Breath of the Wild was my first Zelda game, I know I’m a bad person.

But still, someone has to start somewhere, and I started with one of my favourite games of all time.

The way that game turned my 1 hour and 45 minute twice daily train ride into feeling like minutes was nothing short of miraculous. Seriously, I would load it up, play what felt like a tiny bit of time, and then realise I was at my stop. That game was dangerous.  Now the question is how does Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom stack up given such a high bar?

In short, by continuing to do what BoTW did right.

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom

Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom kicks off with Link and Zelda exploring a cave with some ancient Hyrule wall art. It tells a story of a demon king, and as they explore deeper they seem to come in contact with this demon king who wakes up. Next minute, a creepy mummy has lifted a bunch of chunks of land into the sky, Zelda falls down a giant hole and Link has his hand destroyed.

This is where the game does a pretty awesome job giving BoTW vibes straight out of the gate.

Link wakes up in his undies with sod all health, sod all stamina, and ready to explore and safe Zelda on a massive floating island. A mysterious person called Rauru gives him a magic arm and essentially tells him to get some more power and so Link wanders around.

The tutorial is basically done through meeting beings in the world teaching you the basics, you find stuff naturally and it’s such a good fit for the game.

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom

The time on the floating island lets you get stuck into the initial shrines where you will gain your first few powers.

One of them reverses time which basically just moves the object you choose backwards the way it came or rotates an object the opposite way. One of them let’s you aim up and launch through an object popping out at the top of it. Another has you being able to lift objects up which is similar to a power in the first game, but now you can attach the object to other ones.

And of course the most famous is the ability to stick 2 things together, like a bow on a shield, or a rock on a sword.

This is explained the way everything in this game is explained, a quick explanation and then you experiment and play.

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom

The early puzzles on offer really let you feel smart while ensuring you have all the stuff you need to solve them.  Later on you are left to find creative ways to play in the world with your powers.  It’s just so damn good.

Another function a lot in the game is the use of mechanical part like fans.

You can throw together some giant logs with a fan on the back and you have an airboat.  I won’t touch too many more examples than that because so much of the game hinges on you finding, exploring, and having a great time.

So I just recommend you enjoy that.

After the hours you will spend on the first floaty island you will make your way back down to Hyrule.

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom

It obviously doesn’t have the same effect as BoTW when you leave the initial plateau because at that point you had no idea how big the world was going to be. This time you are returned to the same world, but it has changed so much since the first game it still captures that moment really well.

I really don’t want to spoil the game more than this.

The new powers make the game just different enough to feel new, but so true to the original game. The new story is better than the first game, the art still looks fantastic, and the exploring and world discover is as amazing as ever.

If you loved BoTW, play Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. If you haven’t then just play both. They are worth every second of your time.

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) Review
Game details

Released: May 2023
Rating: PG
Platforms reviewed: Nintendo Switch
Genre: Adventure
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo

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