Nintendo dropped a huge bombshell right at the end of their E3 2019 Direct presentation when they announced with a cryptic teaser trailer that a direct sequel to 2017’s excellent The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was in development. Direct sequels are, of course, very uncommon for Zelda as a series, and as it turns out, Breath of the Wild 2 (or whatever Nintendo ends up calling it) is going to be even more so.
That’s because it will be using the same Hyrule as its setting as Breath of the Wild did. Previous direct Zelda sequels like Majora’s Mask and Spirit Tracks used maps that were different from their predecessors. A Link Between Worlds used the same Hyrule as A Link to the Past did, but even that had Lorule, which was not the same as the Dark World. Zelda 2 used the first game’s map, but that was only part of a bigger map.
“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,” said series producer Eiji Aonuma while speaking with Game Informer.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean that the map in Breath of the Wild 2 will be the exact same as the first one. Nintendo might very well be adding new elements to it, while the teaser trailer also hinted at Link and Zelda being in an underground network beneath Hyrule castle, and if that ends up being part of the open world, it’d certainly open things up interestingly.
The sequel to Breath of the Wild is in development and slated for the Switch, though it doesn’t currently have a release date (it doesn’t even have a name). That said, seeing as they’re re-using a lot of the same assets, and the fact that the game has been in development since late 2017, perhaps a launch isn’t as far off as many fear it is.