The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom review

Hyrule is back!

Source: Nintendo

Source: Nintendo

May 12, 2023 was a day of celebration for Zelda fans with the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of  the Kingdom––a game that has been six years in the making. 

The highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild (BOTW) delivers in almost all aspects: gameplay, graphics and story. The new edition is an open world exploration game just like its predecessor but features a far more expansive environment with a brand new underground area and additional sky islands in the overworld. In comparison to BOTW, Tears of the Kingdom, the new game, also has an improved storyline. While the original just threw players into the game with little plot, the newest release incorporates a prologue, allowing for more emphasis on the plot and narrative. 

The game also focuses on a new race of people, the Zonai, who aid the player in their main objective–– finding Princess Zelda–– using their creations. According to lore, the Zonai lived in the sky islands above Hyrule a long time ago, leaving behind their constructs and Zonai devices. In addition to new characters, the game gives some fan favorites new updates. Tears of the Kingdom introduces some new powers for Link (the main/playable character) including teleporting through ceilings, merging weapons with materials, and even reversing time, which adds a new level of intrigue. 

One unique new feature in the game are Zonai devices. These devices allow players to build a wide variety of contraptions from boats to cars to even bomber planes with different found objects. As Centennial English teacher Corey O’Brien points out, the recent addition lets the player “manipulate the world in a Minecraft kind of way,” letting them get creative and build whatever they can think of.

While Tears of the Kingdom does feature many positive additions, there is one key issue. The new game glazes over basic gameplay concepts very quickly, which may alienate  new Zelda players. “Things you learned in the previous game are so quickly glanced over,” O’Brien points out, “I can’t imagine someone just jumping in [without first playing BOTW].”

While the game does feel more geared towards veteran Zelda fans and features a few tutorial issues, overall, Tears of the Kingdom feels quite complete. If you can get past the initial struggle of learning the game’s movement basics, then you have a wide and expansive game ahead of you. O’Brien puts it best: “There’s always something I come across where I’m like, ‘this is so cool! The graphics, the challenges!’”


For more breaking news and photos, follow The Wingspan on Instagram and Twitter @CHSWingspan