The long-awaited sequel to one of the most revolutionary games of all time is now upon us. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been released on May 12, 2023, for Nintendo Switch (only). So get your microSD cards ready for the space.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom retails for around $69.99 (USD) though prices might vary depending on where you live or the media-based tax in your specific region.
For those of you who want something more special, there’s also a special Collector’s Edition that retails for $129.99 (USD) though that version is in high demand (with some scalping to be expected).
The Collector’s Edition includes a physical copy of the game, a concept art booklet, a steelbook case, a poster, and a handful of four enamel pins.
There was also a pre-order method for those who wanted to secure a copy of the game right away as soon as launch day without the hassle of lining up or wrestling with digital stores, but thankfully, there seems to be no pre-order bonus in-game, so no need to feel like you missed out. If you’re unable to purchase it right now, there are some other games you could try in the meantime to scratch that itch.
What is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kindom?
As we stated before, it’s the direct sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was released back in 2017 and received overwhelming acclaim for trendsetting a new approach to open-world games and RPGs. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom thus has some big shoes to fill and is easily one of the most awaited games of 2023.
Like its predecessor, Tears of the Kingdom is an open-world RPG where you assume the role of Link, the titular princess’s stalwart and silent royal guard.
Once again, the kingdom of Hyrule, along with Princess Zelda, is in danger. And it’s up to Link and his trusty Master Sword (and other gear) to do the heavy lifting.
It’s mostly an RPG
As with Legend of Zelda games of old, Tears of the Kingdom is also an RPG where you, as the player, get to self-insert into Link (that’s mostly silent). As Link, you’ll be tasked with overcoming great obstacles and epic enemies in order to help Zelda and decide the fate of Hyrule.
What sets it different from the typical RPG (be it tabletop RPG or CRPG) with a cliched formula is its environment.
Starting with Breath of the Wild, Tears of the Kingdom will continue its revolutionary mechanic of letting Link scale mountains and go just about anywhere the players, please. In contrast to other RPGs, mountains, walls, and other barriers only serve to railroad players into a path and keep certain areas off limits. No such limits exist in Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom.
You can literally go anywhere from the start of the game and presumably even challenge the final boss right away if you know the way or if you know what you’re doing. Such is the case for Breath of the Wild, and it’s safe to assume this game design philosophy extends to Tears of the Kingdom.
New mechanics are introduced
Sure enough, it’s not just the climbing mechanics that were brought back here. The whole slew of Link’s abilities, such as Magnesis, which is practically telekinesis, Stasis, Cryosis, and Remote Bomb, will be back in a more upgraded and creative form.
Aside from those, Link also now has access to new abilities such as Recall which reverses the trajectory of objects, Fuse which allows him to make weapons from scratch (quite handy), Ultrahand which allows him to create vehicles, and Ascend, which allows him to literally phase through objects.
That last ability is a major game-changer since developers are now intent on removing as many progression barriers for players as possible. That means even more unprecedented freedom for Link.
The other new abilities allow for more creative playthroughs and even encourage survival game levels of resourcefulness and ingenuity. Hyrule is now your playground more than ever.
The glider is also making a comeback here to help you traverse vast expanses of land much faster.
Tears of the Kingdom uses the same map
Those who have played Breath of the Wild will be right at home with Tears of the Kingdom since it’s Hyrule all over again, the same map. However, there’s a huge difference since time has passed and a lot of developments have occurred. Landmarks such as Hateno village are now much busier and more populated, along with most other areas.
Additionally, there’s more verticality in the game, practically doubling the playable area (likely more). There are now mysterious floating islands above Hyrule, and all of them are aching to be explored.
Of course, there’s also a new story on top of the added features, one that directly follows up on the events of Breath of the Wild.
The story so far…
After clearing Hyrule of the Calamity of Ganon that cursed the land for a century back in Breath of the Wild, it seems the kingdom is on track to prosperity and peace once again. So Tears of the Kingdom begins a long while after the events of Breath of the Wild.
However, as Link and Zelda were exploring some underground ruins which supposedly housed Ganondorf’s dormant remains, Ganondorf unexpectedly awakens from his slumber and corrupts Link’s right arm along with his Master Sword. Zelda is also lost in the chaos– again.
So it’s a similar setup and premise to Breath of the Wild. Ganon is waging war against Hyrule once more, and Zelda and Link are separated again. This time around, however, Zelda is intent on helping Link by finding a way to restore the Master Sword so they can defeat Ganondorf.
The story that was revealed in the trailers was pretty sparse, and like in its predecessor, it’s up to the players to discover more of it through exploration and curiosity while also making sense of the environment.
It’s more of the same but bigger than ever and a lot more intuitive. So if you want to know more, go ahead with the purchase, but remember, it’s only available on the Nintendo Switch.