It’s a pretty good month for sequels in beloved video game franchises. Just a couple of weeks ago Star Wars Jedi: Survivor hit shelves and this week we’re invited back into the land of Hyrule as the long-awaited The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom arrives.
It’s been a long time between dubious meals with Breath of the Wild releasing back in 2017, so if you need a refresher on all things Legend of Zelda and what to expect from the upcoming sequel, we’ve got you covered.
Things to know before playing Tears of the Kingdom
Breath of the Wild: The story so far
In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild you play as Link, an amnesiac who awakens in Hyrule to find the evil Calamity Ganon is wreaking havoc. As Link you set out on a quest to uncover your past life and save Zelda, the Princess of Hyrule.
If you want to re-acquaint yourself with the story so far, Nintendo has created a video specifically for this purpose which you can watch below.
Where does Tears of the Kingdom fit on the timeline?
Breath of the Wild is far from the first Zelda game, but it did usher in a new era for the long-running franchise.
Unfortunately, the timelines in all the Zelda games have become quite muddled over the years and that trend continues in Breath of the Wild. It’s clear that the story takes place hundreds of years after the events of the other games, but with the Zelda timelines diverging, after which games is the more important question.
Nintendo has never really done anything to clear this up. The company confirmed that Breath of the Wild is at the end of the Zelda timeline, but does nothing to clear up the confusion around which prior games it’s connected to.
We do know that Tears of the Kingdom will be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, so if you know the story of the first game, that should be enough.
What is the gameplay like?
Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom are both open-world third-person action-adventure games.
In the games, you play as Link, who has access to a range of weapons including a bow, swords, shields and a Sheikah Slate that grants powers like stasis and magnesis. You use these abilities to help solve platforming puzzles in the environment and defeat enemies in a unique variety of ways.
There are also elements like horse taming, cooking and a variety of challenging dungeons and shrines. Fantasy Red Dead Redemption anyone?
A huge component of Breath of the Wild is player creativity which allows you to put together an endless amount of items and weapons to create interesting combos and solutions to problems.
What’s new in Tears of the Kingdom?
Six years in the making, what is Tears of the Kingdom bringing to the table?
Link will have access to some new abilities including a Fuse ability that can meld everyday objects like trees and rocks together, and an Ascend power that allows Link to jump through objects above him.
This ability plays in nicely with the new verticality that Tears of the Kingdom provides, with a new section of floating islands available to explore above Hyrule.
A more expansive range of player-created vehicles is also on offer thanks to a new Ultrahand ability.
How long does it take to beat?
Reviews are yet to come out for Tears of the Kingdom meaning we still don’t have a solid idea of how big this game will be, but we can use Breath of the Wild as a guide.
According to How Long to Beat, Breath of the Wild takes 50 hours to complete the main story or a whopping 189 hours if you’re a full completionist. We can assume that Tears of the Kingdom will be similar so clear your calendar for the rest of the year because there is no time for any games after this one.
How much hard drive space will you need?
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will mark the largest file size of any Nintendo Switch game to date.
The game is reported to be 18.2 GB in size, which is more than half the internal storage size of the Switch (which is 32 GB). Start clearing some space on your Switch or be prepared to invest in an additional SD card.
When does Tears of the Kingdom come out?
Now the important news, when can you get hands-on with the new Zelda game.
The time to return to Hyrule is nigh because The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases in just under a day on May 12, 2023.
If you’re looking to pick up a cheap copy of the game for yourself we’ve got a guide for that.