Posted on August 11 2019 by Brandon Schmitz
Shortly after Breath of the Wild 2’s unveiling at E3 2019, Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma expressed his desire to “revisit that Hyrule again and use that world again.” Now, to be fair, we don’t know the extent to which this will be the case. For all we know, the game could take place in Hyrule for the first two hours, only to whisk us away to a brand new locale for the rest of the adventure.
Based on Aonuma’s comment, though, the smart money says Breath of the Wild’s sequel will be primarily set in Hylia’s domain. Assuming that comes to pass, are you worried about such a prospect? After all, it isn’t unheard of for this series to reuse maps from previous installments. A Link Between Worlds borrowed A Link to the Past’s iteration of Hyrule, while the Nintendo Switch’s upcoming Link’s Awakening remake will, understandably, use virtually the same world map as the original Game Boy classic.
However, these games are decades apart from their respective predecessors. Breath of the Wild is still the most recent mainline entry in the series, with likely only a few years separating the two releases. Even with all of the new story content, it’s going to be tough for this game to feel like anything more than a DLC expansion if it does indeed reuse the exact same map.
So, am I worried about that actually happening? Not particularly. At this point, the Zelda team has earned the benefit of the doubt from me. I have got to believe the developers will fundamentally revamp the overworld somehow. They have to realize that this world — one that many of us have spent hundreds of hours in already — can’t just be recycled, with only a narrative change and the possibility of some dungeons to shake things up.
No, I’m kind of expecting the game to pull some Link to the Past shenanigans and include something at least partially inspired by the Dark World. We’re going into full-on speculation mode here, but perhaps Ganondorf’s resurgence changes the environment itself. Turn Gerudo Desert into a murky swamp, Zora’s Domain into something more akin to the Dark Palace and its surrounding area, and so on. A switch-up like this would go a long way toward making this familiar world feel brand new.
Again, though, what about you? Does the idea of going back to the exact same world even bother you in the first place? If it does, then do you hope and/or expect Nintendo to spice things up enough to justify its return? Whatever your thoughts may be, please share them in the comments below!