The Legend of Zelda franchise has captivated gamers since the late 1980s with its enchanting worlds, compelling narratives, and unforgettable characters. Tears of the Kingdom, the latest installment in the series, takes players on an awe-inspiring adventure. Developed by Nintendo for the Switch, this game weaves a tale of mystery, courage, and destiny. It is a delightful experience for any gamer.
Here’s why the Breath of the Wild sequel is a must-buy game for any Zelda enthusiast.
Warning! Major spoilers ahead!
Breathtaking Visuals and Immersive Environments
It’s no secret that exploration is a major joy in Breath of the Wild. That mountain over there? Explore it and you may find something rare. That pond with a mysterious number of rocks scattered around? It may hold secret armor and items. In recent years, developers have rushed to build vast but empty playgrounds in their games. Tears of the Kingdom beats this trend by building and expanding on Breath of the Wild’s approach to world-building. The wonder and joy from the previous game persists yet the world has moved on. Characters are developed and question their purpose in life. The world feels alive when you revisit old landmarks like the Shrine of Resurrection to find a Yiga Clan hideout or the cultural tug-of-war at Hateno Village.
The attention to detail is exceptional, and every corner of the game has intricate designs and breathtaking landscapes. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Tarrey Town or venturing into the mysterious depths of ancient ruins, the world in this game is remarkable.
Vast and Dynamic Open World
Tears of the Kingdom boasts a sprawling open world that begs to be explored. From the sun-drenched plains to the eerie swamps, the game offers diverse landscapes, each teeming with secrets and hidden treasures. Players can embark on side quests, discover ancient ruins, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the world around them. The game has day-to-night cycles and changing weather patterns, adding a layer of realism and player immersion.
Players have three distinct types of areas to explore in the game. The Sky Islands high in the clouds are where players discover information about the remnants of an ancient civilization. On the Surface world, Link encounters new monsters, old allies, and ever-changing cultures during his travels.
The last environment type is the underground world known as The Depths. It’s one of the best-kept secrets of the game and an absolute joy to explore. The Depths are filled with dangers, darkness, and secrets for players to discover. It might be one of the most shocking discoveries for gamers who were expecting to only explore Hyrule and the skies.
Rich Sound Design and Memorable Music
The Legend of Zelda series is known for its iconic music. Tears of the Kingdom continues this tradition with a masterful score. The music effortlessly transitions between soft, melodic tunes to epic, heart-pounding melodies. The music perfectly complements the game’s atmosphere and heightens the emotional impact of key moments. The sound design is equally impressive, with ambient sounds and creature noises breathing life into the game. The audio experience in Tears of the Kingdom is a testament to the meticulous attention to detail that Nintendo has poured into every aspect of the game. The music for each region and town enthralls the player with a sense of peace. When danger approaches, your heart rate elevates, preparing you for battle.
Innovative Gameplay Mechanics
While Tears of the Kingdom follows the beloved Zelda formula, it introduces several innovative gameplay mechanics that breathe new life into the franchise. For example, players can forge weapons by combining them with materials around them. Whether you enjoy the weapon system or not, Tears of the Kingdom does a better job of making weapons feel more valuable than BotW through the simple addition process. Turn any heavy stick into a valuable spear by combining it with a powerful monster part. Take that ancient blade and give it the power of fire with a ruby. One of the biggest criticisms of Breath of the Wild is the vast number of materials sitting in your inventory. This time, players can use almost everything in their inventory for battle.
And Nintendo didn’t stop there.
Players can now create vehicles and machines of war, allowing Link to tap into ancient technology. It’s a hilarious addition. If you don’t want to partake or if this portion doesn’t “feel” like Zelda, you can avoid this aspect entirely. Nothing stops you from playing the game the way you want, allowing anyone to try out new things.
Is the Tears of the Kingdom Cost Justifiable?
For many, the $69.99 price point feels ridiculous when the sequel was returning to the same world. The cries of outrage are palpable as players lament their disapproval of paying $70 to replay Breath of the Wild. Hopefully, by now, you realize how wrong that sentiment is. Tears of the Kingdom is every bit its own game. While it builds on the things that BotW did well, TotK is a masterpiece.
I’ve played 65 hours of the game and have yet to defeat more than one “dungeon.” The game has so much to do. In a world of half-baked products and early-access betas, Tears of the Kingdom will bring you weeks and months of enjoyment.
This game is a testament to the enduring magic of the Zelda franchise. With its breathtaking visuals, immersive environments, compelling storyline, and innovative features, everyone should have a reason to play.
It should also be worth noting the game does have a collector’s edition.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Collector’s Edition is $129.99, and it might be worth it. The Collector’s edition includes the base game, a SteelBook game case, an ICONART poster, a four-piece pin set, and a 204-page, hard-cover art book.