When Nintendo announced in February 2021 that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword would be the next — and the only — Zelda game to get the HD remaster treatment, it was a bit confusing. It felt like a somewhat random choice, and the fact that it was bundled with ports of the Wii U remasters of The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess made it even more baffling.
But that we’ve seen The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 gameplay in action and gotten a release window during E3 2021, Nintendo’s decision to launch Skyward Sword HD in 2021 makes a lot more sense for two reasons.
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The World — The similarities between the Breath of the Wild sequel gameplay and Skyward Sword are immediately noticeable. Link skydives and glides through the air across with floating islands off in the distance in the upcoming game, and he even explores some of them in other shots.
This will look remarkably similar, even down to the animation, for people who played Skyward Sword.
That game also features floating islands in the land of Skyloft, where those versions of Link and Zelda hail from. Players can ride a large bird called a Loftwing around each of these islands to explore their secrets.
It seems like Breath of the Wild 2 will expand on that idea further, giving players floating islands to explore in what will presumably be an extremely open world like in the original game. Link doesn’t seem to use a Loftwing in Breath of the Wild 2 though, so the game will have to give him some new abilities so he can fly and glide around.
Even if navigating these sky islands will be slightly different in Breath of the Wild 2, those who play Skyward Sword first will get an early taste of how this design works. It’s possible that the game could even have a lore connection to Skyward Sword, though nothing confirms this just yet.
Outside of the original Breath of the Wild, Skyward Sword seems like it is the most important Zelda game to play ahead of Breath of the Wild 2. Because of that, Nintendo’s decision to release it this year now appears very intentional. It also helps remedy one other issue.
Release Date — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 isn’t coming out for some time. It’s awesome to finally know that Nintendo is “aiming” for a 2022 release, but that means that the sequel still a ways away and won’t be ready in time to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this series.
Nintendo needed something more than just the Game & Watch based on The Legend of Zelda series to celebrate its 35th anniversary, especially after it went all out last year for Mario’s 35th anniversary. Re-releasing a classic Zelda game is a sensible move.
You can definitely question Nintendo’s decision to price the game at $60 and lock its best new feature behind a $25 amiibo, but it is now clear that The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is the main game Nintendo is using to celebrate the 35th anniversary of this influential series and give players a taste of what they can expect while roaming the skies in the still-untitled sequel.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 will be released in 2022.