egend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is, in fact, the sequel to the mega-acclaimed title Breath of the Wild. With greater than 30 million downloads and a number of awards to its title, it’s frequently hailed as probably the greatest video video games of all time.
No strain, then. However does the Tears of the Kingdom match up? As you may inform from the star ranking: sure.
We begin the motion someday after the climactic occasions of the earlier recreation. Zelda and Hyperlink, now reunited, reside a lifetime of peace and getting all the way down to the enterprise of ruling a kingdom.
Besides, Zelda decides to research the catacombs beneath Hyrule Fortress and unwittingly awakens an evil deity trapped in its depths. One supernatural explosion later, Hyperlink is lacking each the Grasp Sword and his proper arm, and Zelda has been sucked into the depths of the chasm that has opened beneath them each.
Hyperlink, for his half, awakens on a magical floating island within the sky, with a brand new robotic arm grafted on to his physique and a brand new mission: discover Zelda (once more), wherever it’s she’s vanished to. And so begins the brand new recreation.
With nice energy…
As we already know, our pint-sized hero acquires a complete vary of powers throughout the coaching wheels degree (not one of the ones from Breath of the Wild carry over), However listening to about them and attending to play with them is a completely completely different kettle of fish.
There’s Ultrahand, which principally acts as telekinesis, besides with the power to stay gadgets collectively once they contact (it’s this that means that you can construct huge, elaborate constructions out of slabs of rock and wooden). There’s Recall, which lets Hyperlink reverse time on gadgets in transit, whether or not that’s a falling boulder or a shot arrow.
There’s Fuse, which, in fact, permits Hyperlink to fuse gadgets collectively — which largely manifests as sticking new gadgets on to his protect, sword and arrows to create all method of strange combos. Boulder protect, anyone? Or how a few bomb-flower arrow — or, certainly, a Stalkoblin-arm sword?
What’s fantastic is how integral these skills really feel to the sport. A lot as I cherished Breath of the Wild, I rarely used Hyperlink’s Distant Bombs or Stasis skills; they felt fiddly and sometimes weren’t helpful.
These ones, alternatively, are enjoyable. Wish to take down a stone-throwing massive boss? Reverse time on his boulders and allow them to hit him as a substitute. Ascend, in the meantime, makes travelling up mountains and getting out of sticky conditions a complete lot simpler. In the meantime, Fuse massively will increase weapon sturdiness, which is a godsend after Breath of the Wild (although weirdly, you may’t fuse gadgets to bows. These nonetheless break fairly darn fast).
What this implies is that Tears of the Kingdom usually really feel like a child’s sandbox — much more so than Breath of the Wild.
There are an infinite variety of methods to resolve an issue right here, or get from A to B, or to take down an enemy earlier than looting their corpses for horns you may persist with your new Zora spear. It makes for a joyful taking part in expertise, the place the one limits are your creativeness.
One especial spotlight right here is, in fact, the transport choices, that are a mixture of puzzle fixing and creativeness. Utilizing Ultrahand, Hyperlink could make use of random gadgets mendacity world wide to create gadgets straight out of your creativeness.
Wish to construct a tank? You possibly can. A flying plane? Additionally no massive deal. There are rockets, ziplines — it’s giddy enjoyable, and because the recreation progresses you get entry to an increasing number of stuff, once more unlocking new choices.
Head Ganon accepted
Whereas Breath of the Wild launched the Sheikah race — a technologically superior civilisation who dominated earlier than the Hylians — Tears of the Kingdom is all in regards to the Zonai, the inhabitants of the floating islands.
These guys principally take the place of the Sheikah: because of The Upheaval (the aforementioned supernatural explosion), quite a lot of Zonai rubble has fallen to Hyrule, together with the brand new shrines, which at the moment are Zonai reasonably than Sheikah-inspired.
The top end result is similar. Hyperlink will get a bauble upon completion, which he can commerce in for brand spanking new hearts or stamina wheel chunks. However heads-up, Zelda purists: these mini-dungeons (or those who I encountered, no less than) are most positively not any tougher, or way more diverse, than their Breath of the Wild predecessors.
Unravelling the thriller of the Zonai (and their mysterious king, Rauru, who items Hyperlink his robotic arm) is among the central quests in Tears of the Kingdom — alongside the hunt to search out Zelda, in fact, which, I’ll be trustworthy, isn’t essentially the most thrilling a part of the sport. Although Zelda has a tad extra company in Tears of the Kingdom, the ‘discover the princess’ quest feels a bit outdated at this level. Certainly it’s time for one thing new?
No less than Hyperlink has extra locations to search for Zelda this time, which brings us on to the opposite most fun growth within the recreation: the map.
Taking world-building to the acute
The opening degree of Tears of the Kingdom is so giddyingly thrilling — an island! Within the sky! — that after we return to Hyrule, it may possibly really feel like a little bit of disappointment. Again right here, once more?
Fear not. This Hyrule is a pleasant mix of latest and outdated. Over the course of the sport, Hyperlink will journey again to acquainted locations from the earlier recreation — the land of the Zora, or Kakariko Village, for example. However whereas these locations look a lot the identical (and we meet loads of Hyperlink’s outdated buddies over the course of the sport), the panorama round them has modified dramatically.
The Upheaval has prompted a cataclysm the place open chasms lurk simply out of sight, crammed with nasties; the Zora are drowning in black sludge and volcanoes crammed with explosive fireplace chu-chus await. Even worse, a supernatural crimson mist pervades the air, corrupting each weapon it touches — therefore the necessity to reinforce them with Fuse.
As a substitute of Sheikah Towers, what we’ve got as a substitute are the way more thrilling Sky Viewing Towers, constructed by the mad scientist Purah. These, once more, really feel like a pure evolution of what got here earlier than: these towers shoot Hyperlink miles into the sky, which lets him ‘scan’ the realm so as to add to his map.
Extra excitingly, it opens up a complete new world of potentialities: getting Hyperlink excessive sufficient to discover the sky islands dotted above Hyrule. Clustered in separate ‘archipelagos’ — one per every part of the map — these islands provide a wealth of latest challenges for the Zelda fan.
Getting from one island to the opposite requires a good quantity of puzzle-solving, however the rewards are immense: new weaponry, new Zonaite know-how that Hyperlink can use to energy his contraptions (followers, for example, that may be caught to floating gadgets) and crystals from which he can extract power. It looks like a complete different world, stacked on high of the primary — a stupendous achievement, by anybody’s requirements.
Discover your preventing type
As could be evident from the trailers, the artwork type in Tears of the Kingdom isn’t too completely different from Breath of the Wild — and that goes for the gameplay, too. Hyperlink nonetheless runs, jumps and climbs like he used to; except for a number of superficial modifications, his stock and powers are laid out just about the identical manner.
That is nice, no less than in my ebook: it means you may skip the boring little bit of getting accustomed to the gameplay and dive proper in.
The one change is in the way in which fight is laid out — now, Hyperlink can simply parry assaults together with his protect and return fireplace with a ‘flurry’ of blows (one thing it took me a very long time to find in Breath of the Wild). That is excellent for attacking the brand new and improved vary of monsters he’ll be preventing in opposition to.
Reminiscent of? Nicely, there are the outdated favourites, such because the Bokoblins, the hulking Hinox or the serpentine Lizalfos — however even these guys have modified the way in which they function (although there are nonetheless mini-fortresses to storm, in fact). Nowadays, Bokoblins have a tendency to maneuver in packs with a hulking Hinox-like chief, making taking them down fairly a problem. There are all method of Keese, whose elements could be harvested to enhance your arrows, and chu-chus of all sizes and shapes.
Nonetheless, this time round there are additionally new Zonai enemies (equivalent to Soldier Constructs) to combat; Zonai bosses that require Hyperlink’s new powers to defeat; and flying enemies such because the Aerocuda: basically large flying dragons which have a penchant for dropping explosives in your head.
There’s a lot to say about this recreation — and I’m positive pages upon pages of phrases will likely be devoted to it within the weeks to return.
Nonetheless, the essential factor is that this: Nintendo have clearly cracked the system right here. Sure, the gameplay and world are each acquainted at this level. However there’s nonetheless loads to please right here, and many that’s been improved upon. Nintendo have managed to make the outdated really feel new once more: by any customary, it’s a triumph.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will likely be out there on Nintendo Swap from Could 12