4 – More Villains
While Calamity Ganon was a striking main adversary, BOTW was decidedly light on sub-villains, someone for Link to face on the way up to Ganon.
In other games, this role has been filled by Zant, The Skull Kid and Ghirahim, all dark and greedy villains who provide secondary antagonists for Link to fight against at pivotal points of the game.
Some may say that bosses can fill these roles, but sub-villains add depth to the story. Take Zant from Twilight Princess, for example. His growing, aggravating presence throughout the game means that, when you do eventually fight him, the battle is filled with determination to take him down.
There’s also the benefit of extra villains fleshing out the lore of Zelda games and helping piece together a powerful backstory, one which ties in with the rest of the series. From the reveal trailer for BOTW2 it seems that Ganondorf will have a large role, but could his revival come from a smaller scale villain? A commander? A follower of Ganon? Only time will tell.
5 – Return of the Hookshot and Other Classic Items
Recently fans have been speculating that the beloved hookshot item (first used in A Link to The Past) may be returning to the franchise after being absent from BOTW. Specifically, a magical hand holding back Ganondorf in the BOTW2 teaser is cited as being a possible hookshot reinvention.
BOTW employed runes to replace the items and tools that Link collects as he moves through each temple and dungeon. Runes allow Link to interact with the environment by manipulating the world around him. These new tools worked well with the open-world layout, letting players find new collectibles and traverse Hyrule and its shrines with relative ease.
However, there was always something exciting about sourcing a new item in a dungeon and then using that tool to advance the story. Plus, there are a few Zelda item staples missing from the BOTW inventory.
Some fans are hoping for the return of the aforementioned hookshot as well as other classic items such as the mirror shield and the lens of truth. Perhaps they could be reimagined in BOTW2 though; a truth lens that pinged when people lie to you? A mirror shield that could absorb projectiles and then fire them off whenever and however many times you liked?
6 – More Variation in Enemies
There seems to be a smaller pool of different enemies in BOTW when compared to most other Zelda games. Different varieties of the same species populate BOTW’s Hyrule, and the world feels slightly homogenous because of the tiny pool of enemies.
In other games, every area of the map would contain its own biosphere and unique enemies. BOTW reuses the same designs and simply changes enemy colour to signify water variants, fire variants and ice variants.
Perhaps this is due to the lack of dungeons in BOTW. Dungeons are a hub for monsters and with different themed dungeons come new adversaries. Because BOTW focused on just four Divine Beasts instead, Nintendo may have lost the opportunity to expand on enemy design.
Of course, new enemies are all but certain to be included in BOTW2. We just hope there are lots and lots of them!
7 – New Link Transformations
One of the most memorable moments in the Zelda franchise comes from sections of gameplay where Link physically changes or transforms as part of the story. Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess made superb use of this dynamic.
In Majora’s Mask, to save the town of Termina from the crashing moon, Link has to equip masks which transform him into a Goron, Zora and more. These alternate forms were great fun to play around with, and species-specific abilities were an inventive gameplay dynamic.
Once Twilight Princess was released the transformation feature made a reappearance with Wolf Link. In Twilight Princess the world of Hyrule is shrouded in darkness and, once Link enters it, he’s transformed into a wolf.
In both of these games transformations helped keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Action-adventure gameplay is always going to be the selling point in a Zelda game, but changing up the formula by adding new forms for Link is always a welcome dynamic.
It’s a feature that has only appeared a few times in the franchise, but it leaves a lasting impression. Will we see a return of transformations in BOTW2? Here’s hoping so!
BOTW2 is still in development and it may be a while until we hear more information about the game.
Until then, what returning Zelda features would you most like to see? Let us know in the comments!
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