To kick off this week, Nintendo revealed that it would hold a special livestream for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, highlighting new gameplay with around 10 minutes of footage.
The event is scheduled for March 28 at 7 AM PT/10 AM ET with series producer Eiji Aonuma walking us through the sequel’s footage. While I’ve added the video in the article, let’s also break down what we saw in today’s gameplay preview from one of the biggest titles to launch this year.
Kicking off the stream, Aonuma confirms development on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is complete before revealing he’s going to play the game for us today.
The world has changed since we’ve last seen it and there are many changes you’ll notice, including the Sky Islands seen in the distance. To get there, you need to find items falling from the sky, which we see Aonuma locate and then climb. Using Link’s new abilities, specifically, Recall, which seems to rewind time, you can return items to where they were. Using the paraglider you can make your way across several Sky Islands, which look and hold their own secrets.
We see a new tree type and a new enemy type called a Construct. Link battles the construct with a Tree Branch before moving on. We see Fuse, a new ability where Link can fuse items together to use in battle. With a Tree Branch and a rock, Link is able to Fuse a hammer, which enhances durability. Further, Link can Fuse a pitchfork with a long stick, it creates a spear to attack from a distance. Arrows can also be fused with items from your inventory like an arrow with a leaf, then an ice elemental to freeze enemies.
Aonuma points out a bird in the sky, saying some of us may have trouble trying to aim at moving targets in the sky. Using a monster’s eye, you can Fuse an arrow with the item, creating a homing arrow that can easily clip moving targets. Now we see a shield Fused with a mushroom, which when hit by an enemy creates a smoke screen. In Breath of the Wild, finding weapons was how you found some incredible offensive tools. Now, Fuse is how you’ll also be able to create and engage with enemies.
Link is also able to make a raft by finding logs in the world and then using Ultrahand. This ability is able to make simple boats but you’ll also need a fan to propel yourself forward. Link finds these items in the world which he then attaches to the boat. Link can also use Ultrahand to make a car, a plane, and several other items which rely on your imagination to create them.
Moving on, Link uses Ascend, another ability that allows you to move through ceilings. As long as there is a roof, you can move through it. We see Ascend being used in a cavern before Link uses it to move through the ceiling and arrive on a snowy plain.
In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild you had to use stamina to climb a mountain. Now, if there are caves within the mountain, Ascend is available to move upward without any stamina. Aonuma also says that if you’re ever caught and thrown in a cage… “you know what to do, right?”
The demo ends with another Construct battle as this enemy has a new fan weapon that can push you off the Sky Islands. In this case, Link is thrown off and we see Hyrule from above and Link dives into a river below.
A special edition Nintendo Switch OLED Edition based on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was also revealed at the end of the presentation. This model will be available on April 28, 2023, and retails for $469.99.
Additionally, a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller ($99) and Carrying Case ($32) launch alongside The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches on May 12, 2023.