The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom - Release date, trailers and more

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the most celebrated games of the last decade, an instant open-world classic that's having a major influence on game design years later.

It feels miraculous to play through, giving the player a level of freedom, and a lack of overbearing guidance, which is entirely rare in the genre, while telling a classic Zelda tale through flashbacks. The good news is that we're now mere days away from getting a direct sequel in the form of Tears of the Kingdom, and we've got all the key details right here.

Tears of the Kingdom release date

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will release on 12 May 2023, as announced in a Nintendo Direct in September 2022.

This is a date that took a while to firm up after Nintendo initially announced that it was aiming for 2022, a window that was updated to a vague Spring 2023 target later.

Tears of the Kingdom pre-orders

You can now pre-order the next game in the Zelda series, so if it's a day-one purchase then be sure to get ahead.

Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom square
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Score a pre-order now to be playing on release date.

Tears of the Kindom trailers

The final trailer for Tears of the Kingdom came out in April 2023, and it's fairly astonishing, giving glimpses of a huge range of environments and scenarios.

Given how tight-fisted Nintendo had been until that point, the trailer is a real culmination of all the hype leading into the game, and makes it clear that it'll be a massive title for the Switch.

Nintendo had already dropped a great trailer for Tears of the Kingdom during a Direct in February 2023, and offered up our first proper look at gameplay for the game.

Nintendo had confirmed the title of Tears of the Kingdom in September 2022 with a trailer that you can see further down, as well as giving us a release date.

For a good few years, we didn't know the name of the game, with it being referred to as simply as a sequel to Breath of the Wild, but thankfully those days are over.

The trailer above put an end to that mystery, but still kept a lot of things under wraps, making us wait for later trailers.

Having given us nothing on it for two years, Nintendo showed the game off at E3 in 2021. The trailer is a great watch, too, with loads of small moments to digest and new gameplay mechanics glimpsed.

The very first look we got at the game came when Nintendo showcased the trailer below during E3 back in 2019, stoking up massive levels of anticipation and excitement. The project hadn't been rumoured a huge amount before the reveal, for once, with speculation rife but proof thin on the ground.

Tears of the Kingdom platforms

Everything you need to know about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 - trailer, release date and more photo 2

After a lot of speculation that the next Legend of Zelda game might be part of the launch of a Switch Pro with better graphical prowess, that's now clearly been debunked.

Tears of the Kingdom has been confirmed as a Switch exclusive, so you won't be able to play it anywhere else, although you will obviously have your pick between a normal Switch, Switch OLED or Switch Lite.

Tears of the Kingdom story

Everything you need to know about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 - trailer, release date and more photo 3

This is where the various trailers we've seen are the most enticing - we were pretty satisfied at the end of the first Breath of the Wild, having uncovered exactly what happened all those years ago, and successfully defeated Calamity Ganon once more to free Hyrule from his reign of terror.

Now, though, we see that the tale continues, with the first teaser Zelda and Link seemingly delving into ruins below Hyrule Castle to find out more. It looks like the darkness that plagued the land hasn't been banished fully, and there's clearly something nasty going on down there.

The trailer seems to show some sort of power reviving the body of Ganon, and that power bears resemblance to the one featured in the Wii's Twilight Princess. It's all looking mighty spooky, and the tone of the trailer is impressively eery.

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The second trailer expands on this by showing a lot of action in the skies above Hyrule, with Link sporting some sort of corrupted arm and some new abilities. It all suggests that we're in for one of the darker Zelda tales so far, along the lines of a Majora's Mask, rather than the cartoony fun of something like The Wind Waker. Sign us up, because we can't wait.

Tears of the Kingdom gameplay

While some trailers did contain short clips, our first real look at gameplay from Tears of the Kingdom came in a Nintendo Direct on 28 March 2023, with a guided video.

It's a fascinating look at a game that will clearly expand upon the foundation offered by Breath of the Wild in major ways, albeit with a somewhat familiar world.

Once again, Hyrule is open to explore, although this time the skies above it are littered with sky islands that we can get up to for even more environments.

Link will have a new set of powers to use in his exploration, from a rewind ability to one that lets him fuse objects together. This can make more durable and powerful weapons, but can also be used to create vehicles and constructions from scratch.

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It also looks like Link will be able to grind rails in some sections, which looks almost reminiscent of something from a Sonic game.

A prominent feature in the first trailer is the central presence of Zelda throughout, which has fuelled the idea that she might be a playable character in the next game, something that would be incredibly cool to see. That said, there's not exactly a lot of evidence for it, although you could surmise she'll definitely have more of a role to play than last time out.

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Regardless, we're hoping for more emergent gameplay and gentle player-led discovery, along with a range of tools that let you interact with the world in novel ways - more of the same, basically! If the setting can also feel fresh and new, we're in for a total treat.