What we want from the Legend of Zelda on Switch 2

Recently Aonuma confirmed there would be no DLC for Tears of the Kingdom, plus Nintendo have been showing off their new Nintendo Switch to developers behind closed doors. Given this news, I think it’s time to start looking forward to the next Legend of Zelda adventure on the Switch 2. Today I am going to go through my thoughts on the next Zelda game, plus I’ve gathered some of your ideas too, and we can go over those today.

I, like many others, assumed we’d be getting Tears of the Kingdom DLC, but last week Eiji Aonuma confirmed in an interview with Famitsu, we wouldn’t be getting any substantial DLC for Tears of the Kingdom. He said he and the team have ‘done everything’ he could in that world, plus he’s already thinking about the ‘next fun experience’, although he didn’t know what form this will take. Aonuma didn’t really offer anything conclusive, although he did allude to ‘a completely new way to play’.

The news related to no Tears of the Kingdom DLC arrives alongside Nintendo showing off their next console to developers behind closed doors at GamesCom 2023 in Germany. Apparently it’s running Final Fantasy VII Remake, plus developers have been shown a version of Breath of the Wild that includes a higher framerate and better graphics. Could this mean we’re going to get a remastered Breath of the Wild at the launch of the Switch 2? Maybe. I think it’s more likely to be Nintendo showing off the potential of their new console, rather than a remaster.

Here’s a couple of details about the Switch 2

  • A likely 2024 release date
  • Huge peformance boost, including the use of Nvdia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) and ray-tracing
  • Includes a new camera
  • Likely to cost $399

While the details are minimal at this time, there are a couple of interesting items in there. First, the huge performance boost could allow our first party Nintendo games to look better than ever. Nintendo has been showing off an improved Breath of the Wild to developers, which means better graphics, but could also mean gameplay improvements.

Nintendo leaned into the building mechanics in Tears of the Kingdom, something born from the creative ways players would use items in Breath of the Wild. Co-op is something that was born out of mods from Breath of the Wild, and new tech could allow Nintendo to realise co-op play in an open-world Zelda for the first time in an official capacity.

The camera offers some interesting potential for interactions with a new Zelda game too. A new camera could point to AR features, and if the Switch 2 is portable (like the original Switch), then we could see some interesting innovations around Augmented reality or perhaps even Virtual Reality.

I think for the Switch 2 to be a winner, all Nintendo really need to do is boost performance, although that isn’t really a Nintendo thing to do, they do like to lean into their gimmicks. I hope they keep things simple, keep the console backwards compatible, and increased the peformance allowing for better looking games, that would keep me happy.

Just after the release of Tears of the Kingdom, Eiji Aonuma did talk about the next Zelda to Game Informer Magazine in May 2023.

“With Ocarina of Time, I think it’s correct to say that it did kind of create a format for a number of titles in the franchise that came after it. But in some ways, that was a little bit restricting for us. While we always aim to give the player freedoms of certain kinds, there were certain things that format didn’t really afford in giving people freedom.

“Of course, the series continued to evolve after Ocarina of Time, but I think it’s also fair to say now that we’ve arrived at Breath of the Wild and the new type of more open play and freedom that it affords. Yeah, I think it’s correct to say that it has created a new kind of format for the series to proceed from.”

This very much sounds like Aonuma and the team are going to continue their journey for open-world Zelda. Having played through Tears of the Kingdom now, and the dust has settled since it’s release in May, I would like to see a new Hyrule, or the play area dramatically changed. The surface of Hyrule was similar, the Depths were very cool (albeit with not very much to do) and the Sky Islands weren’t quite as detailed as I thought they were going to be. While I love Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild, I want to see Link and Zelda somewhere new.

The death of the Ganondorf in Tears of the Kingdom could be a clue to the next Zelda game. If Nintendo wanted to provide us an entirely new map, or somewhere new to explore, they could take us out of Hyrule, and into the realm of the dead. The Bargainer Statues are interesting NPCs in Tears of the Kingdom, which aren’t well explained, and could provide a path to Link and Zelda chasing down Ganondorf in another realm. How this could play out is anyone’s guess, given the story went to some wild places in Tears of the Kingdom.

Before we get to a new Zelda game, I actualy think we’re going to get a remake or remaster of some kind. I would love to see A Link To The Past Remake; built from the ground up for Switch 2. Zelda II The Adventure of Link is another title I would love to see given the remake treatment. Swordplay in that game was all important, and it could turn into a combat focused Zelda game with much tougher combat compared to Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom.

Nintendo is showing an improved Breath of the Wild to developers. Is that something we want? Is that all too recent? Are Nintendo looking over at PlayStation with Naughty Dog’s Last of Us Remake and thinking about this for a Switch 2 launch title? I hope not, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

The final point above in the known details about Switch 2, is the potential release date of 2024. Tears of the Kingdom just released this year, and the development cycle for Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom was 5-6 years. Therefore, if we’re going to get another open-world Zelda like Aonuma says, then in theory we could be waiting until 2028 for the next mainline Zelda release, which would be 4 years into the cycle of the Switch 2 if it released next year. That sounds like a very long time for a new Zelda. I hope we don’t have to wait that long, but masterpieces like Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom take time.

That’s what I think about the Legend of Zelda on Switch 2, next up let’s have a look at your comments.

Community comments

A sequel to totk but has another country outside of hyrule.

I think Skyward Sword was on the right track with its items/upgrades. Honestly, if they just made something like Skyward Sword, but with a better overworld, I would be happy.

I wanna see a 4K remake of Ocarina of Time.

They also said that if they make a new game to keep our expectations high; meaning that they don’t have the intention to make a “lower” quality game than Tears of the Kingdom. I mean although I doubt they’re gonna be making a new open world Zelda game, returning to traditional Zelda games featuring a brand new Link and Zelda could be great also. Kind of like what they just did with Mario Wonder by re-introducing the 2D Mario games. Atm it seems like Nintendo doesn’t really know exactly what they want to do and they seem satisfied with the BotW universe so I’m betting we’re either getting a port/remake or brand new traditional Zelda game.

Loved the sky islands so more of something along those lines. And all the crazy builds you can make – I can’t see them turning back from that now. Other than that, not a totally linear game but slightly more story/linear with more dungeons

Since 3D Zelda takes such long time in development they should(and I think they will) release “smaller” Zelda games in between. They should take back 2D Zelda side scroller. A remake of the second game to NES or a completely new story in the form of a metroidvania. They don’t even need to invent any new item. All old Zelda games are filled with items that can be used for ability gating! And it would still feel fresh since we only previously used these items in top down or 3D.

It feels sad how some people expect all Nintendo games to come with DLC. The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild (and maybe Zelda Tri-Force Heroes that was a free content update) is the only developed Zelda game(s) to get it.

A playable zelda in a smaller game (compared to totk) would be enough to get people playing it after totk

Back to the traditional format like ss, oot and tp

Let me know in the comments what you want to see from the Legend of Zelda on Switch 2, let me know what I’ve missed and what else you want to see.

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