Assuming Nintendo doesn't have another delay up its sleeves, we're now less than a year out from the highly-anticipated follow-up to one of the most beloved games of this century: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Announced during E3 2019, the Breath of the Wild sequel is still unnamed, undated, and largely still under wraps. Not much is known about the game's plot or its relation to the larger Legend of Zelda timeline. But, with Summer Game Fest Live and plenty of other Not-E3 showcases just a few weeks away, all that could change very, very soon.
In the meantime--and just in case you need a little refresher--here's a roundup of everything we know about Breath of the Wild 2 so far.
At E3 2021, Nintendo announced that the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel was scheduled for release sometime in 2022. However, this was later changed to Spring 2023. Producer Eiji Aonuma said the team is making "something special" and that extra time should enable it to do just that.
While the first Breath of the Wild was released simultaneously on Switch and Wii U, the sequel is only coming to Switch. Many fans have no doubt hoped the rumored Switch Pro would be out by the time of the game's release--the original notoriously had frame rate issues in certain areas--but so far there's been no word on the status of the supposedly enhanced model of Switch.
Nintendo dropped the first trailer for the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel during its E3 2019 presentation. The cryptic video follows Link and Zelda (who notably sports a new, shorter hairstyle) as they make their way through a mysterious underground cavern. As the pair explore, tendrils of darkness can be seen creeping through the cavern. Link and Zelda eventually come upon what appears to be the source of the darkness: a mummified male corpse dressed in Gerudo jewelry and attire, presumably Ganondorf.
Clutching the corpse's chest is what appears to be a hand made of light. A series of rapid, out of order shots follow, showing Link removing the hand, the floor around Link and Zelda crumbling, the mysterious hand of light catching Zelda by the wrist as she's falling, and the corpse seemingly returning to life. The trailer then ends with a clip of Hyrule castle beginning to rise into the air.
E3 2021 trailer
Nintendo offered a new look at the Breath of the Wild sequel during its E3 2021 presentation. The trailer confirmed that you'll be able to explore Hyrule and the skies above, further expanding the scope of locations you'll get to visit. The trailer below also contains other clues about what to expect from the much-anticipated sequel, including various tidbits of story and gameplay mechanics. Have a look for yourself and start theorizing. We've already begun compiling things we think the game will have in our detailed trailer breakdown.
Why is Nintendo making a sequel to Breath of the Wild?
According to Aonuma, Nintendo is making a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild because it had "too many ideas" for DLC for the game. As Aonuma explained at E3 2019:
"When we released the DLC for Breath of the Wild, we realized that this is a great way to add more elements to the same world. But when it comes down to technical things, DLC is pretty much data--you're adding data to a preexisting title. And so when we wanted to add bigger changes, DLC is not enough, and that's why we thought maybe a sequel would be a good fit. Initially, we were thinking of just DLC ideas, but then we had a lot of ideas and we said, 'This is too many ideas, let's just make one new game and start from scratch.'"
Why doesn't the game have an official title yet?
One thing that hasn't been explicitly revealed about the upcoming sequel is its official name, and there's apparently a reason for that. According to Nintendo's Bill Trinen, the company is purposefully withholding the name of the sequel because doing so might give too much away. He commented further: "Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what's going to happen."
A wild fan theory popped up recently that makes the case for Ganondorf being a playable character. Barrett Courtney of Kinda Funny thinks that the more rugged-looking Link in the new E3 trailer is in fact Ganondorf.
Courtney theorized that part of the game would be playing the fall of Ganondorf, which begins the cycle of a hero battling a corrupted Ganon that happens in every game. He thinks that the hero from 10,000 years ago that has been teased is Ganondorf and that the character with the corrupted arm in the trailer--whose face is not shown--isn't Link but in fact Ganondorf, as well.
"This game will be learning about the fall of Ganondorf the man and then saving him from the evil that has been ruling over him for generations. And in doing so, we’ll break the cycle started by Demise," Courtney wrote. Demise, of course, is the Gannon we encounter in Skyward Sword, which makes the recent remaster of the game potentially very timely and definitely adds weight to this theory.
The Breath of the Wild sequel is now up for preorder at various retailers. You can find out where you can guarantee yourself a copy of the game in our preorder guide.
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