When it comes to big releases like The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo usually keeps a very low profile, and details of the games (leaked to the press) are kept at a bare minimum until the titles are closer to their release date.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 has followed Nintendo’s modus operandi to perfection. After a teaser trailer shown on this past E3 (2021), Nintendo has, so far, kept details on the game locked behind close doors.
It has Been a Disappointing Year for Zelda Fans
Spare me the “But, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword got its HD Switch Remaster on Switch!” argument. Skyward isn’t my (or a consensus) Zelda favorite among fans of the series. It is nice that we can finally play the game with a decent controller (I disliked the original motion controls), but its Switch port isn’t a ‘high point’ in the Zelda series, especially when the Wii U still has the superior Twilight Princess, and Wind Waker HD ports exclusive to it.
I would have preferred for Nintendo bring over any of these two games to the Switch (along with Skyward Sword) than just Skyward Sword by itself. Let’s be honest, the Switch has been out for more than 4 years; at this point there is no excuse for Nintendo not to bring over these classic HD ports onto its vastly more successful system.
That said, the biggest disappointment for a Zelda fan, like myself, has been the lack of Breath of the Wild 2 information and details, and Nintendo’s awful Ocarina of Time emulation, as part of its new “Expansion Pack” addition to its Nintendo Switch Online service.
So, is 2022 ‘IT’ for Breath of the Wild 2?
According to IGN’s boss, Peer Schneider, it is. Apparently, Schneider met with industry insiders during the The Game Awards 2021 ceremony, and on recent podcast claimed that we would be playing Breath of the Wild 2 by November 2022.
So, how valid (and likely) are Schneider claims? Being the CEO and President of a long running (and powerful) video games news site has its perks. Schneider, knows people, who know people, and so on. I believe that he did get his information from trustable sources, and even if his November 2022 ‘prediction’ is a ‘guess’, I have to assume that said ‘guess’ came from an informed and educated perspective on the subject matter.
History would be on his (Schneider’s) side too. Apart, from the 7 year gap of time between A Link to the Past, and Ocarina of Time, no Zelda game has ever stayed in development for more than 6 years after a previous mainline installment.
In March 2022, Breath of the Wild 2 will hit the 5 year in development mark, as Breath of the Wild was released in March 2017. Given that Breath of the Wild 2 is running on the same engine while utilizing many of the same assets of its predecessor, it is actually quite surprising that it has taken Nintendo EAD this long to develop the title.
In fact, the 4 and half year and counting wait for Breath of the Wild 2 has opened the door for rumors and speculation that the game is being primed for a joint release with a “Nintendo Switch Pro” console to surface. These rumors should die down soon, as I don’t think it is feasible for Nintendo to launch new hardware next year, as this year’s Switch OLED refresh should keep the current Switch ‘alive’ for, at least, the next 2-3 years before a true successor is announced.
Given the state of the last trailer that was showcased for the game (back at E3 this year) I have to assume that Breath of the Wild 2 is far along in development, and that Nintendo is probably taking its sweet time in polishing the game.
Unlike western developers (CD Projekt, I am looking at you), Nintendo is very strict about quality control, and Breath of the Wild (given its huge size) was pretty much bug ‘game breaking’ bug free, back when it launched in 2017. I expect the same level of quality and polish in this much anticipated sequel.
The Legend of Zelda Turned 35 This Year
It did, indeed, and this is why it was so disappointing that we Zelda fans did not receive a meaningful collection or release to commemorate such a momentous occasion. After all, Super Mario got a 3-D collection recently, and it would have been nice to receive something similar for the The Legend of Zelda series.
Hopefully, Nintendo has something big planned for Ocarina of Time’s 25th year anniversary in 2023. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it, though. Nintendo has disappointed me before (this year is an example). That said, 2022 is looking like a safe date for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 to finally arrive on our Nintendo Switch screens. Fingers crossed!
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