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Sonic Frontiers targets Breath of the Wild fans with late 2022 release

As recent leaks had claimed, Sega is gearing up to release another Sonic the Hedgehog game and it’ll be called Sonic Frontiers. The name refers to the nature of the upcoming title, which will be unlike any past installment in the Sonic universe. Put simply, it sure looks like Sega is hoping to draw in Breath of the Wild fans with its next Sonic game.

Image: SEGA

Sonic Frontiers was introduced alongside a teaser trailer at The Game Awards 2021, giving fans their first look at the next installment in the lengthy Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. The upcoming titles will differ from the existing games in one big way, however, by bringing the hedgehogs to their first open-world environment.

Players will be free to explore a vast open world filled with a variety of landscapes, including forests, open fields, waterfalls, deserts, and other regions. In addition to the teaser trailer, Sega has released a handful of screenshots showing the kinds of environments players can expect.

SEGA

Sonic will, Sega says, still have his ultra-fast running ability and players will be tasked with battling enemies spread throughout the open-world environment (Starfall Islands). We see a cinematic version of those kinds of battles in the launch trailer, but Sega hasn’t yet shared any gameplay footage.

Stone structures in flower field

SEGA

Though additional details aren’t yet available — the Holiday 2022 release date aside — it is pretty clear Sega is targeting fans of existing massively popular open-world games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo raked in tens of millions of sales with its hit Zelda title, with Breath of the Wild proving to be the most popular installment in the game franchise (via Wikipedia).

An open-world environment was one of the rumors that had been circulating since Sega teased a 2022 Sonic game earlier this year. The big question, though, is whether the company can manage to pull off something as excellent as Breath of the Wild. Some early commentary from players points out that while the idea of an open world is great, the actual environment revealed by Sega seems out of place with the cartoon hedgehogs.

Shallow lake with trees

SEGA

We’ve only seen a few screenshots from this world, so it’s unclear how robust it may be and what kind of buildings it may feature. It is possible that Sega plans to bring the classic landscapes from its side-scrolling titles to the upcoming 3D world, but whether it’ll pull off a style that complements — rather than contrasts — the animated characters is another matter.

Sonic’s modern design history has already been filled with some questionable choices, namely the movie version of the character that somehow managed to reach the promotional stage despite looking like, well, this. Hopefully, Sega took notes amid that design debacle and will be extra careful to give players the kind of world they want, not just cartoon hedgehogs in awkwardly realistic biomes.

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The Best Zelda Breath of the Wild Mods on PC

Breath of the Wild is a near-perfect game, but super fans might be looking to change up the experience after four years on the market. The best Breath of the Wild mods for PC help you do that, changing up everything from character and weapon models to the core mechanics of Breath of the Wild. 

You’ll need a copy of Breath of the Wild to run through an emulator to get these mods to work — they won’t work on the Wii U or Switch. Like most modding endeavors, you also need a decent knowledge of installing and configuring mods to get Breath of the Wild running properly. On PC, you need the Cemu emulator and a dump of your Breath of the Wild game file.

You can then run the game file through the emulator, which is already half of the battle. From there, loading mods is simple. Our first recommendation handles all of the background work so you can easily use mods in the game.

Further reading

BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader

The BCML Cross-Platform Mod Loader is the medicine before the candy for Breath of the Wild. The game was designed to run on the Switch and Wii U without any changes, so loading up more than a mod or two will surely bring buggy performance and crashes. BCML is a mod loader that helps you organize and load your mods. In addition to making sure everything works together, the tool makes it easy to quickly experiment with different mods without uninstalling and reinstalling them.

If you want to mod Breath of the Wild, BCML will make your life a whole lot easier.

Linkle + Alternative Hair

Character models from the Linkle mod.

Linkle is a mod that changes Link into Linkle from Hyrule Warriors. In addition to changing up the character model, this popular Breath of the Wild Mod includes alternate armor designs to give you a little bit of character customization, especially after you’ve collected the best armor in the game. The modder also has tools to fix armor icons, dialogue, the title screen, and more.

We’re recommending Linkle alongside the Alternative Hair and Eye Colors mod, too. This mod only works with Linkle, but it gives you access to a wider range of hair and eye colors. With the two, you can build your own character creator inside Breath of the Wild. 

No Shield Damage from Surfing

Link shield surfing in Breath of the Wild.

Shield surfing is some of the most fun you can have in Breath of the Wild. But, unfortunately, churning through shields as they take damage to keep your surfing habit up is a chore. That’s where the No Shield Damage from Surfing mod comes in, which tells you everything you need to know in the name. Unfortunately, it isn’t compatible with other shield mods.

Hyrule Rebalance

Enemy rebalances in Hyrule Rebalance mod.

Hyrule Rebalance is currently in its seventh version, and it overhauls nearly every aspect of Breath of the Wild. Loot is rebalanced to enemy difficulty, loot price is rebalanced to rarity, bugs are bigger and easier to catch, and bow range scales with bow power. And those are just a few of the changes that Hyrule Rebalance brings.

Although Breath of the Wild is balanced out of the box, Hyrule Rebalance still brings some quality-of-life improvements. It’s a great mod to experiment with if you’ve already played Breath of the Wild and are looking for a slightly altered experience.

End Game

Link facing off against Ganon in Breath of the Wild.

End Game, despite what the name suggests, doesn’t add any endgame content to Breath of the Wild. Instead, it rebalances the final boss battle with Ganon to provide a more challenging and entertaining fight. First, it forces you to fight the four Blights at Hyrule Castle, regardless of if you’ve beaten the Divine Beasts or not. The mod also makes Ganon and the Blights faster and their stun times lower, making the fight more difficult.

If this is your second (or seventh) time through Breath of the Wild, End Game provides enough of a challenge to keep you hooked.

Second Wind

Link standing in front of a castle in Breath of the Wild.

Calling Second Wind a mod doesn’t do it enough justice. It expands Breath of the Wild in the way official DLC would, adding new quests, weapons, bosses, and more. It borrows a lot from other mods, including Survival of the Wild, End Game, and Hyrule Rebalance (all included on this list). It also adds new music, a new town, and a slew of extra goodies.

The mod is based around the Ancient Trial quest, which also includes 15 side quests. The developer is currently working on the Ancient Island, which is another large expansion that offers an overarching quest. After you’ve tracked down all the captured memory locations, Second Wind gives you plenty to chew on.

Xbox One/PS4 UI

button layout for a PS4 controller in Breath of the Wild.

If you’re playing with an Xbox One or PS4 controller, you can update the interface to reflect your controller and the buttons on it. The Xbox One UI mode gives you Xbox button prompts, and the PS4 UI gives you DualShock 4 prompts. Although not as exciting as Second Wind or End Game, updating the UI can get around a lot of confusion with the Switch button prompts.

Survival of the Wild

A vendor in the Survival of the Wild mod.

Survival of the Wild focuses on the survival mechanics in Breath of the Wild. It expands the weather system to be more unforgiving, adds a hunger system, and changes up the UI for a minimalist look. If you’re looking for a more demanding, challenging Breath of the Wild experience, Survival of the Wild is for you. It changes a lot in the game to force you to think about survival over exploration, which is a great change of pace on a second playthrough.

Classic Weapons Pack

Link standing with a sword and shield.

The Classic Weapons Pack mod adds some iconic swords and shields from The Legend of Zelda franchise into Breath of the Wild. It replaces the models of some of the weapons in the game with options like the Mirror Shield from Ocarina of Timethe Ikana Mirror Shield from Majora’s Mask, and the Knight Shield from Hyrule Warriors. 

Although it doesn’t change the Breath of the Wild experience, the Classic Weapons Pack mod still adds a nice dash of visual flair. Plus, they look great in your inventory alongside the best weapons in Breath of the Wild

HD Menu and Map

Updated icons in Breath of the Wild.

Emulating Breath of the Wild allows you to push the resolution beyond the Switch’s 1080p output, but some elements don’t carry over to the higher resolution. Take the map and menu icons, for example. The HD Menu and Map mod gets around the problem by replacing the icons with higher-resolution versions. In addition to item icons, the mod enhances map icons by over three times the base resolution to give the game a sharper look overall.

Revo Reshade Redux

Link standing in a field in Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild is a beautiful game, but you can make it look even better with the Revo Reshade Redux mod. The mod removes the yellow haze in Breath of the Wild and balances the colors, lending to a more natural look. It boosts the contrast a lot, too, which gives the world more depth at higher resolutions.

The mod was designed with the RTGI ray tracing shader for Breath of the Wild in mind. This mod enhances reflections to offer a ray tracing effect, though you can only access it by subscribing to the developer’s Patreon.

Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod

There are a ton of music mods for Breath of the Wild, so we’d recommend looking around for a music pack you like. If you want the Breath of the Wild vibe without the tracks in the game, Henriko’s Faithful Music Mod is for you. Instead of original music or tracks from other Zelda games, the mod borrows tracks from a range of titles to capture the essence of Breath of the Wild. 

You can watch the video above to see if the mod is for you. It retains the spirit of the original music but gives you something else to listen to while playing.

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Yes, Breath of the Wild 2 has an actual title and no, we can’t tell you it yet

There’s a lot of hype riding behind Breath of the Wild 2, but one thing a lot of people are undoubtedly wondering is when Nintendo will stop referring to the game as “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Does the game have an actual title? It obviously does, but Nintendo doesn’t want to share that title just yet because it doesn’t want to spoil portions of the game.

In an interview with IGN, Nintendo’s Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff said that the company hasn’t revealed the title yet because it might give away some details about the story that Nintendo isn’t ready to reveal. “As for why we’re holding back on the name, you’ll just have to stay tuned because, obviously, Zelda names are kind of important,” Trinen said. “Those subtitles… they start to give little bits of hints about maybe what’s going to happen.”

It’s safe to say that Breath of the Wild 2‘s title will reveal something – whether it’s an item, theme, or mechanic – that’s central to the game, so while Nintendo is still in teaser mode, all we’ll be getting are these references to “the sequel to Breath of the Wild.” Nintendo is apparently fine with fans colloquially adopting the title of Breath of the Wild 2 for this game, but that is not the game’s official title, and it’s not one we’re going to hear the company itself use.

It could be some time yet before that official title is revealed because yesterday, Nintendo announced that it’s targeting a 2022 release for Breath of the Wild 2. It’s exciting to have a release window, but unfortunately, that could also mean that Breath of the Wild 2 is still a long way off. Indeed, when you consider that all we’ve seen from the game are a couple of brief teaser trailers, then we’ve probably still got a long wait ahead of us.

So, for now, this new Zelda game will remain “the sequel to Breath of the Wild” officially and “Breath of the Wild 2” unofficially among fans. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope that the reveal of the game’s true title is coming up sooner rather than later, but don’t be surprised if Nintendo takes its time in announcing it.

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Breath of the Wild 2: Release Date, Trailer, Story, and News

When Nintendo released the teaser trailer for Breath of the Wild 2 several years ago, it unleashed a whirlwind of rumors and speculation. As the dust started to settle, a few things were made clear — but much remained up in the air. Nintendo is notoriously scarce with information regarding first-party titles, and that holds true for this much-anticipated sequel.

That said, we actually know quite a bit about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. Nintendo has given us a brief glimpse into the world of Hyrule, and eagle-eyed viewers have been able to piece together a lot of the clues seen in the announcement trailer. Plus, we’ve heard a few things directly from the legendary game designer Eiji Aonuma, which has only added fuel to the fire. From playable characters and returning enemies to the release date and storyline, here’s everything we know — and don’t know — about the forthcoming sequel to Breath of the Wild.

Further reading

Release date

Sadly, there is no confirmed release date for Breath of the Wild 2. Many were speculating that it could launch around the 2020 holiday season, but that never came to pass. Considering the current pandemic, the development and shipment of games — at least physical editions — has drastically slowed down, meaning a release date may have been further postponed. The latest Nintendo Direct was also devoid of Breath of the Wild 2 info, only stating that more info would be announced later this year.

In all likelihood, the sequel won’t see the light of day until the second half of 2021. The first Breath of the Wild made its debut during E3 2014 and didn’t launch until 2017. Breath of the Wild 2 wasn’t teased that long ago — Nintendo made the announcement at E3 2019 — and even then, Nintendo claimed it was merely in development. If past schedules are any indication, we’ve still got a bit of a wait ahead of us. Some also think the game is being held for when a rumored Switch Pro, or whatever they name a hypothetical more powerful version of the Switch, launches. Considering we haven’t heard a peep about this either, we’re holding out excitement for now.

Jon Bitner / Digital Trends

Platforms

The rumored game will likely only be available on Nintendo Switch. Nintendo isn’t keen on porting its high-performing first-party titles to other consoles, and we don’t expect that trend to change when Breath of the Wild 2 is eventually released.

Trailers

Nintendo has only released one trailer for Breath of the Wild 2 — and it’s only a reveal trailer that announces the upcoming game’s development. You can glean a bit of info from the footage, but don’t expect to see any gameplay or massive reveals.

Gameplay

While the release date is up in the air, we’re pretty confident that players will be returning to the Hyrule seen in the original Breath of the Wild. Eiji Aonuma, producer of Breath of the Wild and its upcoming sequel, said that he would love to visit the world again and introduce new gameplay concepts alongside a new story. He later went on to say that Breath of the Wild 2 will indeed be a “continuation” of the original, meaning we should expect to see more of the Hyrule we’ve come to know and love over the past few years.

One thing everyone picked up from the trailer is the fact that this entry is looking to be a much darker adventure than its predecessor. Aonuma went on to confirm this, saying the entry will be similar to The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask in tone — easily the darkest and most disturbing game in the series. How exactly that will play out is unknown, however, it’s been confirmed that it will not tie into Majora’s Mask in any way. It might be going for a similar aesthetic, but that doesn’t mean any story elements from the hit Nintendo 64 title will make an appearance.

Apparently, the driving factor for making a Breath of the Wild sequel came from the development team conjuring up too many DLC ideas. While DLC works to add small changes to a game — it essentially functions as an expansion — you’re often limited to the existing structure of the title. Aonuma said that the team had some big changes they wanted to implement, but they couldn’t do this using DLC. As time went on and more ideas began percolating, it became clear that a new game was the only way to make these a reality.

Breath of the Wild 2 Zelda and Link

As soon as the trailer was revealed at E3 2019, the internet exploded with rumors and speculation. Not all of it is reliable, but we’ve compiled a shortlist of the most realistic rumblings. Nintendo hasn’t commented either way about the following claims, so it’s possible that some of these great ideas might make it into the final product:

  • The E3 trailer shows Link and Zelda exploring some sort of underground chamber, but Zelda looks markedly different than we remember. Her hair has been cut short into a type of bob, and fans are speculating that’s because she will be a playable character. Shorter hair has less of a chance of clipping into other objects and makes it easier to pull off a clean look without any janky animation. We’re not sure how likely this is — but we can’t deny it would be great to run around Hyrule as someone other than Link.
  • Watching Link and Zelda together in the trailer gave some fans the impression that this might be a co-op title. Aonuma was asked about this possibility and didn’t give a direct answer. While it probably won’t be the driving force of the game, we’re hopeful that you’ll be able to partner up with a friend this time around.
  • Several cave paintings seem to reference a time before the Calamity occurred. Does this mean the title could be a prequel to the original?
  • Traditional dungeons might make a return. Since players are already familiar with the map of Hyrule, it makes sense that new locations will have to be underground or indoors.
  • Ganondorf is the most likely villain, as he fits the appearance of the slumped-over corpse seen in the trailer. Some are also speculating that Zant, one of the antagonists of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, might also make a return, but there isn’t much evidence to back up this claim.

Multiplayer

The game is rumored to include co-op — but that’s only because fans saw Link and Zelda exploring together in the trailer. Nothing is official yet, although offering co-op would be a massive change when compared to the original Breath of the Wild.

DLC

No DLC plans have been confirmed, but it’s highly likely Nintendo will offer some form of post-release support. If we’re using Breath of the Wild as a baseline, expect to see plenty of DLC packs released in the months following Breath of the Wild 2’s arrival.

Pre-order

As the game is yet to receive an official release date — or even an official name from Nintendo — pre-orders are not yet live for the upcoming game.

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10 Things We Want in Breath of the Wild 2

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the Nintendo Switch’s golden goose. It’s not surprising that the game is still attracting new players to Nintendo Switch after three years. The release of Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has also kept fans interested in Breath of the Wild as it’s the closest thing to a sequel they’ve gotten. Whispers of Breath of the Wild 2 have been confirmed; however, fans have not gotten anything resembling a release date.

There aren’t too many details available right now, so all we can do sit back and wonder what the next leg of Link’s journey will bring us — and what we’d like to see in a sequel. Here’s everything we want from Breath of the Wild 2.

We want the Majora’s Mask treatment

After the teaser trailer was released back at E3 in 2019, the only thing players have been able to talk about is Majora’s Mask. The follow-up game to Ocarina of Time put a spooky spin on The Legend of Zelda — one we didn’t know we wanted. We want to see a return to the darker side of Hyrule. We want a game that runs on the same engine while it puts that ominous Majora-like spin on the original Breath of the Wild.

This Majora theory holds water due to the proximity of Breath of the Wild’s releases and the sequel’s announcement/teaser trailer. Ocarina and Majora’s Mask released on top of each other. Majora copy-pasted Ocarina’s engine and put a unique spin on it, one that would see Majora’s Mask go down as one of the best Zelda games in the franchise.

We want to repair weapons

Breath of the Wild has an infinite supply of weapons and armor to find. At times, it’s almost overwhelming trying to find that one weapon that will aid Link in his current predicament. Finally, you find it. You wind up to take a swing, and just as your about to connect with your target — it breaks. It shatters into a million pieces, and there’s no way of fixing it. We get it; things break. But things can also be fixed. Repair mechanics exists in every other open-world RPG; why can’t they exist in Breath of the Wild 2? We don’t want it to be easy. We’ll find materials. We’ll travel great distances. It’s heartbreaking when the weapon we’ve fallen in love with shatters in our hands. All we want to do is fix it.

We want bigger dungeons

Breath of the Wild Link

Dungeons are to Zelda games like guns are to Call of Duty. It’s an integral part of the game that keeps players coming back. We enjoyed the shrines in Breath of the Wild, but we were a little let down when most of them were just three-part puzzles or rooms that were relatively easy to complete. Now, we don’t want to be pulling our hair out in every dungeon. All we want is a slight return to what made us fall in love with The Legend of Zelda in the first place. Hyrule Castle, the Divine Beasts, and the mazes were great! We want more of that.

We want more story

Breath of the Wild was a fantastic game in almost every regard. The only thing we felt like it was missing was an in-depth story. Killing Ganon is the only driving force behind the game. In Breath of the Wild 2, we’d like to see more developed plot points. Perhaps break the game up into three significant acts that immerse us into the current state of Hyrule. Adding multiple layers of story to the game will see Breath of the Wild 2 go down in open-world RPG legend. It also leads nicely into our next two requests.

We want partitioned/restricted areas

Breath of the Wild 2 Link Zelda

As soon as Breath of the Wild began, we had free rein to go wherever we wanted. Want to kick in the front door of Hyrule Castle and challenge Gannon right now? Go for it. While this seems like a good idea on paper, it left us questioning if we were appropriately geared whenever venturing into a new area. We want a challenge, but a linear progression through an open-world game will keep the game challenging without making it too hard. A more linear story also makes us feel like we’re getting something done.

With Breath of the Wild’s only core objective being “kill Ganon,” it was hard to know if we were taking too long to do so. An example of useful open-world partitioning was in Ghost of Tsushima. The island, although fully explorable, was broken up into three main sections. Each became available upon completing specific story missions, ensuring that players were appropriately leveled to survive the next area.

We want skill trees and leveling incentives

While Breath of the Wild gave us plenty of enemies to kill and side quests to complete, it never felt like there was a reason to do so (other than increasing our health). Without a leveling mechanic or XP system, why are we even bothering? Having a skill tree in Breath of the Wild 2 would tie nicely into our desire for restricted areas. We’d feel compelled to level Link up to unlock new abilities. An overall level would also allow players to know if they’re venturing into an area they won’t survive in. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla did this perfectly with its leveling system. Every area of the map was accessible, but venturing into it would notify the player that they were under-leveled.

We want to rebuild Hyrule

Breath of the Wild Tarry Town

Hyrule is in chaos in the wake of Calamity. We’d like to see Link and Zelda work together to rebuild and repopulate various towns around Hyrule. One of Breath of the Wild’s most entertaining side missions was rebuilding Tarry Town. It would be interesting to see this mechanic spread more through Breath of the Wild 2. Perhaps this could work as some resource-gathering mechanic? The more Link fixes and repopulates a town, the more it can produce. One town aids in rebuilding another; the dominoes fall, and eventually, Link has restored Hyrule to its former glory.

We want Navi back!

Hey! Listen! We want Link’s faithful companion to make a return in Breath of the Wild 2. Navi wouldn’t necessarily add any revolutionary elements to the game, but she would undoubtedly put a nostalgic smile on the faces of long-time fans. There are plenty of ways to make Navi useful, though. Perhaps she could prompt Link when they are passing by a particular point of interest or collectible item? This would work similarly to the Golden Birds in Ghost of Tsushima or your dog in the Fable series.

We want Age of Calamity elements

Breath of the Wild Link Horse

Age of Calamity wasn’t a true sequel to Breath of the Wild, but it gave players a glimpse into what Breath of the Wild 2 might be able to pull off. We understand that technology is limited. The game’s engine can only support so many enemies at once while still maintaining an open-world aesthetic. However, we’d like to see more large-scale Age of Calamity-like battles spread through Breath of the Wild 2. It would also be interesting to switch between different characters depending on where we are in the story. Age of Calamity allowed us to control the characters we’ve gotten to know over the years. It would be a shame if that were the only glimpse we got.

We want an expanded cooking mechanic

This is one tiny request that would make our lives a lot easier. In Breath of the Wild, the only way to cook meals was to gather the necessary resources and hopefully stumble upon a cooking pot. While this is relatively easy when in populated areas, cooking pots are hard to come by while exploring the wild. When we do find them, they’re surrounded by enemies. Making meals can restore Link’s health and buff his overall abilities. Link can construct his own fire pit, and his pockets are deep. So why can’t he have his own personal cooking pot to carry around and use? It could be unlocked via a secret side quest or just something he can craft himself. Furthermore, merchants will sell elixirs as an alternative to Link crafting them himself, so why can’t they sell ready-cooked meals?

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