The sense of anticipation around Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is palpable at this point. It's not surprising when you consider how much impact Breath of the Wild had as a game that not only shook up the formula of the long-running series, but helped establish the Switch as a launch title. Link's first steps into an expansive Hyrule opened up The Legend of Zelda like never before; with a sandbox world of experimentation and discovery that still surprises those who venture there six years on. Now, with just a matter of months until the launch of the sequel, our upcoming return to Hyrule promises to let us see even more of this creative world and style of adventure by taking us to the skies above.
Not only does this mean that we will see completely new sides to a setting we've explored before, but it opens up the door to all manner of new possibilities. There's still a lot mystery surrounding the story and some of the new elements that have been teased in previous trailers, but excitement has only grown since it was first announced a few years ago - cementing its place as one of the most anticipated upcoming Switch games, if not one of the biggest new games for 2023.
While it's unrealistic to expect Tears of the Kingdom to have as much impact as Breath of the Wild in quite the same way, it's exciting to see Nintendo set out to deliver a whole new dimension to its celebrated sandbox world. The opening of Breath of the Wild makes a lasting impression thanks to the way it promises exploration and discovery; the landscapes stretch out before you and with no tutorials pointing the way, it's up to you to find out what the world holds for you.
Fast forward to a teaser for Breath of the Wild 2 during E3 2021, and we got to see a different kind of magic unfold - Link skydiving and soaring above the landscapes of Hyrule. Now, the ground at our feet and cliffs that we climb will no longer be the only means of traversal - we get to set our sights to the skies above. It's an exciting prospect, not only because it will hopefully add a fresh sense of adventure to the sequel, but it also has the potential to open up the way to new mechanics and challenges that could once again play to the world's strengths by encouraging us to experiment.
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Breath of the Wild's puzzles served up inventive ways to interact with the environment, from moving rocks magnetically to creatively using weapons to find solutions. In what we've seen so far in Tears of the Kingdom, opening up the skies will introduce new powers to use on objects and against enemies, as well as some hints that our hero will be able to use a time-reversal skill (opens in new tab) which will no doubt come in handy as we explore new heights. From the Master Sword seemingly getting a redesign to a big winged glider that we'll be able use in the sky, it's hard not to get excited about all of the details we've seen so far that look set to breathe new life into Hyrule.
But if Breath of the Wild is anything to go by, this merely scratches the surface of possibilities that await us in this new adventure. For all we've seen of the upcoming sequel, nothing is quite as exciting as the chance to discover what is as yet unseen. There's still so much we don't know about the upcoming sequel and it's this mystery that just adds to the sense of anticipation. Breath of the Wild was full of surprises and the real joy of the experience was finding those out for ourselves. And with Tears of the Kingdom bringing us back into Hyrule in what will be an expanded playground for us to explore and master, I can't wait to discover all it has to offer first-hand when it arrives May 12, 2023.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is set to come to Switch on May 12, 2023. For more, check out our pick of the best Switch exclusives.