To say there’s been hype surrounding The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom would not just be an understatement, but a fairly poor opening line to any sort of hands-on feature.
On an unrelated note, Nintendo recently invited us to go and have a go at The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom at their European headquarters in Frankfurt. We got a whopping 70 minutes with the game, which felt like no more than ten with all the stuff we wanted to proverbially bathe ourselves in, so how did it hold up? Has this so-called hype been justified?
We opened with a short session on a Sky Island designed to allow us to get to grips with the controls and play around with the new mechanics (or at the very least begin to). We were initially a little bit overwhelmed as we were told in not quite so many words to ‘go nuts’ with everything that lay before us. We had a pop with the Ultrahand and quickly discovered that we have a far less robust understanding of physics than we thought. We helped a Korok with a big ol’ backpack to reunite with his friend, gaining a pair of Korok Seeds in the process (so feel free to scream ‘they’re back’ in whatever tone you prefer in the comments). We tried to shield surf after attaching a fan to our makeshift surfboard. Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.
We also discovered, little to our surprise, that the Fuse ability is just as open — and has the potential to be as mindlessly stupid — as you wish, and we mean that in the best possible way. You can’t actually attach an apple to the end of a sword and expect it to do any good, can you? We had a similarly short-sighted mindset at first, but after trying it for ourselves we are happy to report that ‘for goodness sake, of course it gives you a minor attack boost, Bokoblins hate apples!’
Our second (and longer) session had us begin on the surface in front of an enemy camp that we were encouraged to storm in whatever way we saw fit. Our first instinct, as always, was to take out any lookouts to keep our presence a secret for as long as possible, and we spied one such Bokoblin high up in the camp. With a flourish of unjustified confidence, we fired an arrow at its bonce and promptly missed because it was too far away.
You can’t actually attach an apple to the end of a sword and expect it to do any good, can you?... after trying it for ourselves we are happy to report that ‘for goodness sake, of course it gives you a minor attack boost'
But that’s when a brainwave came over us; is there something we could fuse to an arrow that would give it more flight? Some bows could do that in Breath of the Wild after all. In our first experiment, we tried fusing a Keese Wing, and it worked. We can’t quite put into words the satisfaction that came with having such a thought so quickly returning precisely the result we needed, but needless to say we were chuffed beyond belief.
We then had a play with a new system that allows you to throw any Material in your inventory. In Breath of the Wild you could hold and drop things, and even drop them further away from you, but this is a whole new ball game. By holding 'R' and pressing up on the D-Pad, you can choose to throw anything from a piece of meat to a shard of flint, or much more interestingly, a Bomb Flower. Yes, this and various other new flora not only expand your available weaponry, but can also be attached to anything else in the manner you would have come to expect.
These replace elemental arrows, but don’t be too sad, as the variety available to you is now significantly more substantial than it was. Muddlebuds are a new material that will cause any enemies hit by it to become confused and enter a frenzy, attacking their compatriots. Dazzlefruit, although we didn’t get a chance to try them out, will create a flash that blinds foes. Gemstones can also enter the party, as when attached to an arrow and fired, they’ll adopt their appropriate elemental quality in spectacular fashion; a piece of topaz led to our own untimely death before we truly understood and respected its massive blast radius.
What becomes very apparent when you play the game is just how much more important every resource you find is this time. Bokoblin Fangs were ten a penny in the past, and good for little more than fueling the Master Cycle every so often, but in Tears of the Kingdom anything can become a part of something greater than itself, and we’re still reeling from trying to think of all the possible combinations of things we didn’t have time to test.
That goes for the Ultrahand as well. On the face of it, it’s something that allows you to build funny little cars to go broom broom around Hyrule in like a slightly more violently-motivated Enid Blyton character, but the true applications are far more varied. For one thing, Ultrahand is essentially Magnesis for everything, and the contraptions you make don’t have to even be remotely road-legal. We’re only half-joking with that statement as well, as you could probably make just about anything if you put your mind to it. We’re looking forward to speedruns that build trebuchets mid-boss battle with bated breath.
But we’ve got to be honest, we mostly built vehicles in our time. The parts we’ve seen in trailers such as fans and steering platforms can be found scattered throughout the world in various numbers, but can also be found in those orb-like gacha machines, and more importantly, can then be carried around in your inventory freely. Yes, you can at any point stop and throw a plane, car, or hot air balloon together if you’ve got the parts you need, and the process, although a little fiddly, is quite intuitive.
The game’s physics engine doesn’t pull any punches either, within reason. We tried gluing two plane bodies together for extra we don’t know but it seemed funny at the time, and after some fans and rockets, the game promptly rewarded us with an almost comically inept flying experience that we only barely survived. All our own fault of course, but it was still more effective than when we tried to make a hot air balloon out of mostly wood. The underrated Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts has rightly been part of the discussion since Nintendo revealed this gameplay element but, in practice, it doesn't feel very much like Rare's game. The concept is the same, but TOTK is a lot more flexible with a lesser emphasis on vehicles.
Performance for the most part is rather solid, but we did notice some instances when using the Ultrahand where the frame rate took a noticeable hit. It's not like it broke the game or ruined our enjoyment at all, but it would be nice to see such wrinkles ironed out.
One element that really pleased us was the variety of puzzles in the world itself. What would otherwise have been relegated to a Shrine in Breath of the Wild, such as a series of water-filled reservoirs that could be systematically drained, can just be found out and about, minding their own business in the overworld. It made us feel as though we were actually walking through a functioning ancient civilisation rather than just its ruins, and the whole seamless nature just felt right.
Our time with Tears of the Kingdom was brief, and if you take one thing away from this article, let it be that our desire to go back and just spend 50 hours playing with the Ultrahand is overwhelming. From our experience so far, we’re looking at history being made with this game.
And most importantly, you can now drop a weapon if you find another in a chest when your inventory’s full.
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Cant wait for this game. I didn’t fully appreciate BOTW and kinda rushed towards the main story but this time around I’m gonna take it nice and slow. Ultra hand looks incredibly fun can’t wait.
THEY’RE BACK! (Excited tone)
Just hook it to my veins!
Can't wait. Looks amazing
Oh Link, here we go again.
I have a feeling that I won't be interested in any other game for a looooong time.
Did you see if you needed any key item to start putting bomb flowers in your inventory?
In Skyward Sword, they make a point that you need a bomb bag to diffuse and carry wild bomb flowers.
Oh boy, prepare for the leaks, everyone!
"It's gonna be history." That is a good way of saying that the game will be damn good!
While playing Breath of the Wild, I was having a great time, but I had this feeling that this is only the beginning for this type of Zelda game, and that the follow-up would take this concept and go absolutely wild (no pun intended) with it. This seems to be exactly what we are getting with Tears of the Kingdom. I can't wait to get my hands on it, this is going to be a monumental title for the gaming industry, just like Breath of the Wild before it.
MY HYPE IS THROUGH THE ROOF!!!
Sounds good so far. I've seen some people complain about the controls, although being dropped into the game probably makes it hard to pick up everything at once as opposed to a gradual process of learning the controls.
Removed - off-topic; user is banned
@SonOfDracula I think you posted on the wrong article, or do I mean website!!
I think you may proving their point?
Fanboyism is a dangerous thing. I love Nintendo's products, but their practices often come across as anti-consumer, or headstrong against how people will consume their products in the real world.
Alex... A true "fan"boy lol
So hyped! ...that's all
Pre-ordered it on Amazon today was surprised it was only £52 instead of the £60 I thought it would be (and didn't mind for the record) is it the same for the US; the discount I mean?
About the article. I'm glad overworld puzzles have more variety. I was so done with rock circles dotted everywhere in the previous game.
@Nanami_Ataraxia Did the same last night. So much for SeventyDollarGate !
It does sound like they went nuts with the ultrahand/fuse stuff. I'm sure there are hard limits, but we're going to be seeing people push the potential of these systems for years. Some of the combinations/solutions people have discovered just in 70 minutes with the game highlights what a massively fun sandbox this is going to be.
Hopefully the larger gameplay experience and progression structure will be just as compelling.
@SonOfDracula Gary Bowser deserved to be sued into the ground. I'm certainly not going to stop buying Nintendo's games because they exercised their legal rights to protect their business from an unapologetic criminal.
@RupeeClock No in your opinions you feel they are those things are right. This person chooses this article is the right place to portray fans as fools, that's trolling.
If you got it for a lower price too that has to have been the biggest nothing burger we've seen in a long while. xD
@Ralizah He deserved punishment, and it was given in excess of the damages caused by the crime. I don’t know if you noticed, but Nintendo isn’t exactly losing profit each quarter. The punishment was far, far in excess of the crime committed.
@dew12333 People should think critically of the companies they love. We should want them to do better, not just with the games they produce, but with their public relations and reputation. Nintendo’s reputation is becoming this strange mix of making stellar games while at the same time coming across like they hate their fanbase. That’s not trolling; it’s looking critically at a company that we all unabashedly throw our money at without a second thought.
sounds like they done a good job with this DLC package
I really enjoy Alex's articles. He seems to capture his video persona perfectly. Thanks for the rundown, Alex.
@RupeeClock @SonOfDracula I think most people, including myself, couldn't care less about the litigious nature of Nintendo's, shall we say, protection of their IP. And there's a simple explanation for that: it's within Nintendo's rights to pursue legal recourse when they feel their rights have been impinged in some way. This isn't "shilling for a billion dollar corporation," as is often bandied about comment sections, it's completely reasonable apathy.
@SonOfDracula This comment section isn't really the appropriate place for that discussion though I don't think. Take it to one of the articles that's actually relevant to what you're talking about and let people just be excited for the new Zelda game if they want to be.
Removed - unconstructive; user is banned
As @MikeJones said, there are perfectly good reasons to boycott companies, but defending their IP within their rights isn't that big of a deal-breaker for a lot of people. You can feel Nintendo went too far, and still enjoy their games while being cognizant of the things you think they screw up with. Either way, bringing it up in a comment section where people are being excited for the new game just feels like you're bringing down the mood.
Good to know, but I'm avoiding reading this or watching the video, as much as I like Alex's content. I'd rather find out all the fun nooks and crannies in a little over two weeks when I'm playing! I imagine there will be all kinds of wacky creative ways to play TotK. I can't wait to goof around with it!
@SonOfDracula we do critize nintendo, but we havemt given them a reason to trust us. The one time they tried to support their fans, sponsoring the panda cup, the CEO turned out to be a horrible person. They also arnt AS horrible as of late. The recent slight lack of live service games is promising, and they arnt suing piracy websites left and right. They are still not good (see pointcrow), but they are learning.
The hot air balloon makes me think of the Seymour Skinner balloon.
Very disappointing to see frame rate issues 😿
"It was a spicey Alex time".
As recent conduct goes, Nintendo protecting their IP by going after unauthorised modifications to their games, or after people who made a living selling pirated content, doesn't really make me feel as negatively about Nintendo as some of their other activity.
I enjoy Pointcrow's BotW content, but I can understand how a "BotW multiplayer" video with millions of views is going to light a fire under Nintendo, when they never produced such a feature and such content could provoke large numbers of impressionable viewers to find out how they can play such content, usually via illegal means.
I'm glad to read that someone else thinks Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts was underrated
Yeah those frame rate drops look pretty bad, like korok forest bad. Everything else seems great tho.
Edit: Some videos look poor and others pretty good showing the same areas. So idk now.
@RupeeClock It's also worth noting that Pointcrow commissioned the multiplayer mod for $10,000, so technically he did profit off of it. I'm sure he meant well, but that probably didn't help his case with Nintendo. Bowser gets no sympathy from me though.
@RupeeClock It's strange to me that people think it's within Nintendo's right to overstep in terms of severity for the sake of defending something that needs no defense.
@StarryCiel When you commission something, that means you are paying someone else to do the thing for you. Pointcrow made no profit, other than his ad revenue from his own work producing a video.
I thought you weren't going to post any spoilers about this game. Guess we'll be getting 5 or 6 posts a day once you have your review copy.
@SonOfDracula Look, you're free to boycott whoever you like. It's not a new phenomenon for people to simp for criminals. But you're going to have a hard time making the case to others that they shouldn't buy what looks like one of the best games Nintendo has ever made because they sued someone who was part of a criminal enterprise that raked in tens of millions of dollars (by his own admission).
Seeing gameplay footage today was honestly a pleasant surprise! The game honestly looks incredible, they've really done a lot with it. Tons of possibilities from the ultrahand stuff and as far as I can tell there really seems to be a lot more going on in the open world. As mentioned in the article, the puzzles are in the openworld rather than mainly confined to shrines. Although, I personally liked the shrines in BoTW; however tears of the kingdom's openworld seems more interesting for sure.
So pleased they've improved the weapon discard system.
Thanks for this Hands On article (will watch the video later), most of it just confirms our suspicions about the incredible potential of Fuse and Ultrahand, but there are also a couple of new pieces of information which are quite interesting, especially chests finally working like that!
Kind of crazy to think that TotK comes out in less than a month, and just a few days after my birthday. So far, it looks great, albeit the expected frame rate issues that some folks are mentioning. Can't wait, though!
I initially thought that fat bokoblin in the screenshot was some kind of ghost Link had summoned, but no it's just frozen.
"It was a spicey Alex time!"
Alex on Hot Ones confirmed.
Reeeeally want to get this day one, but I'm holding out for the next Nintendo console and am hopeful for a port. Willing to wait a couple of years on it.
@RupeeClock In every zelda game except BOTW you get a bomb bag...
making Applesauce for Ganon's army...
@SonOfDracula Yes it is!! We are all allowed our opinions, can't you just leave people to have their own, rather than spewing your rhetoric in an unrelated article
Yeah I'm so glad there are new mechanics that just look so much fun to play around with. It's great you can combine stuff to do something goofy, that actually might be useful, along with more tatical things.
Does look really fun getting around the islands too. Hopefully the rest of the game will be equally as good, as it certainly looks to be.
Just a few more weeks now. About two.
@Nanami_Ataraxia think of the amount of hours and words written from people crying over it. Obviously people who have no concept of shopping around, I'm sure I could have got it cheaper too...
Counterpoint: BotW let you manifest bombs out of thin air using a curious contraption.
Bombs with a blast but no fire, on top of being remotely detonatable.
@SonOfDracula not me, they can sue all they think its right to protect their IP's im withing the law, I will gladly buy their products as long as i see feet my needs as a consumer. I have read the small letters, i do not use their products other than for my entreteinment. To me, They don't seem anticonsumer, in fact, i dont even think that term should even exist, if a company does things you don't endorse, or that you feel you can't relate to, stop buying their products, its that sumple. With Bowser, it seems that they want to deliver a mesage, they are going to protect their brand.
Speed runners videos are going to insane with this game. Can't wait to play it!
Ultrahand e Fuse hability will change the very core of the Legend of Zelda franchise, i cant wait to see all the possibilties i can do with the Ultrahand/Fuse habilities and with the potencial return of tradicional Dungeons, Tears of the Kingdom will be the perfect mix of tradicional Zelda formula with the modern Zelda formula introduced in BOTW.
@SonOfDracula those individuals knew what they were doing and the ramifications that came with it, but chose to do it anyways. They put themselves in that situation. They’re not innocent and nobody should stop their own happiness for their choices.
Besides, it’s the government and laws that allow Nintendo to do those things. Bring the fight to the government if you really want to try make meaningful changes.
On topic, can’t wait to play this. Took a long weekend on launch to go wild on this bad boy.
Get well soon Alex ☺️
@SonOfDracula What @BenAV told you doesn't prove you right at all. Haven't you seen deleted comments because they were "unrelated"? It's a rule to have a relevant conversation to what's being commented on the article. Also, what @MikeJones said pretty much explains what many of us believe. This doesn't apply just because it's Nintendo, it's within any company's right no matter how big or small it is. It's fine if you disagree, but it really isn't that hard or complicated to understand so I don't get why you'd feel confused about it or why do you find it weird.
As for the topic, I think that this sequel will actually surpass expectations. BOTW was already full of secrets and experimentation and this entry seems to add many more possibilities on top of that. As someone that isn't such a big Zelda fan since I played most and enjoy them but only consider WindWaker and BOTW among my favourite games, I do think that BOTW is the best game on Switch so this sequel has some huge shoes to fill.
Too much talking in that video, not enough game footage.
Nothing of what I read spoke to me AT ALL.
I’m really worried if the first ‘interesting’ thing in a Zelda game we can talk about is building cars and gimmicky item fusion.
This speaks to YouTubers, not Longtime Zelda fans.
If I wanted to play Minecraft, I’d play Minecraft
They massacred my boy into a random sandbox game. :/
I do hope elemental arrows are still in the game. No reason for them not to be really.
That being said I love the creativity. It’s products like this where I really hope the devs had fun making the game.
-Puzzles being integrated into the overworld is nice. I like shrines a lot, but this is a very good upgrade.
-It seems like a lot of the time spent on this game must have been manually inputting different parameters and stats for each individual item you can interact with.
-Building vehicles sounds fun, I wonder if its just a fun little thing to do for those who want to traverse faster, or if there’s a necessity to it.
Overall I think I’m sold. Game seems like a great time waster.
@Ryu_Niiyama I believe its been confirmed elemental arrows as such are gone, but you can achieve the exact same effects and many more with item fusing. For example, in the gameplay demonstration they showed an arrow fused with Ice Chu Chu jelly having the same effect as an Ice arrow from Breath of the Wild.
@YoshiF2 I kinda feel the same way. The pendulum really swung far with BotW, but at the same time it felt like a necessary evolution of the formula for me. Now though ... the pendulum seemed to have swung way farther still and - unlike in 2017 - I find myself utterly jaded with the very notion of sandbox games.
I don't want it. I'm horrified by the thought of a 200 hour'ish Zelda "experience". This really seems perfect for Minecraft fans. It seems equally unbearable for OoT fans, which is where my loyalty lies.
I hope we get to the point where games for both sides are going to get made. For the time being, this is a pass for me. I just still feel way too exhausted from my time with BotW to want any more any time soon or really ever.
Just to be clear, I am not lamenting the quality of the game. It's just a bad case of used-to-be-but-not-longer-is-for-me.
Holy cow. These screenshots and footage are absolutely epic. BotW is my favorite game ever and TotK looks even bigger, better and more open ended. This game is going to be incredible.
@Ralek85 I gotta agree. I can’t believe that, after 35 years with this franchise, what strayed me away from Zelda… wasn’t repetition at all…. But these new but unZelda things.
Breath of the Wild sure was fun… for ONE entry … NOT THREE!
There’s so much things that original fans are still waiting confirmation of …. I really don’t want to know if we can attach sandpaper to swords or machine guns to bows…… or fans to Jeeps to make a flying tank rocketship.
Those are not things why I started playing Zelda 30+ years ago. Exploration in BotW… yeah, I can get behind that, that’s really Zelda-ish.
But what the hell is this gimmicky Youtubery crap?
really frame rate issues oh boy..
Takeaways for me:
Can't wait for May 12th!
So it’s a game where you build cars?
@Tyranexx I don't get it, you could drop weapons when your inventory is full in BotW.
This looks like an improvement on BotW in a variety of ways. The world in TotK seems to have way more things you can interact with and way more possible ways if interacting with things.
My excitement is at an all time high.
@BTB20 I added some context. This was an issue specifically when opening chests IIRC.
This game seems to be just asking people to break it. Hopefully there won’t be a glitch fest but you just know there’s going to be people pushing things to the limit. For now, I’m just looking forward to some epically hilarious tank battles.
A lot of what this game has to offer is going to come down to controls. Despite being, IMHO, the best video game ever made, BOTW's controls are AGGESIVELY awful. 4 binds are only there to deal with the fact that your weapons explode after you use them to kill a single monster, common actions sequences are bound to key combos instead of repeated input (jump, glide, drop ... you can't double jump, so the jump bind dose nothing while you're in the air, yet you have to hit a different bind to glide. Same with tossing a bomb and blowing it up) and you can't rebind ANYTHING other then jump.
it's hard to explain how much this hampers the experience to someone who hasn't played it with a mod that allows full re-binding, but it blew my mind the first time I did that.
This games seems to be adding more complexity, and last time I checked the joycon didn't get any new buttons ...
Just being able to chill with the crazy physics is something I always wanted out of the original game, so this and more overworld puzzles makes me reasonably excited. I was always going to pick this up, but I may do it sooner rather than later.
I don't know if Mr Olney reads the comments (especially when he should be in bed nursing a lemsip!) but I do appreciate his videos. What a legend.
Can you fuse more than one thing to weapons to make a super weapon?
I'm going to adore this game I'm sure, but I am the very definition of uncreative. I'm too dumb to think of trying weird things out. Never occurs to me and I gloss over fine details.
Amazing. I can't wait to build a home.
I'm very sorry you are sick, Alex and hope you feel better soon.
Having said that, I enjoyed your video more than usual. You're lower key approach was nice. What can I say: I'm a quiet person. I was also glad you tried some silly things that we're all going to be doing.
Again, take care of yourself and feel better.
NL: Hey guys, we got our hands on the latest Zelda game and it's pretty neat!
The comment section: How about we focus on none of that and instead argue about whether Nintendo's business practices are ethical or not?
Never change, Nintendo fandom. Never change.
lol Yeah. Thing is though, I wouldn't even consider the individual who derailed this comment section apart of the Nintendo fandom in the first place.
@ArcadianLegend99 we I ly have two talking points; the new games and nintendo's buisness practices. Both will end up being talked about no matter what.
They. Are. Back. Ya-ha-ha!
@HeadPirate BotW's controls were always very intuitive to me. TotK's new abilities are more complex in what possibilities they provide, but in no way would they need new buttons because they replace the previous game's abilities.
Are the controls for horseback riding better? Please tell me the controls for horseback riding are better. After the release of Elden Ring and its amazing double-jumping horsey-thing, Legend of Zelda needs to get its act together. 😑
@Uncle_Franklin “my rumpy doppelgänger”
"And most importantly, you can now drop a weapon if you find another in a chest when your inventory’s full."
Pleased for those who liked BOTW but it's a pass for me as I hate crafting in games and weapons that collapse 😞 Hope the old pre-BOTW Zelda games aren't dead and buried forever...
Nice preview. Sounds like they took some inspiration from Immortals Fenix rising. I mean, first the islands (the shrines in Immortals where basically all floating platforms) and now puzzles in the overworld. That there are puzzles in the overworld now sounds great (okay, we already had that a bit with the Koroks in Botw, but here it sounds more expanded).
I am going to enjoy opening chests with a full inventory
"And most importantly, you can now drop a weapon if you find another in a chest when your inventory’s full."
Now THAT'S the info dump I wanted. Next up: Have the great fairies learned about consent?
This must be the only space I can come to see Junko Enoshima discussing copyright law. Like an Ace Attorney crossover I never knew I needed.
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