So, Nintendo fans, we don’t know if you’ve heard, but a Breath of the Wild follow-up is in development. Okay, of course, you’ve heard, but did you know that the team is taking inspiration from one of the biggest, most ambitious open-world titles ever created?
Before we get into all of that, let’s backtrack a little. In recent years, before the whole "do you want a side of battle royale with your… everything" situation kicked in, gaming was all about free-roaming, open world experiences. Horizon Zero Dawn, Grand Theft Auto V, and similar titles were the order of the day. Yep, that includes the first Breath of the Wild.
Now, as open world titles go, the latest Zelda adventure isn’t the most expansive. For the franchise (and for Nintendo as a whole, really), though, it was a brave new world. As always, some fans were irked by the changes to the established formula, but there’s no doubt that it’s still one of the biggest games Nintendo Switch has yet seen (it was a Wii U title too, but nobody owned one of those).
Needless to say, then, the surprise reveal during the E3 2019 Nintendo Direct that a direct sequel was in production was a huge, huge deal for franchise fans. What do we know about the game? Well, from the brief trailer we saw, precious little, beyond the fact that it seems to be much darker in tone than Zelda tends to go.
As for the potential scope of the game, one very early encouraging sign is that, as we say, the team has reportedly been inspired by the mighty Red Dead Redemption 2. When asked about the games that the younger members of the development team were playing in an interview with IGN, series producer Eiji Aonuma stated, “[Something] I did hear that a lot of people were playing was Red Dead Redemption 2."
Well, with Rockstar’s gritty action adventure as an inspiration, it’s little wonder that things are taking a darker turn this time around. Things sure can get grim in Red Dead, as any fan will tell you. Will we be having to visit a barber every so often to have Link’s increasingly unruly facial hair trimmed? Will we be skinning Moblins to trade their hides for valuable items? Well, no, no we won’t, but still. Wouldn’t a skinless octorok dangling limply from Epona’s saddle be a sight?