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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) review: A glorious masterpiece

By Captain Grover - 28 Jun 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) review: A glorious masterpiece

The Legend of Zelda franchise has always been known for its awesome games. With its last outing on the Nintendo Switch, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, being such an outstanding title, it was hard to imagine Nintendo topping that game with an even better one. We have good news for you: the fans asked for a bigger and better sequel, and Nintendo delivered it with Tears of the Kingdom.

Like almost every Zelda game out there, Tears of the Kingdom’s story revolves around the hero, Link, fighting the evil Ganondorf to rescue the titular Princess Zelda. This incarnation of the story opens several years after Breath of the Wild, with Zelda and Link exploring the underground passages beneath Hyrule Castle as they search for a way to stop a mysterious blight known simply as “Gloom”. Their exploration soon leads them to some ancient ruins, awakening a mummified Ganondorf who was lying within. In the chaos, Zelda disappears, and it is up to Link again to save the day.

While Tears of the Kingdom sports a tale that is, for most parts, exciting and entertaining, the game’s storyline has never been the main focus of a Zelda title. The star of the show is its adventure and exploration, and this delightful game offers plenty.

Gamers who played Breath of the Wild have often marvelled at how large the game world is. In Tears of the Kingdom, Nintendo has created a vibrant and immersive world that is even larger, offering players a massive number of places that they can freely explore.

While this game sports the same art style as its prequel, its game world is more dynamic, more populated, and more alive. Expect to find yourself in a diverse range of environments, from floating islands to lush forests, as you traverse the land. Valuable resources and ingredients for cooking and crafting can also be found in the form of flora and fauna. The result is an atmospheric experience that makes exploring the map and going on adventures so delightfully addictive, that the game is hard to put down.

While Link starts his epic quest armed with little more than a humble tree branch, players will soon find themselves swinging swords and using weapons with ease. This is thanks to a very well-designed tutorial system that effectively teaches you the basics. The combat system in this game is well-balanced, maintaining a degree of moderate difficulty while giving players enough room to solve problems creatively.

Tears of the Kingdom features a few new skills that Link can use to aid his adventures as well, of which the most interesting ones are the Ultrahand and Fuse skills. Ultrahand lets players pick up, move, and rotate objects and attach them together. This handy skill lets you create almost anything you want, from bridges to vehicles, using the various items scattered across the map. This almost sandbox-style play lets players be truly creative with what they make and how they can use their new creations to interact with the game world.

The Fuse skill lets players combine weapons, shields, and arrows with other in-game items to create new combinations that may have new powers and effect, or better stats. The best part about Fuse is that you can use it to combine almost anything together, sometimes to hilarious results. For example, you can combine a stick (which is a weapon) with a piece of raw meat, or Fuse an arrow with a mushroom. A lot of the fun lies in trying out different combinations, as some of the more zany ones may prove to be surprisingly useful in combat.

All these new features are really easy to execute as well with the game’s intuitive control system. I’m especially thankful for this when trying to solve the puzzles that can be found in the many sacred shrines that dot the map in Tears of the Kingdom. Many of these puzzles are not easy to solve, and most do not have a single fixed solution. This means that players can get creative in solving them, such as by trying to move objects in different ways, or craft new ones. This new level of depth to puzzle-solving made visiting the game’s many shrines a rewarding experience each time.

While Tears of the Kingdom offers a lot of creative fun, the game sports a much darker mood and theme compared to Breath of the Wild, if the introduction of the “Gloom” blight in the opening scenes of the game is any indication. If Breath of the Wild felt like an Ocarina of Time, Tears of the Kingdom is definitely more like a Majora’s Mask.

If you have played Breath of the Wild and enjoyed the game, Tears of the Kingdom is a must-get. It is hard to exaggerate what an absolute masterpiece this game is.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is an absolute joyride, with a combat system that rewards creativity, an expansive map begging to be explored, and an atmospheric experience that immerses you fully in its hauntingly beautiful world.

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10.0
  • Graphics 9
  • Sound 9
  • Value 10
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