Fans are anxious for the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel. Here are our demands; now make us proud!
With the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel at least another year away, (probably?) it’s as good a time as any to make our list of demands for Nintendo.
The rumor mill has been fairly quiet in the 1.35 billion years since the BotW 2 teaser trailer was released. And the Breath of the Wild 2 leaks that have surfaced have been really, really vague and blah.
Rather than trying to guess what moves Nintendo might make on the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel, let’s review our list of demands. Like terrorists holding hostages. After all, we’re the ones that will buy this sequel when it finally comes out. Or we could boycott it and keep our money hostage unless Nintendo meets our strenuous demands.
I’m kidding, of course. Zelda fans will buy anything. (Even a reskinned Game Boy game for $60 LMAO.) Besides, I’m pretty sure Nintendo is already aware of our modest demands and will deliver us the GOAT in 2021.
Anyway, before we review our demands, let’s go over what we already know from the Breath of the Wild 2 rumor mill. You know…recap the leaks we’ve already processed.
Here are all the definitive answers we have to some of my favorite BotW2 questions:
Q: Will Breath of the Wild 2 have breakable weapons?
A: We don’t know.
Q: Will Breath of the Wild 2 have a playable Zelda?
Q: Will Breath of the Wild 2 re-use the Hyrule map from BotW1?
A: That’s been “confirmed.” But who really knows?
Q: Will Breath of the Wild 2 have dungeons?
Welp, that’s the extent of our current knowledge. Good night everyone, thanks for reading!
Clearly, we still don’t know much of anything about the upcoming sequel. Like, close to zero. But I think most fans have their own Breath of the Wild 2 wishlist, and there are a lot of shared feels about what Nintendo could do to make BotW2 the Greatest Of All Time.
To be honest, the game is in pretty good hands. If rumors bear out, the sequel will use the same map, or a tweaked version of it. Breath of the Wild 2 will be a direct sequel (it’s been said), so either the Ganon Goo will be gone, or some hero of Hyrule will have to do clean up duty and resolve some residual horror.
There’s also been speculation that Zelda will be playable in BotW2. Fans point to things like her new short haircut (looking good, Zelda!) which would reduce the amount of collision her model would have when equipping weapons, slinging bows etc. Makes sense to me. Plus, the teaser trailer seems to show Link and Zelda getting separated as Hyrule Castle takes off into the sky. But then again, it’s just a teaser. So who knows?
Breath of the Wild 2 Wishlist (How to make it the GOAT)
1. Bring Back Dungeons, of Course
We’ll put the really obvious point first. Fans have been expressing a desire for a return to The Legend of Zelda’s traditional dungeon-based gameplay structure since the day it was released.
That’s not to imply that the dungeons need to be linear or remove from the explorable nature of the game. We all enjoyed wandering around Hyrule in Breath of the Wild, and I wouldn’t expect—or appreciate—a total departure from the zero-hand-holding open world approach.
But however they are structured, whatever way Nintendo could utilize them, Zelda dungeons have always been fun. They have always fit the theme of the area where they were located, always had an interesting boss, usually contained some great treasure or weapon that you’d use throughout the rest of the game.
In Breath of the Wild, we settled for substituting Divine Beasts for dungeons. And that was fine. But I think we all know Nintendo could do better. For me, crawling through the final slog up the hill to Hyrule Castle felt very close to what I expect from a Zelda game. I had goosebumps pretty much the whole time.
Again, I’m not suggesting a return to the very-linear style of previous Zelda games. I feel confident that the designers could find a way to incorporate more open-style dungeons that don’t sacrifice the feel of BotW’s freedom, but still manage to create cohesive and clever maps that act as their own little ecosystems.
But if they did go back to highly structured dungeons, I’m sure they’d do it well. And I would love it. Imagine opening a treasure box to actually find a unique treasure. Like a Hookshot, a compass, a map, and finally recovering that big, fat boss key! Oh yeah!
That’s certainly too much to hope for. But it excites my nostalgia just thinking about it.
Further, it has been rumored since shortly after its announcement that Breath of the Wild 2 will have at least something more akin to traditional dungeons. Probably not full-on themed dungeons like we loved in A Link to the Past, but hopefully a compromise between BotW 1 and older-school Zelda games.
2. Bring Back the Classic Tunes
I know the designers were going for a completely different approach to the Zelda franchise with Breath of the Wild. And yes, I think they did a fantastic job with their subtle approach to music. The arrangements were wonderful. And yet…
I sincerely hope the music takes a more powerful role in the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel.
The Legend of Zelda series has always had epic arrangements. And until BotW, Zelda music has pretty much always been front-and-center in the game world.
Link’s first visit to Hyrule Castle in A Link to the Past is forever etched into my memory, with the muted sound of the rain outside, layered under the booming and grandiose Hyrule Castle Theme.
That’s just the way they designed games back then; especially when the games had such epic soundtracks.
A lot of players were disappointed or at least mystified to not hear some of the Zelda series’ familiar, nostalgia-inducing tunes. The great Zelda memories invoked by great Zelda moments are as much a part of the experience as Link’s hat. Which… wait, where’s Link’s hat!?
BotW definitely makes great use of subtle, dynamic music, allowing the arrangements to rise and fall with the action. And they made such a beautiful game world that the visuals almost speak for themselves. So I totally expect Nintendo to take a similar approach to the music of BotW 2.
That said, it would certainly be a welcome-as-hell development if the designers included a few powerful scores to accompany some scenes and some of those awesome new dungeons. There are some moments in a game that demand a big, epic tune. Let’s hear it!
3. Make Secrets Worth Finding
The open-world setting in Breath of the Wild is wonderful. The ability to go anywhere and explore whatever is really a lot of fun. And when Link stumbles upon a secret, it’s… um… great. Yeah, I really needed one more Korok seed. Or a silver rupee. Or a nifty weapon to break against the next enemy I encounter.
Games like Fallout, Elder Scrolls, and The Witcher have a way of paying off players that explore deeper into the world. Not just in terms of gold or loot, but with some nuance to the game’s story. Or both! Even small side-quests with limited loot can offer intriguing glimpses into the game’s lore.
Breath of the Wild has some of that, but it doesn’t feel as integrated into the game. Recovering Link’s memories is the only way to reveal the backstory. But unlocking cutscenes is not the same as experiencing a deeper plot in the game world.
Other side quests might help a few of the rare NPCs the game world has, but none that I have found so far (90 hours into the game) have helped to deepen the immersion in any real way.
There are plenty of secrets to discover, but the payoff is always the same. Link either discovers a trial shrine, a Korok seed, or a treasure chest with some flimsy-ass weapon that is going to break like the wind the first time you swing it at something.
Which brings me to my next point…
4. Tweak the Breakable Weapons System
Look, I’m not asking for much here. I don’t disagree that breakable weapons add some depth to the gameplay. Sure. I sometimes found myself relying on weapons I wasn’t as comfortable wielding because all my good ones were broken.
I’m not saying make every weapon indestructible. Nah! But could some of the better ones at least be repairable? Or maybe introduce a tiered weapon system along the lines of Diablo, with some (more than one) legendary weapons that don’t break or can be repaired? Give me a blacksmith that can reforge or even upgrade some stuff.
Featuring a limited selection of permanent weapons would accomplish a handful of awesome things. Finding them in side-quests or as buried secrets would make secret-hunting far more rewarding. Players could use their favorite weapons more often, rather than having to make do with whatever’s laying around. An upgrade system might even reward players for using the same weapons, while still keeping it fresh.
Or maybe Breath of the Wild 2 could introduce a selection of core weapons that double as handy tools that allow Link to access more areas. Something along the lines of…
5. The Hookshot
Bring it back. Seriously. Do it.
6. Tell Us a Story
I get that Link is doing the whole protagonist with amnesia trope. And I had fun collecting his memories. And really, I enjoyed the background they painted. My hope is that, now that that background is established, Nintendo can elaborate a bit and give us a real narrative, with clear goals, focused quests, rising action, and like… I don’t know… a point?
Breath of the Wild was certainly hands-off, and players were expected to discover their own goals. The freedom was welcome, but a bit more focus would have been nice. And the background story BotW laid out was still a bit vague. For those reasons, plenty of players have compared it to the original Legend of Zelda for NES.
It’s a valid comparison. The Legend of Zelda for NES told its background story within the instruction manual. The lore was set in print, but the gameplay itself was completely dependent on players exploring the terrain and figuring out what to do. Nintendo did zero hand-holding in Zelda, and players were expected to deal with it and learn on the job.
The formula worked, of course. Zelda was one of the most popular games ever developed on the NES. Zelda II, while totally different in gameplay, adopted a similar figure it out yourself attitude, but with the benefit of towns and NPCs to drop hints. (And while Zelda II was an oddball entry in a lot of ways, the NPCs and towns are an element that has persisted to this day.)
So yeah, Breath of the Wild certainly takes after its great, great, great grandvideogamefather. And I understand why it’s been so divisive for fans.
Yes, BotW goes aaaall the way back to its roots. But Zelda 1 is still very different from later entries in the series. Traditions aren’t established with the first release. They happen over time, and over the years Zelda fans have come to expect certain things that make us fuzzy inside. Like compasses and boss keys.
Breath of the Wild 2 – What we really want
I think the majority of gamers understand what the developers were going for with BotW and want—like me—to see a Breath of the Wild 2 that keeps the best features of the previous game:
- A sprawling, highly-explorable map
- Excellent gameplay
- An introspective and dark ambiance
- Less hand-holding and more freedom
While tweaking some existing issues within the gameplay:
- Make weapons repairable or at least more sturdy
- Create an immersive narrative
- More classic Zelda tunes
- More—or more robust—towns and NPCs
- More varied bosses, possibly themed to their environment
And adding in a few new elements that were disappointingly missing from Breath of the Wild:
- The Hookshot
And there you go, Nintendo! You’ve got yourself my wishlist and a winning recipe for how to make the upcoming Breath of the Wild sequel the G.O.A.T.