The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom overview: A hovering achievement

How do you observe a recreation like Breath of the Wild? We have waited years to search out out Nintendo’s reply to that key query and now Tears of the Kingdom, a direct sequel, is lastly upon us.

Increasing upon the final recreation’s already extraordinary scope, the reply is a surprising success. This can be a recreation of huge freedom and fixed invention that feels each bit as important as its predecessor.


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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Editor’s Selection

Tears of the Kingdom is a ridiculous triumph, providing a collection of instruments that can regularly shock and baffle you with how a lot management it cedes. Hyrule is busier than ever, even earlier than you contemplate a sky filled with intrigue and the darkish and yawning chasms beneath. The definition of a must-play on Swap, it additionally pushes Nintendo’s {hardware} to astonishing new heights technically.


  • Astonishing roster of talents
  • Vastly partaking world
  • Hovering soundtrack
  • Visually splendid
  • Merely large quantities to see and do

  • Some could discover it too much like Breath of the Wild

Direct sequels aren’t too frequent a factor within the timeline of The Legend of Zelda, however after they do occur you are likely to get one thing pretty memorable – consider Majora’s Masks, for instance, and its noticeably creepier tone in comparison with Ocarina of Time.

There’s maybe much less of a soar between Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom, although – this is not a brand new, skewed have a look at the identical panorama, a lot as it’s a re-exploration of it.

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We decide up a while after the Calamity of the primary recreation has been defeated, with Zelda and Hyperlink exploring a cave beneath Hyrule Fortress earlier than discovering a creepy mummified corpse that twitches into life and explodes with malice.

Hyperlink is blasted into the sky together with large chunks of Hyrule, Zelda is zapped away within the blink of a watch, and Hyperlink awakens not with amnesia this time, however equally stripped of his energy.

The place Breath of the Wild noticed you piecing collectively Hyperlink’s absent recollections whereas gathering allies, Tears of the Kingdom as an alternative has you determining what’s occurred to Zelda by discovering snippets of a now-ancient previous – nonetheless whereas gathering allies.

That is certainly one of some ways by which the sport closely mirrors its predecessor, to the purpose the place you possibly can nearly really feel as if Tears of the Kingdom is a flawless, triple-A execution of the kind of large fan expansions which have graced video games like Skyrim prior to now.

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It takes what was good about Breath of the Wild and successfully simply expands on it, completely happy to re-use parts that do not want a lot enchancment, however with a lot added into the combination the place refinement was welcome.

A living proof sees Hyrule grow to be a much more bustling place, with extra NPCs making their means by way of it and extra aspect quests than ever earlier than. This can be a kingdom underneath siege, quite than one which’s been ripped aside, so it is rather more alive than in Breath of the Wild.

Meaning among the final recreation’s totemic solitude is traded away, which is amplified by the presence of spectral companions that you’re going to accumulate within the recreation’s first half. This is not a internet loss, although – it is only a distinction, certainly one of some ways by which we’ve a sense that these two Swap Zelda video games will stand shoulder-to-shoulder in many individuals’s minds.

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We’re extraordinarily reluctant to say rather more about Tears of the Kingdom’s storytelling, although – it is textbook Zelda, proper right down to an inescapable melancholy, and as soon as once more an actual pleasure to uncover piece by piece.

Technical triumph

There isn’t any disguising or debating that the Swap is now lengthy within the tooth, with the Swap OLED’s beautiful upgraded show doing nothing to alter the internals behind it.

It feels one thing like a miracle, then, to play Tears of the Kingdom on it – to see an open world this detailed, but additionally with such a way of scale.

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The place Breath of the Wild had you largely shifting round on horseback and paragliding off taller bits of the panorama, Tears of the Kingdom takes that nascent verticality and ramps it as much as the acute.

Now you can begin at some extent wildly excessive within the clouds, exploring an historical ruined sky island for some assets or a uncommon merchandise, then swan dive off it and skydive all the best way right down to Hyrule’s floor lots of of metres beneath. In case you’re cautious, you possibly can purpose for certainly one of many gaping chasms within the floor and truly punch by way of, falling even additional right into a yawning underworld – darkish and filled with risks and nearly as massive because the floor world once more. All of this, from the sky’s prime to the darkest depth, with no loading display or a hitch of any kind.

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Wherever you cease alongside the best way, you will discover lush grass, looming structure and geology, enemy encampments and hidden secrets and techniques, all superbly designed and with sufficient element to impress.

All this runs about as easily as Breath of the Wild did – so there are occasional body charge drops and slowdowns, however given the world is much extra busy and vibrant than the final recreation, to match its efficiency whereas upping its density is an excellent outcome.

Lighting and environments are staggeringly good the vast majority of the time, character fashions are all so impressively quirky, and excessive of all of it soars a merely magnificent soundtrack.

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Figuring out when to fade into the background and when to accent a sight with an additional tint of magic, its melodies are highly effective and delicate in equal measure.

Invention is the secret

If Tears of the Kingdom polishes Breath of the Wild’s presentation and remasters its storytelling, its gameplay methods are maybe the place the largest upgrades have been applied.

To cowl off what hasn’t modified, fight is essentially as you keep in mind it, with a reasonably easy however satisfying system of dodges and parries that may be chained satisfyingly or ignored in favour of simply gobbling meals to heal each time an enemy smacks you. Weapons nonetheless degrade a break, too, making for a constantly-revolving roster of choices to be snaffled up when the chance arises.

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Hyperlink additionally nonetheless collects new armour as the sport goes on, with passive results that’ll aid you take care of areas of maximum warmth or chilly, swim quicker, climb higher or skydive extra freely, however meals and elixirs can simply be crafted to assist with all these results, too.

You may slowly discover Hyrule, pulling at threads to search out allies from among the world’s essential tribes and gaining new powers as you accomplish that, making navigation and exploration progressively faster and simpler as you get extra instruments.

If that feels acquainted to a fault, although, do not get us unsuitable. Enjoying its first 10 hours or so, not to mention the remainder of the sport, feels a bit like enjoying an interactive gameshow of Nintendo’s personal design, all centred round a repeating query – “What if Breath of the Wild had allow you to do this?”

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What if, for instance, as an alternative of letting you freeze an merchandise in time, the sport allow you to rewind time for that merchandise fully? Or, say, what if its fast-travel towers, as an alternative of simply being excessive factors to base soar from, had been truly large cannons that fired you up into the stratosphere?

What if the large underworld that is been added was pitch black, forcing gamers to drop mild sources and decide their means by way of it or grow to be utterly misplaced in its darkness? What for those who had a single energy that would fuse any unfastened loot merchandise onto weapons, shields and arrows, each giving a unique increase or impact?

Now let’s get actually loopy – what for those who might decide up and be a part of collectively a raft of in-game buildings and gadgets to create steerable automobiles throughout land, sea and air, powered by a conveyable recharging battery pack you possibly can improve?

Much less bold designers might simply assemble complete video games round any certainly one of these parts, however Nintendo simply caught the whole thing in right here, simply to see what gamers do with it. Whereas, in your first few hours, the solutions will largely be within the realm of “Why, I would use that energy to construct the worst raft anybody’s ever seen, after all”, in time you will begin piecing collectively janky little masterpieces.

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You may start to see alternatives for rewinds everywhere, sending projectiles again at enemies; you will graft boulders onto any and each weapon to create large wrecking balls; you will barely keep in mind what your horse appears like since you’re too busy wingsuiting in all places you possibly can at most pace.

With problem shrines as soon as once more littering the world, every providing a discrete and satisfying puzzle that can typically train you a brand new means to make use of a given energy, the quantity of participant freedom these methods come collectively to create is simply staggering.

Once we completed Elden Ring, we rightly had the sense that numerous recreation worlds had been going to disappoint us tonally within the subsequent few years by comparability. Ending Tears of the Kingdom yields us that very same peerless feeling of apprehension – video games with this a lot polish simply do not allow you to do this a lot fairly often, sadly.


Tears of the Kingdom seems like one thing of a crowning glory for the Swap – a testomony to its endurance and an indication as highly effective as any earlier than it that Nintendo is aware of how one can craft really nice video games. It does not want a {hardware} improve to ship enhancements, and it does not must ship a brand new console till it is rattling effectively prepared, as a result of it may well craft one thing as great as this on {hardware} as outdated as you want.

When you’ve got a Swap, this can be a must-play by any measure, however when you’ve got fond recollections of Breath of the Wild then it is much more important, and we truthfully can’t wait to see what myriad secrets and techniques we’ve not but discovered, and what really insane feats gamers will obtain with the numerous methods it generously gives up within the years to come back.