Breath of the Wild 2 is Nintendo’s biggest upcoming game, but it’s not coming out anytime soon.
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. While the game skipped out on the other two Nintendo Directs held in 2021, that E3 teaser thankfully included gameplay and a release year.
This 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. Still, it’s safe to assume that game we’ve seen more of like Splatoon 3 will be released before it.
Breath of the Wild 2 is deep in development, so some were hopeful it might drop during the 2021 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.
For now, we just have to wait patiently for a more specific date once again and be happy that 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. You can watch it out below!
Still, if you want a refresher on that first trailer, you can also 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 of Time, 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 Breath of the Wild 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 2021. 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).
Will Breath of the Wild 2 launch with a 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.
Nintendo announced the Nintendo Switch OLED model, ending any rumors of an upgraded piece of Nintendo hardware. While it’s always possible that Nintendo could release a new system in 2022 or 2023, the Switch is doing just fine.
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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