Don’t Expect Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 Before 2021

Legend of Zelda fans shouldn’t expect to see Breath of the Wild before 2021 rolls around, and Nintendo will likely do this intentionally.

Just when fans were anticipating some juicy Breath of the Wild 2 news, Nintendo announced a brand new prequel of the same story, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It wasn’t what fans were expecting, but still, many fans are getting geared up based on what the trailer has to offer.

But what does this mean for Breath of the Wild‘s release date? With next year being the 35th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda franchise and with Hyrule Warriors coming in November, it’ll likely be a while before any news is dropped. Fans shouldn’t expect anything out of this year, in other words.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Rather than following the same gameplay style as Breath of the Wild, Nintendo made the interesting decision to create Age of Calamity as a prequel to Hyrule Warriors. This will enable the players to experience the events of 100 years before Breath of the Wild not only through Link’s eyes but the four champions as well. And what really gets some amped up for the game is the promise that Zelda will finally once again be a playable character, and based on the trailer, the story seems to revolve around the Princess and her sealing magic quite a bit.

While Breath of the Wild took many risks by changing up a tried and true formula seen in decades of games, perhaps Age of Calamity is an even bigger one by introducing a BotW-style Princess Zelda as a playable character. Many fans are hoping for the opportunity to play as her in Breath of the Wild 2 as well, and this creates the perfect opportunity for Nintendo to experiment with her. With Hyrule Warriors, the developers can gauge fan reaction to Zelda’s playstyle and mechanics and decide how to proceed. Her balance may be different from Link’s if Nintendo decides to diverge from her style seen in the original Hyrule Warriors and focus on her magical abilities.

Additionally, the events depicted in Age of Calamity will further expand on the events recounted through Link’s memories in Breath of the Wild. Again, this presents Nintendo with the opportunity to judge and calibrate aspects of Breath of the Wild 2 based on fan reaction, not only with story, but with gameplay elements as well. If fans decide they loved a certain mechanic, Nintendo could choose to reprise it in the sequel. If they hate something, Nintendo knows not to include it.

Legend of Zelda’s 35th Anniversary

Following only one year behind Super MarioThe Legend of Zelda’s 35th anniversary will be next year in 2021. Many fans have speculated that Nintendo will likely offer the same treatment of Zelda games, similar to the release of Super Mario All-Stars and 3D All-Stars, and unveil popular classics from the franchise into ports and packages. Word of Wii U ports like Wind Waker HD and Twilight Princess HD as well as a Skyward Sword Switch remaster have already been around the rumor mill thanks to industry insiders.

However, rumors of remasters and ports of several Mario franchise titles had been circulating throughout most of 2020, and it was only in September that Nintendo decided to announce a ton of Super Mario games coming to the Switch. Furthermore, Super Mario 3D All-Stars was only announced about two weeks ahead of its release date. It’s possible that this is a sales tactic being used by Nintendo to create more hype off the bat, as is the idea of only having 3D All-Stars playable until the end of March 2021.

So if Nintendo decides to celebrate Zelda‘s 35th anniversary as well, fans shouldn’t expect the Japanese developer the announce anything this year. The 35th anniversary is in February though, so it really depends on how closely it is meant to line up.

Breath of the Wild was originally geared for a 2020 release but was pushed back to next year, and it’s likely that, unless Covid-19 restrictions strike, the game won’t be delayed that far back. However, because BotW was such a huge success among both new and old fans, Nintendo is likely planning on playing it safe by using Age of Calamity to gauge reception and will use the extra development time to make adjustments to the sequel to perfect it.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity will release on November 20, 2020, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

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