Nintendo announced that a direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is in the works during their press conference at E3 2019. This was a huge surprise for fans, and something that no one really saw coming. Here's everything that we know so far.
Update: October 10, 2019: Supposed leak indicates a 2021 release date along side a new Switch.
A 4chan user has gotten a lot of attention for posting a supposed leak about the sequel. It's highly likely that this information is false, but we don't know for sure.
So this is a direct sequel?
Yes, this will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild. The game apparently takes place two years after the events in Breath of the Wild, which was a Nintendo Switch launch title back in March 2017.
The alleged BoTW2 leak
If you've been searching online recently for new Zelda information, you've probably seen that 4chan user Xhyll has gotten a lot of attention for posting "leaks" about the upcoming sequel. First off, we want to say that anything found on 4chan should be heavily scrutinized. Yes, there have been actual leaks on that site, but there have been even more false reports, so you'll want to take everything with heaping piles of salt. That being said, we can't trust that this is an actual leak, but there is a chance that it could be.
To build his cred, Xhyll starts off saying that he got the information from a former Nintendo employee. He states that the new Breath of the Wild sequel is called Breath of the Darkness. According to him, members of the marketing department were shown a 10-minute video demonstration for Breath of the Wild 2 running at 60 fps and 4K on a Switch 2 prototype. The video allegedly showed Link fighting against a Dark Guardian while receiving magical protection and direction from Zelda.
He further states that the sequel will have a 2021 release date and that it will launch alongside the rumored Switch 2 (a.k.a. the Switch Pro) - a more powerful version of the original Switch that can support better graphics.
As we've said before, we're inclined not to believe his claims. If this information is true, however, the sequel is still in the early stages of development and a lot could change between now and then, including game play and the game's title. We'll keep our ear to the ground and will let you know if we learn anything more.
Will the game be open world again or will it be linear?
We're not sure about this yet.
Breath of the Wild was all about the vast open world and exploration, and you could explore Hyrule freely, without any real linear order. While this game will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, they did not reveal any details about whether or not it will continue that open world exploration, or if it will be more of a traditional Zelda game formula, with temples and dungeons that require specific items to progress through.
Will you play as Link or Zelda?
No information was revealed regarding who you play as in this sequel, but you do see both Link and Zelda in the trailer. By default, we can only assume that Link is the playable character as he always has been, but maybe there will be some moments that we can play as Zelda, which would be a nice change of pace.
Kotaku was able to ask producer, Eiji Aonuma, if Zelda would be playable in this sequel. The esteemed man initially acted with surprise and maybe some confusion at the question, but then simply said, "I can't tell you."
Looks like we'll just have to wait and see how many playable characters there are.
Will there be any DLC?
It's currently too early to know if there will be any DLC. However, it is interesting to note that Aonuma has stated that the ideas for this sequel initially started as DLC for Breath of the Wild.
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.
If we're lucky, they'll have so many ideas for the sequel that it will either result in a decent amount of DLC or a third Breath of the Wild sequel. But that's just us getting our hopes up and getting way ahead of ourselves.
When will this sequel come out?
The trailer was more of a teaser. Nintendo has only stated that the sequel is now in development, so there is no time frame on when this game will be coming out, though we can guess it won't be for a while.
There was definitely not much information regarding the Breath of the Wild sequel that was announced today. We will keep you updated with more information as we receive it.
Nintendo's E3 announcement trailer
During the trailer, we see Link and Zelda exploring some ruins in Hyrule. The ruins that they're in feature some dark dungeons. They soon find an underground lair, where an ancient evil grows. This dark force seems adorned with Gerudo visual cues. Once the evil seems to awaken, we get a view of Hyrule Castle quaking and rising from the ground in the distance.
Updated October 10, 2019: Added info about the supposed 4chan leak.
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