Tears of joy
Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom brings you back to Hyrule's open world but with plenty more twists
published : 24 May 2023 at 05:00
newspaper section: Life
writer: Komsan John Jandamit
An initial glance at the graphics and game world of Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, on the Nintendo Switch, would make anyone think it's just an expensive DLC (downloadable content).
But after 15 minutes of gameplay, you'll be happy to find that this game is different from Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
Apart from the graphics, how the game looks, core combat manoeuvres, general game map and the main protagonists go way beyond its predecessor by ditching most of the first game's core abilities (IE: Cryonis, Magnesis, Remote Bomb, Stasis) and gives you new options to solve myriad puzzles and traverse the game to complete the story.
The story of this game continues a few years after where Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (aka BOTW) left off, in which Link (the main protagonist) helped Princess Zelda out of a deadlock with the big bad boss. In this game, the duo go on an expedition to investigate a strange phenomenon occurring underneath Princess Zelda's castle.
And, of course, something has gone totally haywire in a world that's changed. Zelda has gone missing, and Link has lost all his previous abilities and powers (and an arm too). Basically, you have to find the princess and stop all hell breaking loose.
The game's world has three layers, ground, above the cloud and deep underground level, expanding the game size threefold from its prequel. If you find BOTW too big, you will have a heart attack playing this game.
Fortunately, there are an absurd number of things for you to discover, collect, talk to and interact with at every corner. Plenty of enemies will rush you, use flank attacks to distract you, and throw stones or shoot arrows at you. The AI in this game is absurdly clever (or maybe I'm just stupid). Apart from monsters, you will be seeing like-minded travellers who may need your help along the way, not to mention hundreds of caves that you may come across that usually contain useful minerals, and monsters of course. Even though the world in this game is vast, you will not get bored due to so many things being thrown at you all at once. You may even forget your main quest, which is to find the princess and help your old friends from the previous game, due to the sheer number of things bombarding you along the way.
You will be controlling Link, the game's renowned swordsman, around the vast world whacking monsters with breakable weapons (but littered aplenty), using psychic power to move objects and combining items with weapons to create your own, helping the townsfolk, and saving the princess in the end.
Notably, Link's new telekinesis ability, called the Ultrahand, lets him pick up, move and rotate objects, and even attach things together to create bridges and vehicles. This allows you to basically do incredible things that, I suppose, allow you to break the game in various ways. For instance, you can create a kilometre-long bridge to let you go across islands or create your own war robot to cause havoc on the battlefield. Many crazy war robots have been made by players around the world and many are totally hilarious. Try searching YouTube for "tears of the kingdom crazy build" and you'll see what I mean. I could say this wild combining feature differentiates the game from any other, in a good way.
In this sequel, you'll be talking and interacting with many more NPCs (non-playable characters) compared to the first game. In BOTW, if I remember correctly, you interact with only about two dozen in-game people, while in this game, that figure would be 100s of times more, making this game much livelier and a lot less barren. There are plenty of people and animals in this world and many of them have quests for you to do and things to add to the story.
The game is hard, and enemies have no qualms about killing you in a couple of hits. Moreover, all the weapons in this world are weak if you use them as they come. You are supposed to use the new fusing ability to make weapons with items littered across the map to make them somewhat more usable. For instance, you can attach horns to hammers to double their effectiveness. Yes, all the weapons break after a few fights, but more can be found literally a few feet away, and many are dropped from previous enemies you just fought. So unlike in BOTW where weapons are hard to come by, this game gives you plenty for you to play around with and fuse to your heart's content.
The game is huge. If you want to do all the quests and find all the secrets and hidden paths, it will take months, years even. But some people finished the game in less than 90 minutes. This game is a large sandbox that lets you play around endlessly or run straight to the ending and get it over with if you desire. The estimated time for me to finish the game, without finding every nook and cranny, was around 60 hours.
Even though Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom does not look better than BOTW, both can easily still be considered two of the best-looking games on this platform. I would still rank Monster Hunter Rise a little better looking, but considering map sizes, these two Zelda games are much larger.
If you own a Nintendo Switch, this is a must-have due to the game's creativity, gameplay, graphics and playtime. It is worth every baht you spend.
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Genre: Adventure, Action, RPG
- In-game language: English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Japanese
- Number of players: 1
- Price: 2,090 baht
- tears of the kingdom