What Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 could learn from Ocarina Of Time – Reader’s Feature

Zelda: Breath Of The Wild 2 – what do yo want from the sequel? (pic: Nintendo)

After spending over a hundred hours in lockdown with Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, a reader suggests some changes for the upcoming sequel.

I have spent a good chunk of the lockdown (155 hours in fact!) finally replaying Zelda: Breath Of The Wild on master mode, along with the DLC. It’s very rare I ever replay a single-player game but I’m really glad I did. It’s such a magnificent game and finally finding all 120 shrines felt like a real achievement. Master mode may not have changed things all that radically, but I found the difficulty curve much more satisfying. In normal mode I was way too overpowered by halfway through, making combat a bit of a chore, whereas in master mode you have to stay on your toes right up until the end. The DLC as a whole was a pretty mixed bag though.

One of the best things was actually Hero’s Path, just being able to see where you’ve been was a great help. The new shrines were very clever too, making me scratch my head a couple of times even though they used the same set of tools as the rest of the game. Trial of the Sword was a weird mixture of fun and frustration. Some of the scenarios were great but I’m not a big fan of having all the stuff you’ve worked so hard to collect taken away.

The DLC actually did this multiple times with the one-hit Obliterator and the worst bit, the Blight Ganon rematches. The boss fights of the Divine Beasts were a decidedly average part of the main game, so why they chose to repeat them again and make them seem even worse I don’t know. The funny thing is the DLC’s new final boss is actually excellent, both in terms of visuals and its attacks.

Anyway, one of the things I wanted to know on replaying the game is whether it truly does beat Ocarina Of Time. I really wasn’t sure on my first playthrough. Breath Of The Wild is so different, especially the structure. How do you compare a 120+ hour open world game to a tightly structured 30-hour game? It’s really hard but after my second playthrough I think I do have answer. It’s very, very close but I think Ocarina Of Time just keeps its crown.

Breath Of The Wild offers this vast, expansive gameplay experience in which space plays a vital role. But that space affords moments of both magical wonder and aimless mundanity. Ocarina Of Time’s more tight, linear nature means the game is always building to a crescendo whether that’s an area’s dungeon and boss or the final showdown with Ganondorf.

Strangely, Ocarina of Time, even though shorter, feels more epic with an urgency that I would suggest Breath Of The Wild (purposely) lacks. This isn’t to say Nintendo took the wrong direction with Breath Of The Wild at all, they absolutely did the right thing in doing something new. Really, it just speaks to how utterly impressive Ocarina Of Time still is after all these years. Truly one of the greatest games ever made.

But I’m really torn on what I want from the upcoming Breath Of The Wild sequel. Part of me wants it to take a step back towards traditional Zelda design, with proper dungeons and bosses. The Divine Beasts had some clever sections and ideas but really, they paled in comparison to the great dungeons of Zelda’s past. The Blight Ganon bosses in particular were very underwhelming in both visual and gameplay design. Bosses have always been a vital part of Zelda’s DNA. Just thinking of Ocarina Of Time’s gallery of rogues brings me great joy and instantly reminds me of the inspired method of their downfall. Great Zelda bosses should be a puzzle in themselves.

I would worry though, that in taking a step back towards a more traditional design that some of the wonderful new elements might be lost. I really do love the addition of the shrines, having these mini-puzzles and challenges spread throughout the world to discover works brilliantly. Can shrines and a good number of proper big dungeons be made to fit in the same game? I’m not sure, it’d definitely involve a lot of work on Nintendo’s part.

Part of me thinks they should just double-down on the open design of Breath Of The Wild and scrap dungeons all together. Put even more content into the overworld so there’s always something new and exciting happening. The mini-bosses like Hinoxes and Lynels found across the landscape were excellent, especially when you first unexpectedly stumbled upon them, but gradually their impact lessons as you fight them multiple times.

Why not have 20-30 completely unique mini-bosses, each needing their own special technique to defeat? More villages would be very welcome too, discovering a new settlement was always a highlight. Having even more would let them serve as hubs for the action to revolve around to an even greater extent.

Well, I guess I’ll just have to see what Nintendo comes up with, although speculation is always fun. Parts of the Internet seems to think Nintendo have confirmed that they are using the same map, is this true?

(As with most things Nintendo say, it’s somewhat ambiguous. This is the closest producer has come to addressing the issue: ‘One of the reasons we wanted to create a continuation was because I wanted to revisit that Hyrule again and use that world again, while incorporating new gameplay and new story’ – GC)

Obviously, the game is set in the same world but I didn’t realise it’d be the exact same area. I think I might have preferred a brand-new world to explore but if they do a Dark World or time travel twist on the existing map it could work well.

I’d love to see a complex cave network introduced below the world’s surface. Caves were featured in the trailer and it’d fit the seemingly darker tone. The other big Internet rumour/wish is to have Zelda as a playable character. I think this could be amazing but only if they make her Link’s equal. If they make her a weak, stealth character or something which you begrudge playing it’d be a travesty.

Hopefully she’d be designed to fight with both traditional weapons and some really cool, powerful Triforce of Wisdom magic. It’s exciting to think of the possibilities. For me Breath Of The Wild was an exceptionally good starting point, I really can’t wait to see what comes next.

By reader Ryan O’D

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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