- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the much-awaited sequel to the enormous hit Breath of the Wild.
- The prequel was overwhelming indeed, but Tears of the Kingdom has refined that formula to perfection, bringing vast improvements to mechanics and content.
- Among many upgrades, the building and fusion mechanics enable the creation of any fun combination imaginable, and have quickly established themselves as a must-have.
After the enormously successful The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, fans were overjoyed when the sequel was teased, and the announcement came. The final trailer had us all excited, and even long before its release, the game had garnered insane hype and was the most anticipated game too. It’s no wonder The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s release was a massive success and it grew even bigger in popularity.
And after all the hype and longing, the game delivered exquisitely as it came to blow everyone away. Tears of the Kingdom is a sequel done right in many ways, majorly because it takes all the core formulas and concepts of its prequel, and then refines them to perfection. And to spice things up further, the game throws new and exciting mechanics into the mix.
Zelda Games Have Continued To Bring Stark Innovations
The Legend of Zelda series has a rich history associated with it. Being Nintendo’s signature exclusive, the games have always been an iconic entry in the library of the particular console they were released on and the series has continued to deliver exquisite titles. Starting off as a 2D fantasy world, a top-down view, with action combat and adventure focus, the games have steadily developed to the point of massive and rich open worlds we see today.
Over the course of its history, the series has continued to evolve, and it is quite evident in the presentation and mechanics of subsequent titles. One of the series’ most impressive feats was how the transition to 3D was handled. That task was left to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and what an insane job it did. That game was nothing but pure quality.
Ocarina of Time’s 3D shift was a difficult thing to pull off, considering the series’ established strengths, but it was handled with perfection. The new gameplay mechanics, visuals, animations, level design everything was phenomenal. The game reigns at the top of the best videogame ever lists and possesses the highest Metacritic score for very solid reasons.
Zelda games have always been very influential titles and were the source of inspiration for many new games. Similarly, Breath of the Wild is no exception. At this point, no one is oblivious to the game’s overwhelming popularity and its role in revolutionizing the modern open-world genre. Soon after its release, Breath of the Wild became a stark milestone of the genre.
The game brought a creative representation of an open world with suitable mechanics and was soon something we looked to see implemented in the genre as a whole. With a vast expanse presented to the player, the world had plenty to explore and the players were given complete freedom to go on and explore to their hearts’ content.
Not just that, ingenious mechanics brought a sense of realism. Weather affects your performance like the rain making cliffs slippery and difficult to climb, frosty regions requiring warmth and protection to survive, and similar approaches in volcanic regions. Basically, you had to be observant and mindful of your surroundings while exploring, a truly thrilling adventure.
This barely scratches the surface of how awesome the open world was in Breath of the Wild, but all in all, it was a revolutionary iteration indeed. This is apparent in how the game became a benchmark for future open worlds, and a source of inspiration, like Genshin Impact, the surprise hit that continues to be massively successful. And thus the sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom indeed had big shoes to fill.
The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom Is A Perfect Sequel
Considering how great Breath of the Wild was, we all had enormous hype for the sequel and were eagerly awaiting its release. Breath of the Wild seemed like a perfect game to us, and it felt really difficult for it to be surpassed. However, Tears of the Kingdom managed to do the impossible and has topped its predecessor in every way, continuing to revolutionize the open-world genre.
The game truly embodiments what a sequel means. A sequel has to retain the legacy and the identity of the series so that it plays to its strengths while delivering fresh content too to justify its existence. At first glance, it seems the new Zelda game is just more of the same, set in the same open world, with very similar mechanics and ideas. However, the game is quick to disprove this.
Taking on and continuing the core formula, the game breathes new life into this familiar world and refined the formula to perfection. As you delve into this new iteration of Hyrule, you’ll be greeted with a strong sense of familiarity, yet you will not feel bored or sense repetitiveness. The biggest feat of the game is using the same core concepts yet not feeling redundant in any way. It also comes with many quality-of-life improvements.
It seems Nintendo has carefully considered all of the feedback and implemented many welcome additions and upgrades to the overall experience. Enemy variety has seen a stark improvement, with even basic enemies utilizing variable strategies. Dungeons are thankfully back with interesting puzzle design, and boss variety is also a considerable upgrade as you now face more diverse adversaries.
Another important feature is how the exploration is given more depth now. The player retains the freedom of going anywhere as seen in the prequel, but Tears of the Kingdom has some degree of hidden content tied to progression. This makes progress a lot more apparent and in sync with how you uncover the secrets and you steadily delve deep both in quests and world exploration side-by-side.
And that is not all, the apparent map of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom conceals a lot more secrets and surprises than you expect. The players indeed have a lot to discover, and I’ll just leave it at that so that not to spoil the overwhelming joy and awe of delving into this absolutely fascinating world of Hyrule. And of course, to make your time in this world more enjoyable, the game has brought its own unique spin.
Fusion And Crafting Mechanics Are Loads Of Fun
As stated earlier, Zelda games have always brought innovation and have stayed fresh and entertaining with every new entry, and Tears of the Kingdom is no exception. With a continuation of Breath of the Wild’s concepts, the game quickly establishes itself with all the new mechanics thrown in. And right at the center of it all are the Fusion and Building or Crafting mechanics.
Tears of the Kingdom's abilities feel revolutionary in a way that Breath of the Wild's never did. Bombs and magnets are fun and all, but Ultrahand, Fuse, Recall, and Ascend each feel like they could be the core mechanic of their own game
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 12, 2023
First, let’s talk about the new Fusion system. In principle, the mechanic allows you to fuse together various items and enemy drops with your weapons and shields, bolstering or even altering their attributes and properties. This has given the gameplay an enormous amount of depth. Basically, you can fuse a myriad of different stuff with your weapons and it alters them in fascinating ways.
Take enemy drops for example. Fusing your bow with drops from elemental slimes creates elemental shots, chill your enemies out with freeze arrows and burn it all up with flame ones. You can even create homing arrows with the right combination, or just bring bombs for total annihilation. This brings endless possibilities and a very creative arsenal. Regular drops from enemies and standard items can become deadly weapons.
What’s more, the fusion mechanic also serves to increase the durability of your weapons. Weapon durability and breaking were recurring complaints by many fans, and this new mechanic not only gives you weapons of your imagination but also the ability to use them longer and more frequently. Fuse up every oddity you can find to create unprecedented combinations.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s next highlight are the crafting mechanics. The game features a gadget called the Ultrahand, that allows you to stick together a variety of different things to build versatile contraptions of choice. Technically an improved version of the prequel’s Magnesis ability, the gadget’s purpose is to aid in puzzles, but it has found immense application as a tool for creating anything you desire.
The ability to stick anything together has led to players creating unique and just chaotic fun devices to play around with and wreak havoc. Whether it be creating various ridable vehicles of the crazy kind, or just letting NPCs fly around in them, the fun knows no limits. The players have even gone ahead and created towering mechas to make the best of this fun ability.
The ability to craft anything that comes to your mind gives the players a sense of control over the flow of the game. It’s true the game has enough to explore and discover already, but this makes the game play out differently for every individual player, and that is indeed the best part. You are free to traverse and solve puzzles in any creative way you like and make the game a sandbox of your choice to play around in.
And it will be different for every player how they approach, based on their respective likeness and taste. This is what makes the game stand out the most, giving its players as much freedom as possible. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s crafting mechanics are indeed an ingenious addition to this beloved series, and the insane amount of fun it has brought, I hope the system continues to be implemented in any future iterations.
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