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Features Breath Of The Wild 2 Desperately Needs

Breath of the Wild 2 has been on the forefront of Zelda fans' minds since the first trailer was released in 2019. Not a lot is known about what the sequel will bring, but fans everywhere have been theorizing, breaking down the trailer frame-by-frame, and offering suggestions for what they'd like from the upcoming installment.


These suggestions vary in scope and seriousness. Some fans offer earnest ideas, asking that Nintendo improve some of the game's clunkier mechanics and add new terrain to explore now that Hyrule is no longer under Calamity Ganon's control. Others make jokes about rehydrating Ganondorf and allowing players to pet the forbidden dogs.

Breath of the Wild 2 is expected to have a lot in common with its predecessor, since the idea for the sequel originally came from developers having too many complicated DLC ideas. Until more details are revealed, here's a look at the features some believe Breath of the Wild 2 desperately needs.

Introduce optional motion controls

Breath of the Wild's motion controls have long been a topic of fan criticism, but there may be hope on the horizon for Zelda fans. According to the February 2021 Nintendo Direct, the Skyward Sword HD remake will improve the game's dated motion controls with the Switch's superior technology and optional button-mapping.


Series producer Aonuma explained in the Direct that players will control Link's sword and shield with the right and left Joy-Cons, respectively. Other gameplay features, such as wielding a bow and arrow, will also be controlled using the Joy-Cons to "add a sense of urgency and tension to combat." Since Breath of the Wild's gyroscopic controls tend to favor slow, precise aiming, injecting some fast-paced tension would be a welcome change.

Now, this isn't exactly a promise that Breath of the Wild 2 will feature optional motion-controlled combat, or even improved versions of the motion controls that already exist. We can only hope that the precedent set by Skyward Sword HD will be just the push Nintendo needs to implement a gameplay overhaul (perhaps even an option for lefties?). In any case, it's a good sign that Nintendo is listening to feedback about their more clunky mechanics and working on better solutions.


Make Zelda a playable character

Fans have been clamoring for a playable Princess Zelda for years now. Though Zelda has featured as a playable character in Spirit Tracks and Cadence of Hyrule (and one of the embarrassing Phillips CDi games), few other titles in the series have included her as a controllable protagonist. The demand for a playable princess is so high that some ambitious fans have even created a mod for Breath of the Wild that lets you play as Zelda instead of Link.


The princess's new haircut (featured in the 2019 trailer) has sparked a handful of fan theories that Zelda plays a greater role in the sequel. Long hair is notoriously difficult to animate, and it would make sense for Zelda to cut her hair if she were engaging in combat and donning protective helmets. 

Gamers have seen Zelda in action in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and her unique brand of Sheikah Slate combat would be an interesting addition to gameplay in the Breath of the Wild follow-up. There's also precedent for players to control characters other than Link, so making Zelda playable even during short sections of gameplay wouldn't be unheard of.

Add a co-op campaign

Though the Legend of Zelda franchise has featured multiplayer a few times over the years, the only games that have involved a complete co-op campaign have been Four Swords, Four Swords Adventures, and Tri Force Heroes. Even then, all of the playable characters were just different versions of Link! If Zelda were added as a playable character in solo mode, for example, an optional co-op version of the campaign would be a welcome addition.


Eiji Aonuma has been pretty vague about the inclusion of such a feature, and without any news from Nintendo since the trailer dropped (aside from a potential release date leak and a promise in early 2021 that more information would come "later this year"), fans are left to speculate whether or not Zelda will be a playable character. Some may be apprehensive about the loss of a solo adventure, but others have enjoyed Nintendo's other co-op ventures and hope to see The Legend of Zelda follow suit.

Include more classic items

Breath of the Wild revitalized item usage by giving players more than just a glowing eye to hit. Want to do sick skateboard tricks off a Bokoblin's head with your shield? Distract them with some food so you can land a sneak attack? Use Octo Balloons to lift them into the air, then drop them? All of these options are totally possible.


Even with all these zany new item strategies, the change to an open world format meant that Nintendo had to either replace or rework a lot of classic Zelda items. The hookshot, for example, nearly rendered the game's climbing mechanics obsolete — there's not much point to rock climbing when you can use such a device to zip up mountains in the blink of an eye.

However, some fans have pointed out that Link doesn't have the Sheikah Slate in the Breath of the Wild 2 trailer. This could be a coincidence, but the Slate is Zelda's, after all — she may have taken it back now that her century-long battle with Calamity Ganon is over. If Link doesn't have access to the trusty Slate during the game, it would be nice to see a few more classic items return to help him on his journey.


Show Hyrule rebuilding after the Calamity

Breath of the Wild is a deeply lonely game by design. Link awakens in the Shrine of Resurrection one hundred years after the Calamity has passed, and Hyrule has fallen to ruin in his absence. There's an overwhelming sense of emptiness in every overgrown field, frozen peak, and sweltering desert, and all signs of civilization disappear when you venture too far from one of the game's sparse towns.


Fans loved the isolation of the open world, but at the conclusion of Breath of the Wild, Link's quest to defeat Calamity Ganon is over. During the final cutscene in the game's true ending, Zelda tells Link that she wants to rebuild Hyrule. Though it's unclear how much time has passed since the events of Breath of the Wild, it's safe to assume some rebuilding efforts are already underway.

Fans hope the sequel will show life creeping back into Hyrule's sprawling landscape, restoring some of the ruins to their former glory. It would certainly make Link's victory feel that much more satisfying.

Put some pep in the soundtrack's step

Part of what makes Breath of the Wild feel so melancholy is its soundtrack. Most of the orchestral themes found in the rest of the series are replaced with soft piano music. Even the iconic Zelda theme is notably absent (unless you happen to be horseback riding through Hyrule Field at night).


This gentler soundtrack is accompanied by some truly astounding invisible sound design that emphasizes the feeling that Link is the only sapient life among the ruin of a long-lost kingdom. It's beautiful, but not befitting of a Hyrule under reconstruction. 

Fans hope to see a revitalized soundtrack in Breath of the Wild 2. The franchise has always been known for its music, so a return to more grandiose songs would be welcome. Though that may not consist of overworld tunes on the scale of Ocarina of Time, a soundtrack that reflects Hyrule's triumphant return would be welcome. Maybe Link could even get a new instrument of his own.

Bring back traditional dungeons

Fans had pretty mixed feelings about the Shrines in Breath of the Wild. While some felt they shook up the Zelda puzzle formula by allowing for multiple solutions, others believed that the puzzles were easy and repetitive, wasting play time and offering little reward in return.


The developers behind Breath of the Wild explained that exploration was their main motivator in cutting traditional dungeons from the game, claiming that they wanted to keep players moving instead of devoting all their time and attention to a single dungeon. While many fans agreed that encouraging exploration was a noble (and thematic goal), they missed the more traditional dungeons and didn't feel as though the Divine Beasts made up the difference well enough.

The general consensus lands on a sort of compromise — bring back traditional dungeons for nostalgia's sake, but leave a few Shrines as optional challenges to reward intrepid adventurers intent on forging their own path through Hyrule.


Add better boss fights

Breath of the Wild made a lot of changes to the standard Zelda formula, and boss fights were no exception. High-level enemies like Hinox, Talus, and Moldugas are scattered about the overworld for Link to stumble into on his adventure, and engaging with one is a handy way to break up your exploration routine and get some new gear. The problem is that these fights come at the expense of any real variety in the enemies.


Once you've fought one Blight Ganon, you've fought them all. Their powers and attack styles vary slightly depending on the Divine Beast you're recovering, but the basic strategy remains the same — avoid the phantom's glowing weapons and whatever projectiles they throw your way, then find a way to counter their element powers.

While there are plenty of bosses to be found in Breath of the Wild, the fights themselves blend together and may feel unrewarding to some. Adding greater enemy variety (or even making the individual fights more iconic) would go a long way toward making Breath of the Wild 2 a unique experience.

Let players explore underwater

Most of the 3D Zelda games have featured some form of underwater exploration, from the infamous Water Temple in Ocarina of Time to the world beneath Lake Floria in Skyward Sword. It's a factor that's interestingly missing from Breath of the Wild — despite Link's newfound abilities in the open world, his expeditions remain strictly above the surface.


Fans sorely missed the ability to venture beneath the waves, especially after an exploited glitch revealed a beautifully rendered underwater world that suggests Nintendo may have intended to have underwater segments that were eventually cut from the game. 

It would make sense for Breath of the Wild 2 to reintroduce underwater traversal, especially if new items were added to make the swimming/diving mechanics more dynamic. The Zora Set already gives Link improved swim speed and stamina, so it's not too much of a stretch to add iron boots to the mix. Doing so would add an entirely new dimension to an already expansive world while bringing back a beloved tradition of older Zelda games.

Improve the weapon durability system

Breath of the Wild added a whole slew of new weapons to the game. To help players manage inventory space and give them a reason to use more than just the Master Sword, Nintendo incorporated a weapon durability mechanic that causes weapons to break after a certain amount of use.


It's a clever idea in theory, but fans hated it in practice. Fragile weapons in the game's early stages get you in the habit of hoarding weapons "just in case," which clogs up inventory space and forces you to run a stat comparison every time you swap out for a new or favored weapon type. "Weapons" like Korok leaves and Goron hammers that have practical uses take up space that could go to better combat alternatives. Weapons break at inconvenient times, leaving you to make do with less effective options in the middle of a fight.

There's been a lot of debate as to how Nintendo should improve the mechanic moving into Breath of the Wild 2, especially considering that the first game already has a basic weapon crafting and repair system for certain weapon types. Fans hope that Nintendo will provide a more streamlined version in the sequel.


Add more Easter eggs

Breath of the Wild is full of references to the rest of the Legend of Zelda series. Since it takes place at the end of the three timelines and converges them into one, there are dozens of references scattered about the world. The story itself alludes to the Zelda mythology frequently — since Breath of the Wild 2 will be a direct sequel, there's a good chance fans will get more hints as to how exactly the timeline has come together.


Beyond the obvious references, Nintendo is a big fan of packing Easter eggs into their games. Breath of the Wild's expansion pass added a few new armor options to the game that nodded at characters like Midna and Phantom Zelda, and a crossover with Xenoblade Chronicles 2 gave Link yet another set of armor to wear.

There are plenty of other Easter eggs and pieces of crossover content that Nintendo could add to Breath of the Wild 2. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait for the game's release to see if that happens.