In a nutshell: A masterpiece. Although it shares some similarities with its heralded predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is in fact a far superior, refined experience, and is chock-full of fresh ideas.
Developed and Published by: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Price: About $80
After six long years of waiting, the highly-anticipated sequel to the 2017 award-winning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has finally been released, instantly smashing previous sales records with 10 million copies sold in the first three days.
The aforementioned predecessor left big shoes to fill, achieving over 260 “Game of the Year” awards, and Tears of the Kingdom soars far beyond any and all expectations.
Developed again by Nintendo for the Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED, the game is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Picking up about three years after the events of the first game, the story follows the player-controlled protagonist, Link, in his adventures across the land of Hyrule (once again depicted in all its glory), trying to stop the evil Ganondorf and save the princess Zelda from her tragic, self-imposed fate.
Depth of gameplay
From the highest and frostiest peak to the hottest, sandiest desert, there are caves, jungles, tundra and everything in between to explore, every environment crawling with new and old enemies, including some nostalgic comebacks from villains last seen decades ago, now rendered in surprisingly high quality, for such an old console as the Nintendo Switch.
The map is now nearly three times as big, featuring the vast cavern system of The Depths, as well as the beautiful and golden Sky Islands, both full of new creepy-crawlies to fight, weapons and armour to collect, and secrets to discover.
To go along with its colourful baddies, the range of weaponry has also expanded, and the new gimmick of fusing allows near-infinite customisation and creativity as to what you choose to use in bringing down whatever foe might be foolish enough to challenge you.
In fact, this customisation is the main selling point of Tears of the Kingdom, with Link’s new Ultrahand granting a myriad of fresh and powerful new abilities.
With its absolutely stunning physics engine, players are limited only by their own mind, being able to create just about anything from a functional forklift to a heat-seeking, laser-firing, rocket-propelled drone to do your dirty work for you.
Outside of constructing your own weapon of mass destruction, the solo combat between Link and enemies has been polished to perfection from the last game, and a variety of dodges, bullet-time sequences and lightning-fast flurries are all at the disposal of any skilled warrior who might pull them off, and once perfected, never lets fighting even the lowest bokoblin get boring.
Just like its prequel, Tears of the Kingdom is chock-full of sidequests and and replayability, with updates and polishings to almost every aspect of the previous game, allowing it to not just exist as a glorified piece of extra downloadable content for Breath of the Wild as many suspected it might be, but an entirely new game in its own right, presenting its own unique – and far superior – gaming experience.
Visit one of Springfield’s great local retailers to purchase a copy or simply download the game directly on your Nintendo Switch via the Nintendo eShop.