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Words: Catherine Lewis
For many (myself included), one of the big highlights of this year's E3 was finally getting to see gameplay from the highly anticipated sequel to 2017's Game of the Year award winner, as well as its release date. Well, sort of. All we know so far is that we can expect to have this new adventure in our hands some time in 2022, although there's speculation that this will probably be towards the end of the year.
It's also worth noting that the original Breath of the Wild was delayed not once but twice, releasing two years after the initial planned date of 2015. Some fans are speculating that this could happen again with the sequel, but we're yet to see if this will be the case (hopefully not).
Following E3 2021, we now have two gorgeous Breath of the Wild 2 trailers to gush over, although admittedly the original E3 2019 one was more of a cinematic teaser than anything. The trailer shown during the Nintendo Direct of E3 2021 finally showed us some of that glorious gameplay we were all hoping to see, and it looks stellar. That said, there's still a lot we're yet to see, so we can't wait for more.
E3 2021 Trailer:
E3 2019 "First Look" Trailer:
Believe it or not, despite now having two trailers and a (rough) release date, we still don't actually know what the sequel to Breath of the Wild will be called - but that's for a pretty interesting reason.
Nintendo's Bill Trinen revealed in an interview with IGN that they're holding back on giving away the full title at this time as Zelda names tend to "give little bits of hints about maybe what's going to happen". So basically, the title in itself is a bit of a teaser they're not quite ready to show us yet. Needless to say, it'll be very interesting to see what it is.
Much like the first game, the sequel to Breath of the Wild will be set in good ol' Hyrule - but this time, with a twist. From the E3 2021 trailer, we can see that we'll be exploring Hyrule in a whole different way. Specifically, in a more upward direction.
The trailer shows that Link will be exploring uncharted territory in the sky of Hyrule (Skyrule, if you will). Some Zelda fans are theorising that this could even tie into Skyward Sword's setting, Skyloft. It would certainly make sense, given that we got Skyward Sword HD on Nintendo Switch in 2021, but we'll have to wait and see.
Even Hyrule Castle has ascended out of the ground and is shown to be floating in the air, so the sky really is the limit in this sequel.
Knowing Nintendo, it would be incredibly surprising if the sequel to Breath of the Wild ever left Nintendo's platforms. Prior to the announcement of the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), some gamers were speculating if The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 would be exclusive to the rumoured Nintendo Switch Pro, but it certainly doesn't seem like that will be the case. As far as we know, you'll be able to play Breath of the Wild 2 on the regular Switch model, as well as the Switch Lite and the upcoming OLED model.
There's no word so far on if there'll be any multiplayer modes in Breath of the Wild 2. The original 2017 release didn't feature anything in the way of multiplayer, which, to be fair, matched the game's magical, isolated tone to a tee. What we've seen so far of Breath of the Wild 2 seems to show a similar sort of vibe from the new areas of Hyrule that we'll be exploring, but it's too soon to say at this point if this will be the case in the final release.
As with the first Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 will be developed and published by Nintendo. The producer of the Zelda series, Eiji Aonuma, led the production of Breath of the Wild, and is also doing so for its sequel, so we can be pretty confident that it's going to be fantastic.
Nintendo's game engines in general continue to be a bit of a mystery; they use in-house, proprietary engines tailored to specific games, and then often re-use or tweak these slightly to suit sequels. As such, even the engine that was used to make the original Breath of the Wild remains unknown and unnamed, outside of its use of an adapted Havok physics engine to drive its many interconnected systems, but it's a fairly safe bet that the same engine will be making a return in some form for the sequel. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?
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