After years of speculation and teases, the title of the long-awaited sequel to The Legend of Zelda "Breath of the Wild" is finally revealed alongside some gameplay footage and a May 2023 release date during a Nintendo Direct stream. In addition, the game's subtitle has finally been unveiled as "Tears of the Kingdom."

Shigeru Miyamoto's "Zelda" series is largely credited with revolutionizing the industry, making the first tentative steps towards the sandbox genre and forming the blueprint for how 3D games would work. However, after years of titles, the series went on a bit of decline.

Entries such as "Twilight Princess" and "Skyward Sword" put much more of an emphasis on storytelling and tutorials, detracting much of the exploration and challenge of its forefathers. Fortunately, the next installment would breath new life into the series.

Free the Divine Beasts

It seriously cannot be overstated how much of a jolt to the system "Breath off the Wild" was to both "The Legend of Zelda" franchise and even the open-world genre. After so many titles that deviated further and further away from the freedom and mystery of the early titles, it was refreshing to finally play an adventure where all of Hyrule was the player's oyster. The hand-holding nature and constant bombardment of intrusive cutscenes was nowhere to be seen in this game's opening minutes, which cleverly let players come to grips with the mechanics largely on their own.

Instead of gradually gaining all the tools needed to complete the adventure, players had access right from the very start and it was up to them to determine what order they'd take to complete their task. If so inclined, players could free the divine beasts to help them in their fight against Calamity Ganon, or they could just go straight to the final boss at the very start.

'Tears of the Kingdom'

In 2019, players were given first teaser for the then-untitled sequel to "Breath of the Wild." In the years that followed, Nintendo continued to be tight-lipped regarding the follow-up, refusing to even reveal the game's title until very recently. Representative of Nintendo, Bill Trinen, explained that the secrecy was to avoid disclosing too much of the game's plot, stating, "Those subtitles…they start to give little hints about maybe what’s going to happen." That said, fans are still speculating as to the meaning of the game's subtitle.

A previous trailer showed Princess Zelda falling down a hole, leading some to theorize if the tears are in mourning for their lost monarch.

Much of the footage that's been revealed showcases the hero of Hyrule traversing through the skies on his glider from the previous game and a new contraption that's shaped like a bird. It looks as it'll retain the trademark exploration and dungeon crawling formula of its predecessors. The game is slated for a May 12, 2023 release date on the Nintendo Switch.