A Familiar Yet Refreshing Adventure
The bar for Nintendo’s breakthrough sequel was high, and once it came out, it managed to shatter the ceiling.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the perfect follow up to Breath of the Wild.
Even for Nintendo, capturing the enchanting magic and sense of discovery from the first game was no easy feat. Yet, Tears of the Kingdom manages to feel both familiar and wonderfully different. Once you set foot on those grassy plains, the land of Hyrule will become an epic playground for your experiments.
If you were worried that this game would be too much like its predecessor, don’t be. It’s miles apart in the best way possible.
Breath of the Wild painted a desolate and lonely picture of an empty Hyrule overcome with calamity; tears of the Kingdom is the resurgence. Nintendo is usually very linear in their game progression with very little freedom. This time around, the players are free to do whatever they want, and however they want to do it.
The Sky Islands add depth to the game, and the Depths add fear and thrill. It finally feels like Nintendo has embraced freedom just enough that those who prefer a more linear experience won’t step away.
Hyrule is vast, and the buzz you get discovering and exploring the land, sky, and depths is intoxicating.
The Engrossing Narrative Unfolds
Without revealing too much, the sequel begins with Link and Zelda embarking on an investigation into a sinister force known as the Gloom, which drains life energy. This pursuit eventually leads them to the revived Ganondorf, an iconic figure making a triumphant return.
As a result, an apocalypse unfolds, leaving Link incapacitated and Zelda once again in captivity. Your mission becomes twofold: rescue Zelda and defeat Ganon to save Hyrule. Although the premise appears straightforward, the execution is commendable, placing emphasis on character development and storytelling.
Even though the story is optional, it proves captivating, enticing you to uncover the next clue and unravel the events following Ganondorf’s resurrection.
The game focuses more on storytelling, featuring engaging dialogues, enjoyable character interactions, and improved side quests.
Each side quest offers a satisfying resolution, and nearly every interaction with NPC is rewarding, whether it provides clues to new secrets or presents new side quests.
Every interaction also holds a captivating allure, particularly as returning characters from Breath of the Wild have a more pronounced presence, allowing you to gain insight into their personal growth and way of life.
Hearing rumors, following leads, and getting lost in this world seems like the natural thing to do.
Revamped Game Design: A Beacon of Freedom
Tears of the Kingdom offers an unparalleled level of freedom and exploration that goes beyond other RPGs out there.
It brilliantly expands upon the mechanics and physics introduced in Breath of the Wild, addressing almost every concern players had.
And let me tell you, they didn’t just stop at that—they added so much more that it still blows my mind. In Breath of the Wild, you could go anywhere and find something cool. Those towering Sheikah towers were like your compass, pointing you towards your main objective.
But Tears of the Kingdom takes it to another level. There are now interesting things to discover all over the massive map, both above and below ground. And even with all these distractions, the game still guides you with clear objectives and a well-arranged shrine system that leads you to your ultimate goal.
It’s not a hand-holding experience, but it gently nudges you in the right direction, creating an absolutely unique adventure for everyone who plays it.
Accessibility and utility are featured, greatly removing any tedious occurrences in the game through the use of abilities, skills, and good menu design.
Link has an arsenal of new skills and abilities that act like cheat skills. Link’s new abilities are very dynamic, and Tears of the Kingdom allows the player to have creative and unique solutions to their problems; it does an amazing job of making the players feel satisfied anytime they solve a shrine or a puzzle.
Game Name: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
Available on: Nintendo Switch.
Release Date: May 12, 2023Buy Zelda Tears Of The Kingdom on Amazon
Empowering Abilities: A New Spectrum of Gameplay
In the game, there are two awesome abilities: Recall and Ascend. Recall lets you turn back time and reverse the movement of anything, stopping it at any point. It’s like hitting pause on the action.
Ascend is even cooler—it lets Link swim up through solid stuff and reach the highest spots. But the real showstoppers are Fuse and Ultrahand.
Fuse allows you to connect and join existing weapons with other items and objects, and it can be ANY object. Every fusion will result in a better weapon. Whether it’s silly or destructive, it is always fun.
This creates a wonderful place where you can experiment with new and unique weapons, and it’s the perfect way to combat player grievances against weapon durability.
Ultrahand is the ability you will be using the most; joining different items together and creating new inventions makes for undeniably creative solutions.
Inspired by the incredible inventiveness of players in Breath of the Wild, Nintendo gives you all the tools you need to turn your ideas into reality in Tears of the Kingdom.
Now you can build carts, bridges, scaffolding, aeroplanes and even massive robots.
You can create wagons, bridges, scaffolding, airplanes, and even large robots.
These abilities can be used in conjunction with each other to give the player immense freedom to experiment in this large sandbox.
I have been playing this game for over 50 hours now, and I still haven’t touched the surface of everything that may be possible.
Nintendo removes the notion that there is one correct way to play this game; if it works, it’s right.
Slowly, you will use these abilities to solve puzzles, and complete shrines, and once you master these abilities, you will never want to stop using them.
An Immersive Triple-layered World: The Sky, Hyrule, and The Depths
Link’s adventure begins in the sky, where the vastness of the world instantly captures your attention.
The scale of this game is enormous, and the exhilarating moment of freefalling from the sky island sets the tone for the rest of your journey. Rest assured, you won’t be disappointed.
Tears of the Kingdom takes the stunning style and design of Breath of the Wild and builds upon it with remarkable enhancements and intricate details throughout Hyrule.
The familiar landscapes evoke a sense of nostalgia, yet they also offer fresh and unique experiences. The standout features of this breathtaking world are the sky and the depths.
The Skyislands pay homage to Skyward Sword but with even more depth and exciting additions. As for the Depths, they reintroduce the thrilling dungeons that harken back to the classic Zelda format.
This game is all about exploring, and the sound design is truly exceptional. While wandering through the wide plains, the music creates a sense of both emptiness and grandeur, making you feel small in this vast world.
Every sound effect, from the gentle taps to the powerful whooshes, is meticulously crafted to enhance the overall experience. The sound effects in video games are meant to transport you to another world, and Tears of the Kingdom does just that with its masterful design.
The newest addition to the game is The Depths, an eerie and unsettling landscape that lies beneath Hyrule.
This dark realm is shrouded in Gloom, presenting significant risks and threats to players. However, venturing into this foreboding territory also leads to incredible treasures.
Personally, The Depths has become my favorite part of the game. But that’s not all—players are encouraged to traverse between three layers of the game. Along with the exploration and new additions, the game introduces a clever and enjoyable loop.
You’ll need to visit the Sky Islands to uncover maps that reveal treasure locations in The Depths. To navigate The Depths effectively, you’ll require specific items typically found within Hyrule’s intricate cave system.
This carefully crafted experience fosters creativity and curiosity, enticing players to explore new locations and become engrossed in following different leads.
Overcoming the Shackles of Aging Hardware
The game does have one obvious downside: the Switch’s hardware is showing its age.
Most of the time, the game runs smoothly at 30 frames per second. But in intense areas, like bustling Kakariko village, the frame rate can drop to around 20 fps.
And let’s not forget about Ultrahand—it’s a real resource hog. When you’re dealing with explosions and complex stuff that pushes the hardware, you might experience some stutters or slowdowns that take you out of the moment.
The Switch struggles at times to handle this massive game, but it’s still impressive how well they optimized it for a six-year-old console.
The patches have helped, and the game reportedly doesn’t have any major bugs. But you can’t deny the hardware’s age, which makes you think this might be the last big release for the console.
A Benchmark in the Gaming Landscape
Tears of the Kingdom is pure brilliance when it comes to immersing you in a fantasy world of ultimate freedom. Nintendo has crafted a game that’s overflowing with opportunities and wonders for anyone who dares to explore. They’ve taken everything great about Breath of the Wild and made it even better, turning it into an absolute masterpiece, in my opinion.
This game has pushed the boundaries of what video games can do, and now other developers will be scrambling to capture the same magic. It’s an exciting time for Nintendo, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. But for now, I’m diving right back into Tears of the Kingdom because there’s still so much more I haven’t even touched.
It’s an adventure that’s left most of us completely amazed.
Haissam knows his way around a laundry list of expansive open worlds. He has conquered Hyrule, mastered the art of the warrior in Sekiro, and he even delves into the occasional retro RTS RPG now and again. Outside of RPG gaming, Haissam is an anime nut, and keeps up with the manga to stay ahead of the pack.