Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom doesn't require you to play Breath of the Wild first

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
(Image credit: Nintendo)

You don't need to have played Breath of the Wild to enjoy The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Tears of the Kingdom might be a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, but you don't need to have played the latter before delving into the newest Zelda game. Series producer Eiji Aonuma and Tears of the Kingdom director Hidemaro Fujibayashi both spoke to this in a new Nintendo interview.

"The new gameplay ideas we packed into this title are all things that can be solved intuitively, so I think first-time players can rest assured that this game is easy to get into," said Aonuma, referencing Tears of the Kingdom's new Fuse ability among other new mechanics.

"We put in some effort to make sure that it feels comfortable for both first-time players and those with experience of the previous game," added game director Fujibayashi. 

For example, the director explained that Tears of the Kingdom has a section dedicated to character profiles that can be accessed at any point in the sequel. This feature recaps characters and their stories so anyone can check the relationships between the cast. For people who did play Breath of the Wild, Fujibayashi teased that the profiles might make players "grin" when they happen upon a detail that makes them remember a particular moment.

If you do want a recap of Breath of the Wild before Tears of the Kingdom, whether you're a newcomer or veteran, Nintendo's put together the full story video just below. This seven-minute feature is actually a great reminder of what happened with Calamity Ganon's attempted resurrection in Hyrule, and how Link and Zelda stopped him together.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom finally launches later this week on May 12. We've already spent a few hours roaming around the redesigned Hyrule, and you can head over to our The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom preview to see what we made of the sequel so far.

Alternatively, head over to our detailed guide on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders to reserve your copy before Friday.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.