We might still be saying “Happy New Year” to people we meet, but we’re well into January now and when we survey the upcoming slate of games for Switch, we have to say it’s looking particularly tasty. However, as great as Pokémon and Kirby are shaping up, it’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 that will likely have Switch owners salivating over the coming 365 days in gaming. Yes, 2022 is the year we’ll be skydiving into one of the most anticipated sequels in video game history.
But is it? The game has been in development for nearly five years now, and Nintendo slapped the ‘2022’ release window on the last trailer back at E3 2021, but just how confident are we that BOTW2 — as we’re still cumbersomely calling it — will actually see the light of day this year?
Opinion here at Team NL is split. Some of us think it’s a dead cert for a lucrative November launch in order to clean up over the holiday season, and we’d certainly love to be able to dive into a new Zelda adventure over the holiday break. Even given the current global difficulties, Nintendo wouldn’t have announced a date without feeling confident it could deliver.
Then again, we could also see the game slipping into 2023 — specifically the first three months that fall in Nintendo’s financial year. If manufacturing issues weren’t what they are at the moment, you might put money on the game launching alongside a new Switch SKU, too, but given the supply strains on the industry right now, that’s certainly less likely.
It’s tough to speculate given how little we know about the game. On the one hand, BOTW 2 is building off the established world, characters and — presumably — game engine of it’s predecessor. On the other, the glimpses we’ve seen so far of this sequel indicate a mechanically ambitious title that could very easily eat up extra months of development time at the best of times, let alone during a pandemic that’s no doubt had an effect on the development timetable.
But what’s your gut feeling on this one? Will we indeed be heading back to Hyrule in the calendar year 2022, to do you see this one running out of stamina and slip-sliding down the hill ready to recharge for a 2023 launch? Let us know in the poll below, and feel free to elaborate in the comments: