The award-winning game released in 2017, known as one of Nintendo’s best games of the decade, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is finally getting a highly anticipated sequel. This game set a new standard for the Zelda franchise, which fans felt needed more innovative gameplay. BOTW introduced an open-world aspect that had never been explored before in Zelda games, which were usually focusing more on story-based gameplay. However, ever since its release, fans have been speculating about the next generation of Zelda and are excited to see what Nintendo does next.
Fast forward to September 13 to the 2022 Nintendo Direct, the annual event where Nintendo announces future projects and upcoming products. Nintendo Direct finally gave a glimpse of the highly anticipated action adventure game by Nintendo, which will release next year. Its official release date is on 5/13/2023 and will be released on Nintendo’s newest console, the Nintendo Switch. While the game isn’t called Breath of the Wild 2, which is what fans have been referring to it as, it will be the sequel to the acclaimed BOTW. The name of the game will be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Zelda fans worldwide have been speculating how the game will be played as well as different potential names for it, however Nintendo refused to give any clues. Nintendo Headquarters did not even release the name of the game until September 13 because they “insisted that the ‘real’ name of the new BOTW game would spoil something about the premise.” The trailer is pretty brief and doesn’t give away much; the biggest takeaways were the name and the release date.
However, from the short gameplay footage shown, it appears that the main protagonist Link will be taking to the skies and climbing sequences much more in this game than its predecessor. It has also been revealed that in-game hieroglyphics will play a substantial part in this plot, which might be pointing toward a myth or the larger story. Some have even compared BOTW 2 to Skyward Sword, an earlier Zelda release, because it had more of a horror feel to it. The trailer supports this with what looks like the corpse of Ganondorf, the last antagonist, being resurrected by a disembodied hand, giving this game the reputation of potentially being the darkest game of the franchise.
Even with the lack of footage and hints given for this game, there is no limit to the fan theories that have been produced from it. One of the favorite fan theories at the moment is about the Hyrulian(Hyrule being the setting of the games), Princess Zelda. She's shown in the trailer with attire in a manner pretty similar to Link's own adventurer's gear, leading some to think she may be a playable character. Another popular theory is that of the Twilight Realm. The glowing blue hand in the trailer could be a major clue that we'll be seeing more of the shadow people (Twili), who have not been seen since the 2006 release, Twilight Princess. No matter what theory you believe in, there is no denying that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be a game to watch this upcoming spring and is expected to surpass the high expectations set by its predecessor.