The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom UK Launch Party

By Luke Hemming 11.05.2023

In the shades of one of many parks in London, tucked away in a small corner, lies the Magazine at Serpentine. Usually reserved for fancy pants social gatherings but tonight, something far more interesting to us common folk.

Cubed3 were delighted to be offered the chance to attend the UK Launch party of what will surely be a game of the year contender, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. From the initial entrance, a beautiful green hue engulfs the venue, images of Tri-Forces and ancient symbols adorning the walls. From the outset the goods are fully on show with a beautiful setup of the all Zelda inspired hardware that can be purchased over the next few weeks. Gold Pro controllers, Switch carry cases and the cream of the crop, a Switch so beautiful it could convince you to cheat on your other switches with. After the drool of gazing at the hardware is done with, a briefing is given on the main rules of engagement, essentially besides have a fantastic time with a fantastic game, there are none.

Image for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom UK Launch Party

From Influencers, Outsiders and Xtras, the whole atmosphere is a wonderfully casual affair allowing the invited to simply enjoy the proceedings and talk gaming. Drinks are on hand to lubricate the conversation and allow people to sufficiently build themselves up to take full advantage of the photo shoot section at the front door, posing as much as possible to savour the multiple GIF creating cameras of the antics. This is all foreplay compared to the main event however, lining the aisles are multiple, comfort as a priority, gaming hubs. Every station governed by some frankly lovely Nintendo staff. Helpful, gracious and most importantly, just as excited to be there as the rest of us. Once strapped in, headphones on, each guest with a 45 minute, hands on, mini adventure with Link and Co. (Well Just Link really).

As if it was ever in doubt, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is a fantastic affair, even in the short time spent. If Breath of the Wild presented a spectacle from the outset, Tears of the Kingdom takes this, literally to a whole new level. Sprawling landscapes with every nook and cranny worth exploring. Initial previews had really pushed the idea of creativity, make a tool, build a transport, hash together some kind of weapon abomination to progress, what was played tonight has proved this in spades. Heading out into the wild (pun intended), initial impressions are incredibly promising. Nintendo has always excelled in game design and the starting area does an excellent job of explaining the basics organically, no hand holding here, just 'whats that over there? Why not try and get over there and what is between you and it is going to be your learning curve'.

Some exciting call-backs to previous Zelda titles start engaging the brain and setting the theories alight. Even some musical cues bring back the memories of a Gameboy in hand, clearing out a 2d Dungeon. One puzzle in particular, was a masterclass in game design, leaving the basics to be deciphered but by taking the time to scout the area, providing a clear solution of the best way to handle the task. Completing the first main puzzle gives just enough time for some experimentation mostly involving seeing if a frog will cook and if a Heron can be sniped with a found bow. Cubed3 were also lucky enough to be given two tickets so double the exploration was achieved, from a wooded glade to an icy tundra with no safe haven for a half-naked Hylian.

Image for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom UK Launch Party

45 minutes was never going to be enough for anybody with a love of a Nintendo classic but Cubed3 is incredibly grateful for any time at all to experience what is looking to be a far superior product over the already outstanding Breath of the Wild. Characters met in the demo session are already fascinating, with lore being laid out from the outset, compelling gamers on with both the tease of story and also just through something looking like it just has to be climbed looming in the distance.

Session over, there is just enough time to grab some freebies, say goodbye to Tony, the man who not only just wants to go home and crack on but is happy to discuss the merits of Links Awakening and take one last look at the spectacle that is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Launch event. If reading this tonight, congratulations on being such a night owl but commiserations that like the rest of us, we still have a few more hours until we can put right what once went wrong down old Hyrule way. If you are settling down on a Friday morning with a fresh new copy however, we hope that you have just as much of a blast as we had tonight. Toodles!

Image for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom UK Launch Party

Box art for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom





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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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