In the last few months, Nintendo’s definitely tried to give us more info about the Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild. From the gameplay showcase Aonuma presented in March, to the recent trailer posted on April 13th, we’ve learnt about tons more features and additions to the game, including all manner of awesome new abilities, locations, enemies and characters.
Yet did you know things have gotten even crazier? Yep, thanks to Nintendo inviting various media outlets and content creators to try out the game in person, we’ve now got dozens of awesome previews posted online too! These include everything from the ins and outs of the new abilities, to the basic gameplay structure and world setup.
Here’s the full list if you want to see them for yourself:
Tears of the Kingdom Preview Videos
It’s quite the selection isn’t it? Indeed, with everyone from IGN and Gamespot to Zeltik and Commonwealth Realm demonstrating the game, it’s nigh on 3 hours of footage from the game.
So in this article, we thought we’d look at it all ourselves, and explain all the most interesting new features and additions demonstrated within. You ready folks? Let’s go!
Notable Gameplay Additions and Improvements
Starting with the changes to the world. First of all, we now know that Sheikah Tower equivalents do indeed return in Tears of the Kingdom. These are called Skyview Towers, and let you access the sky islands more easily in addition to providing a warp point. Here are some pics showing one of them in Hyrule Field (from GameXplain):
Interestingly, they seem to be very amateurish and handmade, with architecture akin to that in modern Sheikah settlements like Kakariko Village. So it seems they were built by the modern Sheikah folk, not by the guys from 10,000 years ago.
And shrine equivalents are back too. These are Zonai versions of the Sheikah shrines, with a spiral appearing over them when incomplete plus a door appearing on the front when active.
But these aren’t the only world details we know about Tears of the Kingdom. No, we also see shrine like contraptions you can interact with in the overworld too!
These include a rotating path system that’s used to bring an object to a pedestal, and a series of locks that raise and lower water. Fortunately, they’re not stuck with mandatory motion controls, so if you struggled with that in Breath of the Wild, you won’t be in the same situation here.
As for the sky islands themselves, they seem pretty sizable too. Indeed, with the likes of the Washington Post saying that the sky, underground and main areas of Tears of the Kingdom putting stuff like Eldin Ring to shame size wise, it’s clear the islands will make up a large portion of the world here. And with one of them literally called the Great Sky Island, it’s clear we know where this game’s Great Plateau will be located too:
Add this to new towns, lakes and rivers and other content, and there’s clearly a lot of additions location wise.
Still, enough locations for now. Let’s talk abilities. Thanks to a few media outlets likely ignoring some embargo rules, we now have a full ability wheel for the game:
And there are some intriguing options here. Most notably, Autobuild. This ability lets you summon and reconstruct any of the Ultrahand creations you made up to this point, assuming you’ve got the Zonai parts necessary to do so.
As a result, if you built a car in central Hyrule and suddenly decide you need one in a dungeon 5 hours later, you can just summon it there and then. It’s a very convenient feature, and makes the building feature something to experiment with, not to keep to a minimum.
Speaking of Ultrahand and Zonai abilities, it’s worth looking into how those work too. Basically, you have a battery meter, and the batteries on your contraptions use some of that charge. Based on how some pictures show more battery icons than others, it’s assumed you’ll be able to upgrade these stats too, sort of like you can hearts and stamina.
Meanwhile the parts themselves are found in these giant gumball machine type contraptions throughout the land. By adding Zonai charges to them, you’ll be able to get a random assortment of parts, which can be used for vehicles with the Ultrahand ability. It’s an interesting setup, though it’s presumably not the only way to get these items (since some areas seem to have them lying around in the world too).
As for the limits to the system? Well, that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? Presumably though, the limits are pretty damn high, since no one in any of these previews encountered any limits on what they could build with this ability. So it’s likely the crazy mechs and vehicles speculated about in the past are indeed buildable here.
Other abilities shown here that aren’t in previous trailers include an amiibo ability (which presumably replaces the amiibo rune from the last game), and an unknown one not shown as of this point.
Either way, those are the abilities we know so far. Onto the items!
Items and Objects
Of which there is a surprisingly large variety, including some surprise returns from Breath of the Wild. For instance, remember the Travel Medallion from the last game? The one added by the DLC?
Well, it’s in Tears of the Kingdom too, and it’s a built in item this time. So if you want to leave a convenient warp point anywhere you need one, it’s possible in this game too.
A few other key items are shown in these videos too. These include the Sages Will (which seem to be the Spirit Orb equivalent of the game), and the new Paraglider (which shows Purah as having made it). You can see a picture of the former here:
And the Zonai items are an interesting bunch too. We already knew that fans, dragon head flamethrowers and rockets would be included here, but apparently a portable cooking pot is a possible item too. So, if you ever needed to cook meals in random places, go ahead! So long as you have the battery power required, you can place a cooking pot anywhere now!
That brings us to materials. Based on screenshots like this, there are a lot of new ones here:
Most of them are Construct parts, but there are some interesting new species of mushrooms, fish, etc too. Or more interestingly, this flower item that helps dispel the ‘gloom’ effect:
We also have some neat fused item effects too. Apparently meat arrows act like bait and lure enemies, Keese wings increase the distance arrows travel, and Bomb Flowers (yes those return) turn the arrows in bomb arrows. So, all the usual stuff then. Except fused material based, not standard item based.
As for enemies and bosses… well, we didn’t see much new there. However, we did get a few new names for previously shown off enemies regardless.
For instance, the tougher Constructs you encounter in dungeons are apparently called Soldier Construct IIs, and drop horns that can be used for fusing.
Whereas this golem like boss is apparently called a Flux Construct:
So we do have a few new names here, even if completely new enemy species haven’t been shown off in these videos.
As for other combat mechanics, a few neat changes have been outlined there too. For one thing, the way stamina works has changed significantly in bullet time this time around.
Now, your stamina only really decreases when you’re shooting arrows, not just in slow motion. So if you’re worried about running out of time cause of aiming, that’s not really a problem here.
And you can also aim/shoot arrows while skydiving too. Pretty neat, even if it does kinda imply that mid air battles will be more of a thing here.
Armour for enemies is also a thing too, making them tougher opponents than ever before. However, unlike with Link’s armour (which is invincible), enemy armour can be knocked off piece by piece, letting you take down even heavily armoured foes with relative ease. Maybe this is also a sign that Darknuts or Iron Knuckles might be in the game?
Finally, rods work very differently this time around. Instead of finding random fire/ice/thunder rods in the world (or their upgraded counterparts), you get normal magic rods that you can infuse with elements via gems. So it’s both a Zelda 1 throwback, and a cool way to shake up BoTW’s mechanics in one go.
For the most part though, the combat is fairly similar, with inventory slots that you can upgrade, breakable weapons (which can be improved via Fuse) and flurry rush returning from the previous game.
So onto the remainders instead. Where the biggest inclusion this time appears to be the return of a familiar group of plant based creatures…
Yep, Koroks return in Tears of the Kingdom, and like before, give you Korok seeds when found. However, while some Korok puzzles are very much the same as those in the prior game (like the rock puzzle in the previous commercial):
Some others are a tad more involved. For example, the IGN video has them discuss a Korok puzzle where you need to bring a backpack wearing Korok to his friend by taking him on a player built vehicle, with the end result being that both Koroks give you a Korok seed at the same time.
Hence it’s not just simple puzzles with single seed rewards in this one. There’s actually a level of thought put into these Korok locations, and how they factor into the world.
There also seems to be a logging system of some kind too. Indeed, as pointed out over on Reddit, the game displayed a log button prompt when a Korok seed was found in one of the videos:
So there’s an indication that Korok seeds might actually be tracked this time around, rather than the player being stuck looking up internet maps and walkthroughs for the functionality.
And quality of life improvements like this seem to be numerous in Tears of the Kingdom. From the gyro esque puzzles not requiring motion controls to cooking pots being placeable wherever, the game appears to be way more generous with its options than Breath of the Wild ever was.
With another such example being the recipes for said cooking system. Now, instead of you having to remember what ingredients could be used for a recipe, you seem to get a recipe book listing them all out:
Hence you can track your recipes now, and have the game acknowledge when you’ve cooked them all!
You can also now swap out weapons found in chests when your inventory is full too, rather than being forced to shut the chest and drop the weapon separately. So, if you come across a cool weapon in a dungeon, you don’t need to clear out room in your inventory before picking it up. You can just chuck an old useless weapon away right after opening it!
Speaking of dropped items, enemy drops have been made more convenient too. Indeed, you know how in Breath of the Wild, it was a pain to pick up gemstones dropped by enemies if they fell in water? Or how enemies that fell off the world or into lava would take their materials with them when they died?
Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case here! Nope, now each enemy’s dropped items appear where they originally stood, not where they hit the ground or died. So if you yeet a Gold Bokoblin into a lake, the gemstones it drops won’t be stuck on the lake bed. Instead, they’ll just appear where it originally stood, ready for Link to collect them at his leisure!
It’s a small change, but a lovely bit of extra convenience added nonetheless, and another way which Tears of the Kingdom is a lot more player friendly than its unforgiving predecessor.
And those are only a tiny fraction of the features shown off in the recent previews. So if you want to see more about Tears of the Kingdom, we’d definitely recommend you watch them in full…
Whereas if you want to discuss the game, its content and whatever else you hope it’ll have in it, we recommend you join the Gaming Reinvented Discord server today!