The developers working on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom "experienced strong deja vu" whilst developing the sequel due to its similarities to Breath of the Wild.
In an official Nintendo interview, producer Eiji Aonuma, director Hidemaro Fujibayashi, and designer Satoru Takizawa discussed the similarities between Tears of the Kingdom and its predecessor Breath of the Wild. "The word 'déjà vu' cropped up many times during development," Aonuma explains, "we were supposed to be making something different, but the various things we made gave off a similar impression to what we'd done previously."
"But as development went on, we'd look at the game as a whole and sometimes discover that those things suddenly took a different shape because of the new elements we'd added," the producer continues, "until then, we were anxiously trying to change things up, but at some point, we realized that some of them were already as they should be."
Surprisingly, considering the gap between the two games, Fujibayashi adds: "There were many instances, even later on in development, where we struggled to differentiate the two." The developer continues, "It was a constant and difficult process where we and the development team continued to mull over and discuss until we all came to an agreement."
Reiterating Aonuma's point about déjà vu, Takizawa adds: "We often experienced strong déjà vu, particularly in the early stages, and we thought it was imperative to transform how the game felt as much as we could. We worked hard with that thought in mind, but once we got to a certain point in development, we were able to identify areas that would lose their appeal if we changed them."
This interview is actually made up of multiple parts and features other key players in the upcoming game's development, including Takahiro Okuda and Hajime Wakai, who also reveal some interesting behind-the-scenes insights including that Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom doesn't require you to play Breath of the Wild first - despite it being a sequel to the aforementioned game.
We're only three days away from its release, so why not pre-order The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?