Tears of the Kingdom has been with us for a week now, and if you’ve been watching Twitter, people are doing real stunts. Don’t feel pressured to build a rocket if you don’t feel like it: if you think you’re the host of ‘Bricomania’ just by attaching a motor to a board, don’t let anyone take away your enthusiasm. The sequel to ‘Breath of the wild’ is receiving categorical deuces from the entire gaming community and, indeed, it is a tremendous game, a masterpiece, a before and after in the industry… Or maybe it’s not so bad? Let’s take a look at the 3 best (and 3 worst) things that has brought us, as everyone knows it, “the new Zelda”… And then let everyone take the side they like the most.
The new powers
Undoubtedly, it is a wonderful addition. If in ‘Breath of the wild’ it was already a masterful move to change Link’s classic instruments for different magics and powers, in ‘Tears of the Kingdom‘ it is improved to the extreme. If you have the ability to build and enough patience, your ride through Hyrule in a truck, your automatic killing machine or your jet plane will make the experience much more fun. But then again, by thinking of the game vertically instead of the horizontality of the previous installment, being able to easily climb and escape from almost anywhere is a great addition, just as much as rolling things backwards. No one thought Nintendo was going to pull it off, but they have.
Not as free as it seems
This Zelda is sold as the game where you can do whatever you want, whenever you want and however you want… And for the most part it is, but not exactly. Before going here and there you’ll have to go through several gofer quests, assorted tutorials or, even worse, the impossibility of taking down some monsters with ideas of your own: even if you have a wit to take down some of them, the game forces you to do it its way, and it goes against everything it pretends to stand for. It happens only sometimes, but it’s undeniably annoying.
Quelling accusations that this was a glorified DLC, Hyrule now grows above and below: the secrets hidden in the clouds and underground are a great addition that enlarges the map to unsuspected limits. If in ‘Breath of the wild’ it was already difficult to get from one side of the country to the other, now, with three times as much place to cover, it’s surprise after surprise. And the best part: you’re always seeing things and places, you always know where you want to go next, you never run out of ideas to keep jogging. Great.
Not so many new features
Yes, it’s back to Hyrule in style. Yes, every plan of the map has been retouched and new places have been opened. And yet… The walk (or ride) around the map feels too much like ‘Breath of the wild‘: although the powers give, playably, a new life to the game, it doesn’t really innovate in the same way that ‘Majora’s Mask’ did with ‘Ocarina of time‘. It’s essentially the same game, with enemies being killed in the same way and similar mechanics. It never ends up feeling like something completely new, but rather like coming home for Christmas and seeing that your parents have done a complete overhaul. It’s not the same, but the structure is.
There is always something to do
Unlike in the previous installment, where the map sometimes seemed to be completely empty, in ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ there is always a sanctuary to reach, a gadget to build, an enemy to kill, a side mission to finish, a piece of map to explore… It is, indeed, a world where you will always find things to do and getting bored is, literally, impossible. It is absolute perfection as far as open world games are concerned, and ‘GTA VI’ has a very difficult time overcoming its variety of tests and, above all, the feeling of a world that is always alive and in motion.
The. Falls. Continuous.
With the addition of the islands in the sky also comes another one that we didn’t see coming: Link’s clumsiness, who falls over and over again to the ground… And unless he sinks into the water or uses the parasail in time, he’ll have no choice but to crash to the ground. Later in the game we get a medallion that will help us, but until then it’s all falls, deaths, crushing and pain. Couldn’t we also have a little rope tied to our ankle so we can easily get back to where we were, please?