Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Hands-On Preview – A Whole New World

Endless possibilities

I was a huge fan of Breath of the Wild. I gave it a 10/10 due to the fact that it was simply beyond anything that we had seen in an open world game, and allowed for a whole new level of exploration, discovery and problem solving. After spending a few hours with Tears of the Kingdom, it’s honestly mind-blowing to think about how Nintendo has managed to take this to the next level.

Whilst Breath of the Wild’s pre-launch demos took place at the beginning of the game, with a story moment kicking things off before being set free within the sprawling Great Plateau, Nintendo clearly had a different idea for this first hands-on experience of Tears of the Kingdom, very much wanting to protect any and all hints of story from us and save it for when we get hands-on with the final game.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview


Both demos were very much about using all of the newly announced abilities in context, and getting a sense for how much they totally open everything up and make this feel like an entirely new game. This really involves everything from how you get around the sky to how you solve each and every puzzle within the game (and it definitely feels like there are a lot more puzzles to solve).

Honestly, even after playing the game for a few hours, it’s really hard to put into words how far Nintendo has taken this in terms of being a sandbox where there really are no definitive answers to how you solve any problem within the world, but you can get a better example by watching our video preview here or below:

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

Without a doubt the biggest new ability is Ultrahand, an ability which allows you to attach items together to build vehicles or one-use objects that will allow you to cross a gap in the sky, a body of water or scale a cliff (without needing to climb it). When this was revealed in the Direct a little while ago, I was worried as I’m not the most creative person (and generally steer away from sandboxes) but in Nintendo fashion, it’s really inviting and intuitive, and it really makes you feel like you can’t fail, no matter what you build.

Most of the items that you’ll be attaching to structures are called Zonai Devices. These are one-use items that live within a plastic vending machine capsule that can be pulled out at any time. These range anywhere from a fan that can be used to make an object move forward or a rocket that can be used to make an item fly forwards or upwards. These items run on power that auto regenerate but basically ensure that you can’t fly across the whole map on one charge.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

There are also other items such as a hot air balloon that can be paired with another Zonai device called a Flame Emitter that produces flame to activate as well as a portable pot that is a one-use cooker to get you out of sticky situations such as when you hit an icy area, and need to cook an ice resistant meal.

You’re able to insert certain objects including the Zonai Charge devices that can be picked up from defeating a new enemy type throughout the world into Zonai Device dispensers to get a payload of capsules containing a random assortment of the Zonai items.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

When you progress through a certain amount of the story, you’ll also unlock an ability that will streamline the process of building these structures and really makes it a lot more convenient than having to do it from scratch.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

Within my time with the game, the most memorable structure that I was able to build was a fully functional plane that had fans that acted as a propellers, a steering wheel to steer, and extra batteries to give it juice that allowed me to fly between one sky island and the next.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

The biggest change to the world within Tears of the Kingdom is the verticality at play. Not only can you go between a number of sky islands that really range in size, you can also drop below the world to a number of dark caves and mines that really change everything in terms of how the world looks and enemy types.

When you’re below ground, you’re able to use the new ability called Ascend to quickly get back to ground level, so that you’re not having to spend your time climbing back up walls and using up that stamina. Link will pop his head up at the surface before fully emerging, in case you want to head back down, or find yourself in strife with enemies at the surface.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

Another big change comes in the way of combat thanks to an ability called Fuse. This allows you to attach almost any item within the word, whether it be a rock or any of the previously mentioned Zonai devices to your sword or shield. Some examples of this are a rock to extend durability, or the Flame Emitter to your shield to create a flamethrower. What I got to experience was absolutely only touching the surface in terms of possibility.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

Similarly, you can quickly fuse anything to your arrow, so it might be a ChuChu Jelly to create a fire or electricity effect, one of your Zonai devices, or even certain items that will create a bomb or homing device. The options are honestly endless, and really will test your creativity.

Another new ability that is not only used to solve puzzles, but can also be used to your advantage in combat is called Recall. This basically allows an item to return to where it came from, so an example of this was against a Boss Bokoblin that resorts to throwing explosive barrels. With the right timing, you’re able to grab it in mid-air and return it straight to where it came from, using the Bokoblin’s throwable against him.

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Preview

Whilst this particular demo that I got to experience was very much intended to demonstrate the new abilities at play, it’s clear that Tears of the Kingdom is going to go to a whole new level in terms of what an open-world Zelda game has to offer, not only taking to the sky and below ground, but also allowing you to use your imagination to build almost any vehicle or weapon.

It’s going to be an absolutely wild ride come May 12th, and I can’t wait to see not only what the story holds, but also what insane concepts people manage to create within this world.


I played Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom early and it’s shaping up to be fantastic! #Zelda #zeldatearsofthekingdom #TOTK #tearsofthekingdom #NintendoSwitch #Nintendo

? original sound – Shannon Grixti | Gaming & Tech

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases on May 12th for Nintendo Switch.

Amazon has all three as well as the standard and Collector’s Edition flavours of the game available to pre-order, as well as the new Link Amiibo: