I talk video games a lot. But when it actually comes to playing them, the adventure genre is definitely my most played type of game. At the very top of that list is the Legend of Zelda series. I’m old enough to be able to say I’ve been a fan literally since day 1. This new installment definitely meets my expectations.
I must admit, I didn’t expect this game to be much different from Breath of the Wild. It is a direct sequel, after all. I was totally okay with it being more of the same, since they hit a home run with Breath of the Wild. I was perfectly fine getting more of that. In many ways, it isn’t very different at all. It’s the same animation style, all the same sound effects, and even the music is virtually the same, save fore some subtle differences. You’re even doing similar things such as activating towers and mastering the puzzles inside the many shrines spread throughout the map.
But that’s about where the similarities end.
There are all different magical powers to work with, the most popular of which being the ability to build things on the spot for use in the world. YouTube and TikTok are flooded with videos of people creating some very crazy, and often funny stuff.
But while building is fun, your ability to make your own weapons on the fly by combining materials to existing weapons is a blast as well. I love any game that gives you a level of customization, and that’s something we haven’t seen a lot of in this series so far. For that reason, I’m already going to have to place this game in my top 3 of the series.
My one criticism really isn’t a big deal. But since it’s so stylistically similar to Breath of the Wild, I sometimes forget I’m playing Tears of the Kingdom, and forget that there are different powers. I’ve been caught needing a guide to get through a level simply because I forgot that “ascend” was a special power, facepalming myself after wasting an hour trying to solve what would have been a simple puzzle had I not forgotten I could do that.
The new baddies are fun, as are the different was returning baddies interact with you. There are patrolling troops of different enemies roaming the landscape. There’s new flora and fauna, each with new properties to be used in cooking food and elixirs. And one of my favorite additions, there is now a “sky world” and an “underworld”, further extending the previous map both upwards and downwards. It’s seriously great.
In conclusion, I wasn’t sure they could top Breath of the Wild with a sequel, but they did. This game takes everything right about the first game, and goes bananas with it. I’m about 12 hours into the game, and it feels like I’ve merely scratched the surface of what’s possible in this masterpiece.
Cover Photo Credit: Business Wire