E3 2019: Nintendo announce sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in busy and broad Switch showcase

Tom Hoggins
Breath of the Wild 2? Nintendo has announced a follow-up to its critically accalimed Legend of Zelda adventure

Nintendo has announced that it is working on a sequel to the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at E3 2019. The news was revealed at the end of its Nintendo Direct livestream, showing the original games’ hero Link and Princess Zelda walking through a cavern before being encountered by a monster. Music appeared to be playing in reverse, before the camera panned out to the land of Hyrule.

While the announcement was little more than a tease, it immediately lead to feverish speculation that the new game will allow you to play as Zelda. While the reversed music cue could suggest a Majora’s Mask style time mechanic. Chances are that we will have to wait a while before any of this is made clear, but it was a headline-grabbing way to end Nintendo’s stream. The original Breath of the Wild is widely regarded as one of the best games ever made.

The Direct was otherwise a relatively low-key but busy and broad affair. Nintendo revealed the first gameplay and details for its highly anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which will be set on a desert island. But also revealed that the game was being delayed until 20 March 2020.

It started its direct with an announcement of Dragon Quest characters coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (later added to by Banjo-Kazooie) but, most importantly, didn’t let anyone down with their light comedy. We wanted a gag to introduce new Nintendo America boss Doug Bowser being mistaken with his Mario villain name sake and we got it.

The company took a closer look at other games it has already announced, including the terrific Luigi’s Mansion 3. The spooky adventure is not one of Nintendo’s most famous series, but it is one that displays the company’s inventive design. The new game will come with co-operative multiplayer and is released later this year. The Switch remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will release on 20 September.

There were also announcements of a tie-up with Netflix for Dark Crystal Tactics, a Secret of Mana collection, No More Heroes 3, a new Contra game and a collection of the classic shoot ‘em up’s past titles. A return for cult classic Panzer Dragoon for this year as well as a Mario and Sonic tie-in for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

There were also debuts for Astral Chain and 1920s shooter Empire of Sin. However, some of the most impressive news was reserved for existing games making their way to Switch. The highly rumoured port of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was confirmed, leading to some speculating just how CD Projekt Red’s vast RPG has been squeezed onto Nintendo’s less powerful hardware. Terrific horror Alien Isolation will also be making its way to the console.

Not always the most spectacular Nintendo Direct, perhaps, but plenty to chew on for fans of the increasingly impressive Switch. And Nintendo’s Zelda-themed ‘one more thing’ was something of a showstopper.