The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 needs to put a greater emphasis on its story and character dynamics.
The stoic protagonist Link, courageous princess Zelda, and Champions of Hyrule all have rich backstories and interpersonal dynamics at play in the first game — and even more so in the Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity prequel. The first game only scratches the surface of the franchise’s potential for more dramatic storytelling, and Age of Calamity focuses even more on the wide cast of characters. It’s time for Zelda to modernize by investing in its characters to give Breath of the Wild 2 even more depth.
Nintendo could do this through standard cutscenes and simple dialogue exchanges, but there’s a way they can involve the player in these interactions even more. We would love to see Nintendo introduce a “Hangout” system like the ones present in Genshin Impact, Persona 5, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
A hangout event system exists in many RPGs so players can spend more time with their favorite characters on story quests. Players have one-on-one conversations and can choose from various dialogue options that will impact the outcome of the encounter.
In Genshin Impact, players get tangible rewards from these conversations. In games like Persona 5 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, this mechanic is more about fleshing out these relationships and strengthening the bond between characters.
If Breath of the Wild 2 features a large cast of characters, a system like this could go a long way towards telling a more personal story.
While this may seem like a bad move as Link does not have much of a personality, that shouldn’t be much of an issue. Events like this are often more focused on the characters you are interacting with rather than the players themselves. The player could occasionally choose from a couple of options, and characters like Zelda can do most of the talking.
Nintendo could go about implementing this in a couple of ways.
First, depending on the presence of characters like Zelda and Sidon in the game’s world, you could go up to them and talk to activate this mini-game. If the game were to adopt a flashback system once again, this could get even more interesting.
In Breath of the Wild, Link can take photos at various locations around Hyrule to recall memories with Zelda, Revali, Daruk, Mipha, and Urbosa. These were some of the best scenes in the game, so Nintendo would likely want to replicate these kinds of character interactions in the sequel.
These hangout sessions could replace those and feature Link as he remembers more of his interactions with these characters. Making these scenes play out via hangout events would give players more control over the situation and character relationships, ultimately making them more invested in the story overall. It could even be connected to a relationship or dating system if Nintendo wanted to add that.
While a feature like this won’t make or break Breath of the Wild 2, it would still be a welcome addition if Nintendo wanted to flesh out the story and characters even more. We hope Nintendo gives renewed focus towards an exciting narrative in Breath of the Wild 2, and a hangout system would be an interesting way to support that.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is in development.