Two of the most critically acclaimed games of the 2010s are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Red Dead Redemption 2. Both have inspired the open-world video games that have come since, but it's also possible that they could learn from each other. Nintendo has not put out another open-world game since Red Dead Redemption 2's release, and according to one developer, the Breath of the Wild development team has looked to Rockstar's cowboy game for inspiration.
As such, Red Dead Redemption 2 could influence Breath of the Wild 2 in some major ways. One mechanic that could make the transition well is the camp system, a novel concept that would adapt really well.
The connection between Breath of the Wild 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 was first established in 2019. In an interview with IGN, series producer Eiji Aonuma was asked what the younger developers working on the project were playing. "[Something] I did hear that a lot of people were playing was Red Dead Redemption 2," he said.
While he didn't hint at how the Zelda sequel might be influenced by Red Dead Redemption 2, he did go on to point out how Skyrim had a massive impact on the first game. It clearly took some cues from Skyrim's open-ended nature, but Aonuma namedropping Red Dead Redemption 2 suggests that the game could have some kind of impact on the sequel.
When looking at the mechanics from Red Dead Redemption 2 that could work well in Breath of the Wild 2, the camping system is a prime candidate. In Red Dead Redemption 2, Arthur Morgan's gang mainly stays at a camp. In this location, players could interact with other characters and start side quests, play mini-games, change Arthur's look, and even donate money to improve the game.
It was a novel system, but it still has plenty of room for improvement. The camp resets multiple times over the course of Red Dead Redemption 2, making progress feel less worthwhile. Upgrading the camp is also never required for the story, making this activity feel more tangential than it should.
If Breath of the Wild 2 can find a way to address these issues, the game could have an even better version of this system. If Zelda isn't traveling with Link, perhaps she (along with other characters) could stay at a larger camp on the map. Players could visit this location to get quests, meet different characters, and get upgrades just like in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Like Red Dead Redemption 2, players should also be able to upgrade their camp in Breath of the Wild 2. Doing so could not only make it bigger and prettier, but it would add more facilities and upgrades for Link to use. If it's never destroyed or moved, this progression would feel more meaningful than in Red Dead Redemption 2.
Another improvement could be rewarding players with special weapons or abilities that would be good against bosses or the game's final encounter. Doing so would make the camping mechanic feel much more intrinsic to Breath of the Wild 2 and would encourage players to actually engage with the mechanic a lot, unlike Red Dead Redemption 2.
Game developers are constantly learning from each other and the best games on the market, so it's no surprise that a critically acclaimed or best selling title like Red Dead Redemption 2 would influence the sequel to Breath of the Wild. It just remains to be seen if that happens with the camping system or some other part of Breath of the Wild 2's design philosophy.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2.is in development for Nintendo Switch.