It’s no secret that Zelda fans have been waiting for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (TOTK), the sequel to Breath of the Wild (BOTW) to drop, after all, it won the Game of the Year award in 2017, and is considered to be one of the best Nintendo Switch games you could play. After seven long years of waiting, we finally have the game in our hands to play. Is it any good? Is it worth the wait and money? Is it better than BOTW? To answer all of those questions, I say yes!
Tears of the Kingdom starts us off under Hyrule Castle, maybe 3-ish years after the events of the last game, exploring the depths because of a substance called Gloom was making people in Hyrule ill. After a little of exploration, you as Link find murals that depict an ancient civilization called the Zonai, and how they played a major part in the creation of Hyrule.
After reading these murals and traveling the depths, you reach a mysterious room where you see a corpse attached to an arm on its chest. The corpse wakes up, starts talking directly to you, and attacks you, which leaves Link’s right arm swallowed in Gloom and the Master Sword shattered. Then the corpse lifts Hyrule Castle into the sky, which sends the corpse and Zelda plummeting down below. You try to reach out for her to no avail and you are saved by the mysterious arm..
You then wake up on an island in the sky with the arm attached to your right arm to make your arm functional again. The arm belongs to a Zonai named Rauru, and he tells you to explore the sky islands, defeat the awakened Ganondorf, and find Zelda.
The fundamental gameplay in TOTK is (surprise surprise) about the same as it was in BOTW, with major new additions. The physics, weapons, armor, food, sprint, and health bar are all the same. They did, however, throw in a lot of major gameplay mechanics to spice things up.
Ultrahand: Ultrahand is a fun new upgrade from Magnesis in the previous game, but works with any non-living objects. You can put things together, like logs and wheels, to create basically anything you can think of! I will admit, it does require a little bit of getting used to, but once you master it, you can become as creative as you mind lets you! This is easily one of the most fun gameplay mechanics in this game.
Fuse: Have you ever wished your weapons would be stronger in a game? Maybe you wanted to get creative and mix together weapons? Well now you can with the Fuse ability! You’re allowed to fuse any weapon or shield to practically everything else! And yes, you can use it on your arrows too, which gives your arrow shots special abilities and deal extra damage.
Ascend: They may have taken away the champion abilities from the last game, but don’t cry over Revali’s Gale, because Ascend can do just that, but way better! Using Ascend lets you dive straight up into any solid surface, and you emerge on top of it. Have you ever gotten stuck in a cave or room? Just use Ascend to end up on the roof!
Recall: Last but certainly not least, there is Recall. Recall lets you reverse the direction or movement of basically anything in the click of a button. It can come really handy when you are wanting to return to the sky, because you can use Recall on rocks that have just fallen from the sky to ride them back up!
There is one more ability to use, but it is optional and satisfying to find, so I won’t spoil that just yet. With your abilities you are free to explore and interact with the massive sky, surface, and depths of Hyrule at your own pace! We have only scratched the surface of what this game can offer (pun definitely intended).
Shrines and Dungeons
Shrines are back in this game, with a major design overhaul and creativity surge. Shrines in Tears of the Kingdom can be used to teleport back to places you may want to return to later, but also beating them will give you a Light of Blessing. When you have collected four of them, you can go to a statue and pray to unlock a new heart (max 40) and part of your stamina wheel (max 3). There are 152 shrines in this game to unlock, so you already have plenty to do off the bat!
When you have collected four of Light of Blessings, you can go to a statue and pray to unlock a new heart (max 40) and part of your stamina wheel (max 3). There are 152 shrines in this game to unlock, so you already have plenty to do off the bat!
A major complaint in Breath of the Wild was the lack of traditional Zelda dungeons, which were replaced by mediocre boring puzzles that all had the same design. Well, you may be happy to hear that this game has actual dungeons again, although not traditionally styled. Each dungeon has its own design theme being based on a different element and requires you to solve rather tricky puzzles about 4-6 times to unlock your way to the dungeon boss. The way that its not considered a traditional dungeon design is because its more open and not linear with keys and specific objectives. Each one is so much fun and really requires you to think hard about your next move.
Overworld Bosses and Enemies
The enemies in the overworld areas contain the same monsters from last game, but heavily evolved over the time skip, and new enemies entirely. There are also Zonai Constructs lurking in the sky for any intruders. The enemies can also team up with entirely different enemy life. For example, I have seen multiple times that an Aerocuda would carry a Bokoblin or Lizalfos to make for a deadly air-drop combo. This game is also way more challenging than BOTW, and everybody will swing at you and will not pull any punches!
There are also new overworld bosses to fight. Boss Bokoblins lurks with a group of Bokoblins and will act as the ringleader of the bunch. Lynels return and are just as challenging as they were in BOTW, so keep your reflexes sharp, as well as your sword. My favorite new overworld boss has to be the legendary Gleeoks returning from the first Zelda game, but with a massive buff. I always get scared of these giant three-headed terrors!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is easily the best game you could play on the Nintendo Switch. It has amazing and almost endless gameplay, beautiful graphics as well as a masterful environment, and a very emotional story. I highly recommend that you play it if you loved BOTW, because this game somehow makes it look like a beta version. This game took me a whole week to beat, and it is genuinely impressive how there is always something to do at all times when playing this game! My only complaint would be that there are some parts where the frame rate would get bad, but that is because of the hardware it is on; they actually did an amazing job working around the limits of the Nintendo Switch! Definitely worth the $70 price tag this time around!Continue reading