The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom offers an amazing experience that to fully appreciate it, you have to play the game. I don’t want to spoil Tears of the Kingdom for you, so, my review will be spoiler free.
Before the game’s release, there were fears that Tears of the Kingdom would be a simple expansion to Breath of the Wild rather than an entirely new game. I can assure you that is not the case. The vast expanse of Hyrule in Tears of the Kingdom offers a plethora and wide variety of new things to do, people to see, and places to visit.
Let’s take a look at Link’s next big adventure and why it’s a serious contender for game of the year!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Nintendo EPD
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Discover and explore the massive land and skies of Hyrule with your new abilities
Since Breath of the Wild, Hyrule has undergone some pretty remarkable changes. Nintendo has made several modifications to pre existing locations within the game while introducing new content. Among these changes, the Sky Islands stand out prominently in the sky.
Unfortunately, there is no explicit connection or reference to Skyloft or the world featured in Skyward Sword. In my opinion, Nintendo missed an opportunity to evoke nostalgia and pay homage to the origins of Hyrule, which would have been a perfect way to reminisce about its roots.
Link’s newfound abilities
The first several hours of Tears of the Kingdom introduce you to Link’s newfound abilities— Fuse, Ultrahand, Ascend, and Recall. These are significantly different from the Sheikah powers in Breath of the Wild. For instance, Fuse empowers you with the ability to merge an arrow with a monster’s eye, yielding a homing arrow that tracks moving targets with precision.
In addition to the Fuse ability, Link now possesses the Ultrahand, my favourite new ability. It allows you to combine items to make useful things that will aid you on your journey such as a makeshift raft. Within seconds, you can make things such as a makeshift raft simply by combining logs together and attaching a fan to your raft to journey across water and beyond.
Next, Ascend serves as a specialized movement skill that allows you to travel through solid objects such as rocks and walls. However, it does have its limitations, as it only functions in an upward direction and necessitates proximity to a ceiling. This ability proves advantageous when exploring caverns or lower-level chambers, facilitating ascents to mountain peaks or towers. Once elevated, the glider can be employed to traverse to other areas.
Finally, Recall is yet another ability that is relatively straightforward to grasp. It serves as a skill for rewinding time, enabling you to restore items to their original positions. Recall is particularly valuable when retrieving fallen or misplaced objects. With Recall, you can swiftly and effortlessly resolve any issues, allowing you to maintain your focus on exploring the game’s world and solving its puzzles.
Satisfying combat experience
The combat experience in Tears of the Kingdom proves to be just as satisfying as it was in Breath of the Wild. Numerous familiar mechanics make a return, and the introduction of Link’s new abilities further enhances the combat dynamics, adding an extra layer of enjoyment.
Additionally, you’ll encounter negative status effects such as gloom, a debilitating condition that drains Link’s maximum health and diminishes his heart containers. As the gloom accumulates, your overall health capacity gradually diminishes. Fortunately, the expansive lands of Hyrule are home to newly discovered flora, including the Sundelion plant.
These precious plants possess the ability to replenish depleted health and can also be incorporated into various recipes, offering a means to restore vitality and combat the adverse effects of gloom.
The Zonai take centre stage with an overarching narrative
Across the expansive stretches of Hyrule and the skies above, the Zonai take centre stage with an overarching narrative. Scattered throughout the world, you encounter Zonai charges and batteries, crucial components that power an array of Zonai devices such as fans, rockets, and more.
Additionally, during your journey, you cross paths with formidable Zonai Constructs and Zonai Soldiers. They are ready to engage Link on sight, and get their strength by the very Zonai charges they protect. Furthermore, you’ll come across Zonai Device Dispensers, which eagerly dispense single-use tools such as fans, pots, balloons, and various other items.
Although the shrines in Tears of the Kingdom do not reach the same extraordinary heights as those in Breath of the Wild, the inclusion of Zonai Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom brings a fresh dynamic to the game. However, even though these shrines include mini-puzzles that cleverly utilize Link’s new abilities, I couldn’t help but feel that they didn’t leave the same lasting impact as the shrines did in Breath of the Wild.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is one of the finest installments in the series
I’ve spent countless hours exploring Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and I still feel I have a lot to fully explore. Right from the beginning, you feel a strong sense of independence, as you embark on your journey. And, you really get a feel that the resurgence of Ganondorf has significantly transformed the landscape of Hyrule.
While Hyrule still retains a sense of familiarity, it now holds new mysteries and areas to be revisited and rediscovered. One aspect that I particularly like about Tears of the Kingdom is its clever design. The game skillfully guides you on your adventure without explicitly telling you where to go or what to do.
The introduction of a remarkable set of new abilities for Link provides an incredibly empowering and freeing experience. Undoubtedly, Tears of the Kingdom is one of the finest installments in the series and is a must have for Zelda fans and Nintendo Switch owners.
+ Strong sense of freedom and independence
+ Amazing amount of content in both the main story and side quests
+ Link’s new abilities enhances combat dynamics, adding an extra layer of enjoyment
+ Incredible draw distance that allows you to see landmarks from faraway
– Occasional framerate drops below 30fps
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TEARS OF THE KINGDOM
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5
Overall Rating 4.6/5 (92%)
Purchase The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Nintendo Switch
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Thanks for the great spoiler free review Jon. I’m really looking forward to playing it and trying the new abilities.