The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an innovative Nintendo title that's widely regarded as one of the best games in recent memory, but even Link's latest adventure still has its faults. While we still don't have any concrete information about when the sequel — originally announced during E3 2019 — will be released, we might receive an update during a rumored August 2020 Nintendo Direct.
In the best-case scenario, the sequel will be released in late 2020 to help Nintendo compete against the launch of Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5. A far more likely reality, however, is that Breath of the Wild 2 will be released sometime in 2021 or even later.
Whenever it finally comes to the Nintendo Switch, the sequel needs to address one of the most commonly criticized elements of the game: weapon durability, which causes most weapons to break after several attacks. Here's how Nintendo could easily fix the first game's worst mechanic.
Weapon durability can often feel frustrating if you find a specific weapon you like. Of course, it's possible that the system could be removed altogether, but that'd be atypical for Nintendo. The system is seemingly meant to encourage experimentation with different playstyles, forcing the player to always be on their toes. But there are two changes that would make the system much more bearable.
UI Improvements — The first option would be to just give players more information about where they can find specific weapons in-game. Imagine some sort in-depth map, enemy codex, or in-game database that catalogs important information about enemies, their weapons, and where they can be found in Hyrule. Of course, fan wikis exist online for Breath of the Wild to help with that, but having that kind of information within the game itself would be a massive help.
Being able to reference what areas and what enemies you can get certain weapons from would make tracking down the ones you want without a guide a lot easier. While this is just a user interface change, there's another major change that's even more compelling.
Weapon Crafting and Repairing — Having the ability to craft and repair weapons is standard in most games with weapon degradation mechanics — even the likes of Dark Souls and Bloodborne have it— but it was absent from the first Breath of the Wild. Even if you loved a weapon you found, there was nothing you could do to create or save it unless you memorized where to find it again.
Breath of the Wild did have a robust crafting system, but it was mainly used to create food and other helpful elixirs. Exploring the fantastic open world of Hyrule would be even more fun and interesting if players also had to keep an eye out for weapon crafting materials.
Like with the other forms of crafting in the game, it would be fun to let players experiment with ingredients to create different weapons, saving your favorite recipes along the way. If Nintendo wants to still keep cooking limited to things that aren't weapons an armor, being able to craft or obtain something like Repair Powder in Dark Cloud to fix weapons would make the system more palpable.
Having weapons degrade as the player uses them isn't an inherently bad system, but the way it works in Breath of the Wild can get annoying if you get into a groove with a certain weapon and it breaks.
Whether it be through simple UI improvements that make retrieving another easier or a brand new weapon repair system, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 should overhaul this maligned mechanic in some way. It feels like an easy way to make an already spectacular game series even better.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is in development for Nintendo Switch.