Ever since Breath of the Wild graced our screens in 2017, the development of a sequel was in the pipeline. As the story goes, the development team simply had too many great ideas to fit into just one game. And who can blame them? We all loved exploring the open world of Hyrule with Link, climbing, crafting, and breaking swords over and over again.
Breath of the Wild was (and still is) a highly successful game, so it’s no wonder that Breath of the Wild 2 was crowned as the “Most Anticipated Game” at last year’s Game Awards and the “Most Wanted Game” at the 2022 Golden Joystick Awards.
The sequel was teased in 2019 before being officially revealed at E3 2021. But it wasn’t until September 2022 that the title was officially announced as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
It was during that same announcement that Nintendo also confirmed the release date. After originally being set for a 2022 release date, we can now expect to get our hands on a copy of Tears of the Kingdom on 12 May 2023. You can even pre-order your digital version now (see below).
Since the Legend of Zelda franchise and all its characters, places, and stories are completely owned by Nintendo, Breath of the Wild 2 – aka Tears of the Kingdom – will only be available on the Nintendo Switch. This is important to note because Breath of the Wild was also available on the Switch’s predecessor, the Wii U. In fact, Breath of the Wild was the final Nintendo-published game for the Wii U.
Nintendo has released two trailers for Tears of the Kingdom so far and what we can see looks amazing. We still have the gorgeous cel-shaded graphics that have been distinct in Zelda games ever since The Wind Waker. We also spot some interesting new abilities, in particular a new sort of glove that endows Link with telekinetic-like abilities. And of course, we still have the open-world gameplay, with one notable upgrade – much of the new action will take place in the sky.
Pulling elements from Skyward Sword, we see Link floating with paragliders and hovering on giant machines to hop between floating islands and explore a truly three-dimensional world. We can expect to unfurl a map as expansive and rewarding as the previous installment – though it’s unknown whether we will still have our invaluable Sheikah Slate, or if we’ll record the map in a different format.
Little is known about the story so far, but in the trailer we do get hints at a new antagonist, bent on destroying Hyrule. We also see a menacing red moon shooting projectiles toward the ground, a looming threat that is eerily reminiscent of Majora’s Mask. Since the story is meant to directly follow the events of Breath of the Wild, we might see some familiar faces and creatures. We do know from an interview in IGN in 2019 that the development team was inspired by aspects of the game Red Dead Redemption 2.
Even though the cost of the game in USD has reportedly increased, here in the UK, the recommended retail price of Tears of the Kingdom has remained at £59.99. The Collector’s Edition, which includes a physical copy of the game, an accompanying art book, a SteelBook case, and four exclusive pin badges, is currently available for £109.99.
The quickest and easiest way to pre-order your digital copy of the game is to do so from the Nintendo Store on the Switch itself. You can also visit Nintendo’s website where you can log into your Nintendo account to purchase the game.
Either way, the game will be pre-loaded onto your Switch – assuming your Switch is connected to the internet – and it looks set to be one of the biggest game files ever released. According to the official product page on the Nintendo eShop, the base file size of Tears of the Kingdom comes in at 18.2 GB.
The speed of the download will be dependent on your broadband set-up, so it’s never a bad idea to make sure you have the best broadband for gaming. That way, all you need to do is wait for the launch date and you can start exploring new areas of Hyrule before anyone else.
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