The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom EXPlay

Welcome to EXPlay, (Explain & Play) the review series where we care not for scores but tell it how it is when it comes to every game we get our hands on, whilst also taking the time to include some lengthy gameplay, to give you the reader, the chance to shape your own impressions and views whilst watching and reading.

In this explanatory review, we’re covering The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom by developer Nintendo:

The Legend of Zelda - Tears of the Kingdom EXPlay

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (The Explanation)

It has been six long years since one of the biggest The Legend of Zelda games took the world by storm. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild broke new ground in the series with its “open air” gameplay and a freedom that allowed players to go anywhere and do anything in the name of exploration and adventure. The game was critically acclaimed and won several Game of the Year Awards from different awards ceremonies. In 2019, a sequel to Breath of the Wild was announced at E3 but it wasn’t until 2022 when we would eventually learn that the title of the game would be The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

In between waiting for the highly anticipated release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we did get a spin-off game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. It took place 100 years before the main story events of Breath of the Wild but is not exactly canon to the story as a lot of time travelling and time altering changes events that would never have come to pass in BOTW. That said, we finally have a true continuation to Breath of the Wild in Tears of the Kingdom and we can’t get in-depth with it.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the wild and as such, it only takes place some years on from the events that happened in the previous game. Link and Princess Zelda are investigating some ancient ruins deep underneath Hyrule Castle when they stumble across a mummified corpse. All of a sudden, the corpse is reanimated and starts coming towards the Link and Zelda.

Link tries to fend off the mummy but its malice destroys the Master Sword and severely harms Link. Zelda and Link then fall into a chasm and are separated. When Link awakens, he finds himself on an island in the sky above Hyrule and his damaged arm has been replaced with that of another that can grant Link special abilities. He has then find his way back to terra firma and save Zelda once again.

For the most part, gameplay and the Menu interface is very much like that of the first game. Weapons can still break, and Link can wear an assortment of different outfits, including his iconic tunics from previous entries in the Zelda series (providing you have the appropriate amiibo that is). New mechanics that were not in Breath of the Wild include Fusing, Ultra Hand, Ascension, and Recall. These new mechanics allow Link to traverse Hyrule, the Sky Islands and the depths in a whole new multitude of ways. Fusing allows Link to fuse materials to his weapons, shields, and arrows to make them stronger and grant them new affects.

Ultra Hand permits Link to join objects together like wooden platforms, wheels, stone slabs and boulders together to create vehicles. The Zonai devices that can be found around Hyrule can also add special effects like fans, water hydrants, flame, emitters, laser cannons and a control device to actually take control of your creations. The sky’s the limit of what you can create as long as you have enough battery power to keep it functioning. You can acquire more batteries throughout the game so while you may be limited to what you can do in the beginning, give it some time and you will be able to make incredibly sophisticated machines capable of razing enemy encampments to the ground.

Ascension and Recall are less about creating new objects and more about general traversal. Ascension gives link the power to ascend through hard ceilings and come out of the surface above and will work anywhere the ceiling is within reach. As for Recall, you can use this ability to send objects back to where they came from. This is good for reaching the sky islands above because you can use it on falling debris and send it back to where it came from.

Much like Breath of the Wild, players are free to travel Hyrule however they wish. The story of the game will generally put Link in the direction of the final showdown with the game’s main baddie Ganondorf. However, there are plenty of side quests for Link to embark on and many of these will reward players with new outfits and materials for Link to wear. This includes outfits that were available in the previous game and were originally exclusive to amiibo. amiibo still have functionality in this game and can still reward players with outfits, weapons and shields as well as a new type of item; fabrics for your paraglider.

Shrines and Korok seeds also make a return in Tears of the Kingdom (I can hear some of you groan already). Shrines are scattered all over the surface of Hyrule and the Sky Islands, as are those pesky Korok seeds that are required to increase your weapon holding capacity. Shrines still hold the same principle as in the previous game where they will task the player with a challenge for them to overcome and if they do, they will be rewarded with Light of Blessings which can be used to increase Link’s health or stamina.

The most important thing that series fans will be pleased to know is that dungeons do make a return in Tears of the Kingdom and they are themed to their respective regions where they are found. On the flip side, some dungeons are not exactly puzzle heavy or require you to find keys in order to open doors. This is probably in part that with the abilities being quite OP, you could simply go through the ceiling of one room into the one above you and skip any areas where you find difficulty.

It has been 6 years since players were wowed with Breath of the Wild and we were all wondering how Nintendo were going to top the incredible experience of that game and yet, they somehow did by recapturing the feeling that made the Breath of the Wild so great. They also did one better by making a game that allows player creativity to reach new heights.

Even if you are not the very creative sort, you can still dive into The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom with both feet and be given the best experience a video game can give you. It may make you weep but it will be tears of pure joy as you live your best life in the kingdom of Hyrule.

TLOZ Tears Of The Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (The Gameplay)

Game Specifications:

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch | Version: Digital
Category: Adventure,
Action, Puzzle, Education
No. of Players: 1 (Single System)
Release Date: EU & NA: May 12, 2023
File Size: 16.6 GB Listing

By Mike Scorpio

I am Chief Administrator for A news & reviews website for Nintendo related articles and merchandise. An intermediate gamer with over 20 years of experience spanning 4 decades and 4 generations of Nintendo Games Consoles From the NES up to the Wii U. I also manage our YouTube Channel where I post videos frequently ranging from Let's Plays, Unboxings, Let's Talk Abouts, Our Wii U Lv1 Playthrough Series and the Super Mario Maker Bros Show! and a whole lot more, we even have our own Miketendo64 Directs!

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