Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is the latest instalment in the long-standing and beloved Legend of Zelda franchise. Developed by Nintendo, this enchanting action-adventure game takes players on an unforgettable journey filled with captivating gameplay, breathtaking visuals, and a deeply emotional storyline. If you haven’t had the chance to play Zelda: Breath of the Wild, it builds upon the foundations this game set out and expands upon every aspect of it tremendously.
I’ve been counting down the days since Tears in The Kingdom was announced, eagerly awaiting at a bare minimum: more of the same as the previous title that I adored. I know for some, Breath of the Wild veered a little bit too far away from the traditional Zelda titles, but coming from someone who had been itching for something to genuinely re-spark their love of games – Breath of the Wild ticked every box for me.
I’ve never felt more rewarded for letting my imaginative brain run rampant, and it genuinely felt like I was experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime experience every single time I did something. This of course put a lot of pressure on Tears in the Kingdom to live up to my unfair high standards, and it has amazingly surpassed them in every way. This review is completely spoiler free, as I want every person who has the chance of picking this up to fully experience it.
Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom weaves a narrative that effortlessly tugs at the heartstrings. The game’s story follows our iconic hero, Link, as he embarks on a quest to save Princess Zelda and the entire kingdom from an ancient evil threatening to consume their world. It’s a very expected plot, but it’s what fans have come to know and love. What sets this instalment apart is its emphasis on emotional storytelling. The developers have masterfully infused the game with powerful moments of love, loss, and sacrifice, making it a truly immersive experience. The narrative unfolds organically, revealing layers of character development and a deep connection between the player and the in-game world.
Visually, Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is a work of art. The game showcases breathtaking landscapes, intricate dungeons, and meticulously designed characters that bring the world to life. The attention to detail is evident in every frame, whether it’s the vibrant colours of a sunlit forest or the hauntingly beautiful ruins of a forgotten kingdom. The graphical fidelity is outstanding, and the game seamlessly transitions between different environments, each with a distinct atmosphere. The use of lighting and particle effects further enhances the immersive experience, drawing players deeper into the game’s rich tapestry.
The gameplay in Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is a harmonious blend of classic Zelda elements and innovative mechanics. Players will find themselves engaged in a wide array of activities, from solving puzzles and navigating treacherous dungeons to engaging in intense combat sequences. The combat and boss battles are incredibly satisfying, by far; my favourite part of the game is the open-world exploration. Every mountain I saw, I climbed. Every potential puzzle I uncovered, I tried to solve and failed. I spent three hours trying to beat a time-based mini-game where you simply have to stack 10 stuffed fish into a cart because I just wanted to prove I could do it (and it wasn’t worth it).
I haven’t felt this much joy in a Triple-A game in quite a while, and I find myself every day jumping on and just exploring because every square inch of the world felt like it deserved to be explored. The world itself is enormous, and none of it ever felt stale or unoriginal. Every new area I visited I was pleasantly surprised with the nuance and was excited to see what the area had to offer. The game also introduces new abilities and tools for Link, expanding his arsenal and enabling players to approach challenges and shrines in different ways.
How haven’t I mentioned the shrines before now? Similarly to Breath of the Wild, the game world is full of dozens of combat and puzzle-based shrines, which simply act as mini-rooms where you either need to solve a puzzle or win a combat encounter in any way you can. They act as the waymarkers throughout your exploration, and often I found myself ages away from where I intended to be because I simply wanted to head over to the next shrine and try another puzzle. If you haven’t already got the hint – I’ve adored my time in Hyrule.
In addition to the main storyline, Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom boasts an impressive amount of side content that adds depth and longevity to the game. Players can undertake various quests, interact with memorable non-playable characters, and uncover hidden secrets within the vast world. From collecting rare items and solving intricate riddles to engaging in mini-games, there is always something captivating to do beyond the main quest line. These side activities not only offer additional gameplay hours but also contribute to the overall world-building and character development.
One final aspect that needs some praise in Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is its sound design, which can best be described as a symphony of excellence. From the sound of a sword unsheathing to the subtle rustling of leaves in the wind, every audio element is crafted with meticulous attention. The game’s musical score is a true masterpiece, perfectly capturing the mood and emotion of each moment. Whether it’s a melancholic piano melody or an adrenaline-pumping orchestral arrangement during intense boss battles, the music enhances the player’s connection to the game world, intensifying the emotional impact of the story.
Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is an extraordinary addition to the Legend of Zelda franchise. It combines a captivating narrative, breathtaking visuals, and immersive gameplay to create an unforgettable experience. The emotional depth of the storytelling, coupled with the game’s stunning graphics and impeccable sound design, make it a must-play title for both long-time fans and newcomers alike. Nintendo has once again demonstrated its mastery in creating magical worlds that resonate with players on a profound level. Zelda: Tears in The Kingdom is a true gem and I’ve never been one to give games a score, but it’s an absolute 10/10 in my eyes.