The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild was one of the most critically (and financially) successful games in the entire Legend of Zelda series.
For most of us, it was a dream come true. A large, open world to explore that even put Skyrim to shame, the incorporation of physics which made for some truly share-worthy trick shot videos, and of course, fully voiced cutscenes for the first time in the series’ history.
Sure, there were those of us who have it ranked as the worst entry in the series, but for the most part, fans were pleased with the outing.
It should come as no surprise then, that after the inevitable DLC was released, Nintendo had to start working on a sequel.
However, what goes up must come down…
However, Breath of The Wild 2 already goes into the starting gate with a major strike against it: It has to compete with its predecessor, without surprising us with all of the features the original game brought to the table.
In all likelihood, we’ll still get a massive, open world to explore. We’ll most likely still get voice acting, and the things you can do with the game world’s physics will no doubt be expanded upon.
But all of these features that blew us away in Breath of The Wild will be expected, nay, required in Breath of The Wild 2, a game will will draw direct comparison to its prequel from fans and critics.
How then, can Breath of the Wild 2 deliver an experience even more awe-inspiring than the first game? Here are our suggestions for how to make Breath of The Wild 2 the best game on Nintendo Switch.
A Link To The Past
For those of use who found the original Breath of the Wild… Let’s just say “less than we were expecting,” the issue largely lies with the lack of traditional Zelda features found in the game.
Sure, there’s the glaringly obvious and considerably subjective issues, such as Link missing his trademark green tunic and pointy hat. But there were also some key features missing that made the game feel… empty.
The lack of dungeons, and therefore collectable items that expand your abilities was a big loss. Similarly, the lack of a well written story left some of us wanting more, especially coming off the heels of Skyward Sword, which had arguably one of the best plots of any game in the Legend of Zelda series.
Bring back dungeon crawling
So, how does this factor into Breath of The Wild 2? If it isn’t obvious yet, incorporating these tried-and-true cornerstones of Zelda gameplay into the game would do wonder to bring back the fans that were alienated by the original Breath of The Wild, as well as to ensure the sequel feels fresh.
Assuming Breath of The Wild 2 takes place in the same world as the original, most of the world building is done. This should leave the developers with plenty of time to focus on building dungeons and incorporating new mechanics.
This might mean breaking some of Breath of The Wild’s “go anywhere, do anything” mentality… Or maybe not. Perhaps the items you obtain from these dungeons aren’t required to reach new areas, and instead just make the process easier.
Old standbys like the clawshot and boomerang could be used to reach new areas or stun enemies, rather than as puzzle-solvers like in games past. Much like how the champion’s abilities in Breath of The Wild made the game easier, but weren’t required to explore any areas.
In case you couldn’t tell, we love dungeons in The Legend of Zelda. In fact, one of us loves them so much, he ranked them from best to worst. Please, bring them back, Nintendo.
It’s time for some lore
Breath of The Wild takes place in a post-apocalyptic Hyrule where most of civilization has been destroyed by Calamity Ganon.
That was a fun concept, but it left the world feeling empty. Towns were few and far between and didn’t provide the player with much to do.
Forests and plains were plentiful, but there was a distinct lack of culture. Ruins were scarce and mostly empty.
Breath of The Wild 2 is an opportunity for Nintendo to fill the world of Hyrule with ruins of civilizations past. Throw out some areas with architecture unique to a particular region or culture. Fill towns with interesting characters who have their own goals and ambitions.
The Legend of Zelda series has never skimped on the lore, and we’re hoping Breath of The Wild 2 is a return to form in that regard.
Or Nintendo could take a page out of Bethesda’s book and throw in our single-favorite lore-distributing item: Books!
Yes, really – Books! Hear us out here…
The Elder Scrolls series does an amazing job of displaying its rich, deep lore through books – everything from historical texts to works of fiction.
Why not include books in Breath of The Wild 2? Imagine reading a historical entry about the legend of the Sword of Picori, or the hero who journeyed into the Twilight Realm!
Some books could even serve a practical purpose: Cookbooks could be scattered throughout the world, full of recipes for the player to try the next time they’re by a campfire!
A wild Hylian appeared!
While books do a great job of fleshing out an in-game universe’s past, NPCs help give the world’s present-day experience more depth. That’s where our next suggestion comes into play: Random encounters.
Since Breath of The Wild 2 takes place after Calamity Ganon has been defeated, it makes sense that villagers would begin exploring the outside world again.
This would be a great opportunity to provide Link with some chance encounters. These could be anything – from a man searching for a legendary sword, to a Goron bandit lying in wait for unsuspecting travelers, maybe even a lizalfos that wants to turn over a new leaf, and needs Link’s advice to become a better person.
Seriously, anything goes for these one-off characters – There’s plenty of room to explore. It’d just be nice to fill the massive world of Breath of The Wild with some colorful characters, and maybe get a better glimpse into the lives of the survivors of this world.
Meaningful rewards for completing tasks
One area where Breath of The Wild struggled was creating rewards for the player that felt… Rewarding.
Aside from the occasional outfit and the admittedly cool Hylian shield, there were few rewards in the game that were permanent. This was largely due to the breakable nature of weapons.
One way to fix this is by introducing a few weapons, bows and shields with special abilities, that either can’t be broken, or can be easily repaired, in the same vein of the rechargeable Master Sword from Breath of The Wild.
Hearts in the wild
Similarly, having heart containers and other power-ups be rewards that can be found across the world would help to make challenges more rewarding. Rather than exploring shrines, the player could complete a number of mini-games, as well as explore the overworld to naturally come across these prizes.
A small collectable such as the rings from Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages would go a long way to providing meaningful side-quests to the player.
Admittedly, the original Breath of The Wild DID have collectables – The dreaded Korok seeds. But those were hardly worth collecting and didn’t do much to inspire players to collect them all.
Magic and Transformations
One element that’s been missing from The Legend of Zelda series for a long while now is magic.
Breath of The Wild 2 would be a great opportunity to re-introduce magic to the series in a whole new way.
Imagine being able to learn spells as you go, that have a variety of effects, from damage-dealing elemental spells to spells that make travel easier on the player.
The collectable items we pitched above could even be used to strengthen these spells. If the creators want to get truly ambitious, why not take a page from Oblivion’s book and give us a craftable magic system. Imagine being able to both cast and create your own customizable spells in The Legend of Zelda!
While something like this might seem out of place in a traditional Zelda title, we would argue that it would feel right at home in the open-world gameplay of Breath of The Wild 2.
A not so terrible fate
Remember how much fun it was to travel around the world of Termina as a goron or a zora? Now imagine traversing a world as big as Breath of The Wild in those forms.
The fact that these were missing from the first game is a travesty. Rolling around the fields of Hyrule as a goron, or using the kingdom’s waterways to avoid combat as a zora would be such a thrill!
And why stop there? Through in some transformations that allow you to become the monsters you fight. Maybe these can even be unlocked by defeating a number of strong monsters of the species you want to become.
Heading out to the mountains to collect enough Lynel parts so you can actually become one of those fearsome beasts. Or maybe you think the bokoblins are adorable and just want to waddle around an enemy camp as one? Little things like that add a lot to a game, and it’d be great to see that kind of detail go into Breath of The Wild 2.
The Heroine of The Wild?
After the first trailer dropped for Breath of The Wild 2, fans had one feature that was nearly-universally requested: Give us a playable Zelda!
Even the Zelda purists among us love this idea. Imagine being able to freely swap between Link and Zelda during gameplay.
Perhaps they could even have different skills that change how you solve problems much like they do in Cadence of Hyrule (check out our let’s play of that amazing game here).
By now, everyone knows Link is a man who loves his tools – using everything from bombs to bows to solve a problem.
Zelda has always been in touch with her magical abilities, and this plot point was a largely motivating factor for her character in Breath of The Wild.
Learning to accept her magical background was a big part of this Zelda’s ersonality, so why not make her more magically gifted than Link?
And as long as we’re discussing backstories, let’s not forget that this incarnation of Zelda has displayed a strong interest in machinery.
Maybe she could find a better use for all those screws and gears that are lying around Hyrule. Imagine being able to make your own weapons out of those supplies, instead of having to bring them to a specialist.
We think there’s a lot of potential for a playable Zelda in Breath of The Wild 2, and if there’s one suggestion we hope Nintendo takes us up on, it’s this one.
Who knows what the future may hold?
We know; Nintendo’s never been one to go with the norm, and a lot of the ideas we pitched have already been done in other games.
We’re not expecting all of these ideas to be implemented – heck, we’d be happy if we even got one. This isn’t even the first time we’ve had these thoughts – we wrote a piece last year about everything the series has left behind over the years.
But there are a number of ways Breath of The Wild 2 can blow its predecessor out of the water like a bomb to a lizalfos.
We sincerely hope Nintendo’s innovative nature does this sequel proud – we’ll be holding our breaths until then.
Have any awesome ideas for Breath of The Wild 2 that we forgot? Let us know your most requested feature in the comments below!