath of the Wild’s plot was a little lackluster) and even better horse mechanics (though BOTW’s horses were already great).
Is there another Zelda game coming in the meantime?
While Breath of the Wild 2 may be a ways off, there’s more Zelda coming before its launch. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will get an HD re-release on July 16 for the franchise’s 35th anniversary. Game & Watch: The Legend of Zelda is a little handheld contain the original Legend of Zelda, Zelda 2, Link’s Awakening, and a Zelda-themed Game & Watch Vermin, so there is plenty to keep Zelda fans occupied this year.
Will Breath of the Wild 2 launch with Switch Pro?
One of the bigger rumors circulating is that Nintendo might release Breath of the Wild 2 alongside a new Switch model. That seems like a logical conclusion considering that the first game launched with the current Switch model. The reality here? Don’t get your hopes up.
While Bloomberg reports that a Switch Pro is coming this year, analysts predict it won’t be tied to Zelda’s launch. Omdia Senior Analyst George Jijiashvili tells Inverse, “Based on how Nintendo tends to operate, I believe it would release Breath of the Wild 2 when it thinks it’s ready, instead of syncing it up with a new hardware launch.”
Previous versions of this article were written by Allie Gemmill and Giovanni Colantonio.
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