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2022 Preview: Breath of the Wild 2 will take Zelda to dark places again

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Back at E3 2019, Nintendo announced that a full sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in development, with a trailer clearly designed more to spark questions than to tell us whatever. it is concrete.

After that, everything calmed down for a whole two years, with no more information on what the game would entail, when it would be available, or even what it would be called.

Then, at E3 2021, we finally got something more. A new trailer and confirmed 2022 release was music to many Nintendo gamers, but it was music that still lacked a lot of key notes.

The new project apparently grew out of DLC ideas for the first game that came to life, so while it should expand on what we’ve seen before, the foundation is likely to be similar.

Naturally, Nintendo keeps its cards close to its chest. When announcing last year’s Hyrule Warriors spinoff game in September, series producer Eiji Aonuma simply said that the team is working hard on the development of Breath of the Wild 2 and “you’ll have to wait a bit. longer before we can deliver more updates. “

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel – E3 2021 teaser

At the time, that suggested Warriors would serve as a useful stopgap to help us out until Breath of the Wild was ready, possibly until later in 2021.

We have since received a second stopgap in the form of Skyward Sword HD, a Switch remaster that was certainly welcome and absolutely caught the attention of Zelda fans for a while, but there’s no denying it. was still just an appetizer designed to keep us hungry for the actual party.

Could it, however, be that Skyward Sword was actually a smart move to prepare players for a game that certainly appears to feature more sky-based action? The E3 2021 trailer opens with Link falling a great distance from the sky and also shows a world that appears to be located in the clouds. Hyrule Castle is even shot into the sky at one point.

The E3 2021 trailer also revealed some actual gameplay footage, which was previously lacking. Link clearly has new powers at his disposal, powers that seem to be described in more detail in the recently filed Nintendo patents, and again some of these are focused on verticality, including the ability to shift to the top. high through solid objects and change position while Free Fall.

However, there are still a lot of details left from that original 2019 trailer that remain unexplained. In this trailer, Link and Zelda explore a huge underground cave that spirals down below Hyrule Castle. A mysterious magical energy seeps from below into an evil-looking mummified corpse. The corpse comes to life and the whole castle begins to shake.

β€œCould it be that Skyward Sword HD was a smart move in preparing players for a game that certainly seems to feature more sky-based action?

The wispy black and purple tentacles that meander through the cave could be linked to the Malice that infected the world in Breath of the Wild.

And whose evil corpse is? With his mane of hair and locket mounted on his forehead, he looks a bit like Calamity Ganon, the arch-villain of the first game. Could this be some sort of past incarnation?

As for the power that brings him back to life, some have noted that the colors and runic symbols surrounding him are reminiscent of the Twili in Twilight Princess. Whether that is the case or not, we wonder if necromancy and the resurrection will be a big theme. Would the basement be a world of the dead? Zombie Ganon, are you interested?

Nintendo has hinted that the tone of this game will be a bit darker. Both trailers certainly back that up with their weird upside down music and creepy monsters.

It’s worth remembering that the last direct sequel to a Zelda game (on home consoles at least) was Majora’s Mask, in which Nintendo took the opportunity to experience a weird vibe. While we wouldn’t expect such a big start as Majora’s Groundhog Day-style time loop, we do hope for similar levels of weirdness.

How else could the sequel differ from the first game? Aonuma mentioned that Red Dead Redemption 2 could be an inspiration for the team this time around.

We guess that doesn’t mean long campfire ruminations on the decline of the Old West. Maybe this will make Nintendo feel like the world is more inhabited and populated by incidental details and events.

A crucial question is whether Nintendo will bring back the traditional Zelda dungeons or repeat the fun-sized shrine puzzles from the first game. In a large open world, it probably makes more sense to have a breakdown of small challenges than a handful. focused challenges, and it would be a shame if Breath of the Wild shied away from its unique identity. But a few meatier dungeons wouldn’t hurt either.

Speaking of unique identity, the big controversy in the first game was the introduction of degrading and breakable weapons. In fact, we hope Nintendo stays firm on this one, as it’s a great system that encourages you to use resources rather than hoarding. Maybe it could be changed, or optional for those who really disapprove.

One final big talking point that emerges from the trailer is that of playable characters. Now that Link and Zelda have been shown exploring together, with Zelda dressed for adventure, it has sparked calls for the princess to be an active protagonist.

It’s not something Nintendo has done before and may not have planned for here, but with such demand they may be reckless to try to repackage the Genie. Can we even hope for different styles of play? Cooperation for two?

It may be a dream of too far, but there are so many possibilities. The only thing we can really say is that we want more of Breath of the Wild, but also something else, something unexpected. Everything except a postponement to 2023.