Breath of the Wild did away with traditional Zelda dungeons, but the BOTW 2 trailer shows how temples might be making a return in the sequel.
Many fans are awaiting news about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, and how it’s going to evolve the already formula-breaking gameplay of its predecessor. BOTW was a radically different direction for the Zelda franchise, featuring many new systems like consumable food, climbing mechanics, a large array of equipment, no specialized items, and more. Perhaps the most common critique of BOTW is its lack of traditional Zelda dungeons, a move that Nintendo might reverse for BOTW 2.
Games in the Legend of Zelda series always contain some sort of explorable overworld, but the bulk of combat and puzzle gameplay takes place in various dungeons or temples that Link must enter. Each dungeon typically has a new item which is required to proceed through the dungeon itself, as well as access new areas of Hyrule later. Dungeons in Zelda games are very useful for providing unique scenery and introducing special enemies and bosses.
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Breath of the Wild replaced classic Zelda dungeons with its four Divine Beasts and numerous Ancient Shrines. The Divine Beasts are interesting in that they’re essentially one giant puzzle for the player to figure out, but the bosses were all variations of the same thing. Each Divine Beast adhered to the same aesthetic as well, even though the insides had different layouts. The Ancient Shrines are where the bulk of BOTW‘s puzzles were located, and some are legitimately interesting while allowing for creative solutions, but they too all looked the same and did not provide the same satisfaction as dungeon crawling.
BOTW 2’s Hyrule Will Have to Change to Accommodate Temples
Breath of the Wild‘s version of Hyrule is vast, but players have scoured every inch of it. Nobody expects Nintendo to roll out the exact same map for the sequel, and if there are any plans for dungeons in BOTW 2, some serious landscaping will have to happen. It just so happens that the announcement trailer for BOTW 2 shows Hyrule castle seemingly lifting off of the ground and levitating. Seeing as there hasn’t been any more promotional material for BOTW 2, it’s unclear exactly what’s going on, but the implications for terraforming make it possible for places buried underground – like dungeons – to be revealed.
On the wildly convoluted Legend of Zelda timeline, Breath of the Wild is last chronologically. Everything prior to the Calamity has become myth and legend, providing ample time for ancient structures to become buried ruins. The Ancient Shrines and Sheikah Towers in BOTW rise from the ground, meaning there’s precedent for ancient structures under Hyrule’s surface. Additionally, in the BOTW 2 trailer, Link and Zelda are shown in some sort of crypt containing a mummified corpse speculated to be Ganondorf.
The details on BOTW 2 are scarce, but it’s a possibility that whatever immense power is moving Hyrule castle in the trailer can also affect the rest of the region’s terrain. Traditional dungeons were sorely missed in BOTW, and the uncovering of ancient temples in Breath of the Wild 2 would be a welcome addition to the latest Zelda formula.
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