Breath Of The Wild 2 Needs To Be The New Elden Ring
While one is a colourful realm of fire and ice populated by Bokoblins and Octoroks, and the other is a crumbling apocalypse of Chanting Winged Dames and Walking Mausoleums, there's a surprising amount that connects Zelda and Elden Ring. Given Nintendo's family-friendly image, Zelda's Hyrule is effectively a child-friendly Lands Between, but that doesn't mean we've skimped on the darkness.
When FromSoftware announced Elden Ring as the next open-world Souls-like in 2019, it was obvious the fantasy epic was going to be compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In fact, any open-world game that's come out since 2017 has usually found itself living in the shadow of Link's Switch debut. Jump forward to 2022, and anything that comes out now is likely to be treading on Elden Ring's toes.
What Can Breath Of The Wild 2 Learn From Elden Ring?
Some 36 years after Link first tried to save the titular princess, it's safe to say the Zelda name has come a long way. From the top-down days of the original The Legend of Zelda, through the Ocarina of Time gifting us 3D Zelda, Wind Waker's cel-shaded days, and Twilight Princess bringing motion controls to the series, Zelda has always moved with the times.
FromSoftware games have been a little more reserved in their advancements, with the same hack and slash giving us a different setting and spruced-up graphics while keeping the same general mechanics. If Breath of the Wild 2 is going to do anything, it's to keep the ease of controls and inventory that its predecessor delivered in 2017.
Much like how Mario Sunshine alienated some following Super Mario 64, Breath of the Wild 2 would be foolish to try and reinvent the wheel too much. As long as we keep our paraglider, we should be fine. Then again, Zelda could also learn something from Elden Ring's dark aesthetic. While I personally loved the childlike Wind Waker, others think Zelda needs the adult aesthetic that something like Twilight Princess brings. Even though the 2006 outing was dubbed "too dark" by critics, N64 classics Ocarina and Majora's Mask weren't exactly aimed at kids.
From what we've seen of Breath of the Wild 2 - complete with a reanimated version of mummy Ganondorf - dark magic and adult themes that wouldn't look out of place in Elden Ring look like they're in play. Zelda has created some expansive lore over the decades, but that's nothing compared to what Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R.R. Martin did with Elden Ring. Breath of the Wild had the middling success of Hyrule Warriors to expand the franchise, but Breath of the Wild 2 can be a real jumping-off point for something bigger.
Is Breath Of The Wild The Next Elden Ring?
It makes sense that Nintendo is taking its time with Breath of the Wild 2. Coming out this year would've put it in direct competition with Elden Ring, so even we're not sure who will come out on top. While Breath of the Wild 2 is expected to be suitably massive, it remains to be seen whether Hyrule and its various regions will be able to rival the Lands Between in size. Then again, remembering how Breath of the Wild was the biggest Zelda game yet, we've got high hopes.
We assume the devs are hard at work tinkering on the title to make it the best Zelda there's been, and if that means we have to wait a few months, we say let it continue. Elden Ring and Zelda share more similarities than you think, and just like we imagine the FromSoft devs used Breath of the Wild for inspiration, you can bet Team Nintendo has been running around as the Tarnished. Either way, all signs are pointing to Breath of the Wild 2 being a worthy successor to what its older brother did five years ago.
Will There Be An Elden Ring 2?
With so much to explore in the Lands Between - and players unlocking a secret Elden Ring colosseum - there's definitely potential for more. Whether it's in the form of a paid-for DLC or a full-blown sequel, Bandai Namco has expressed a desire to "expand" the Elden Ring name. Unlike Bloodborne or Sekiro, remember that we've had three Dark Souls games, meaning the developer isn't totally against sequels.
It's much the same with Zelda, and although the likes of Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword have been standalone outings, others like Majora's Mask have been sequels. We're only calling Breath of the Wild 2 that because we assumed that's what it's going to be called, however, there are claims it will be dubbed Breath of Duality - leaning into those theories Ganon could be the hero.
Circling back to Elden Ring, the fact the game's main story takes place in just a single point of history, it's easy to imagine FromSoft following in Zelda's footsteps and delivering a prequel like Skyward Sword. As long as we don't see the return of Navi, Breath of the Wild 2 could be one of the greatest games of all time. In an era that Elden Ring has already tried to claim that crown, we say think of these two as brothers in arms rather than bitter rivals.