Cancel Your Plans — Let Us Introduce You to ‘The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’

The Zelda Tears of the Kingdom reviews are in. We explore what makes the game so good.

Friends, the hype train has arrived at the station: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kindom is finally here. The long-awaited sequel to the international sensation, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is one of the most hotly anticipated games of all time.

The new game is expected to match the success of its predecessor, with reviews pouring in praising the game for its deft handling of the comparison problem; How do you top something that is widely agreed upon to be the best games ever made? It would appear that Nintendo has once again pulled it out of the bag and, if the reviews are to be believed, we could be looking at the greatest game of all time. Yes, the fan base is that hyped.

Breath of the Wild has thus far sold over 29 million copies, far more than all previous 3D Zelda games combined and driving the success of the Nintendo Switch platform itself. Praised for its innovative open-world gameplay and lack of linear storytelling, it’s a game that is both easy for beginners to pick up and endlessly rewarding for die-hard fans.

Of course, the launch has not been without its problems. Nintendo suffered a number of leaks in the weeks building up to the game while the development and release of the project, in true Nintendo style, has been shrouded in frustrating secrecy in the build-up to its launch.

Now that the game is finally here, many a weekend is sure to be sunk into Link’s latest adventure. If you suddenly find all your texts being left on read, this game may be (at least part of) the answer.

For anyone joining the madness with little idea of what we’re all talking about and for those who have been following the sequel’s progress since the original 2017 game and want a taste of what’s in store, here’s everything you need to know about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Zelda ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ Reviews

The game is here, and the Tears of the Kingdom reviews… are good!

The Guardian has gone all in, giving the game five stars and describing it as “pure magic.” The journalist, Keza McDonald, even goes as far as to say that the game is genuinely life-changing: “Occasionally a game comes along that makes you look at life in a whole new way. This glorious, hilarious, utterly absorbing Zelda instalment is one of them,” she writes.

Perhaps Nintendo wasn’t overegging it when they released that final trailer, essentially telling people Tears of the Kingdom will make life worth living again.

Press Start follows in a similar vein, saying that Nintendo has pulled off the impossible in creating a “sequel that defies expectation.” James Berich writes that the game adds to the success of the previous one while keeping much of what made it great.

“It’s the potential I saw in Breath of the Wild but almost perfectly realised, balancing the new and the old to fill the void of what I was missing about Zelda,” Berich says. He adds that the story is even more compelling this time around while making the big-baddie a more menacing, ever-present threat.

Wired pick up on a similar theme but are somewhat more nuanced in their review, stating that Tears of the Kingdom is an evolution, rather than a revolution. “Nintendo’s latest was never going to beat Breath of the Wild at its own game, but that’s not the point,” they write. “What it brings to the table is more than enough”.

“It is not that the game takes no risks, there are mechanics here that could have proven disastrous handled by a lesser developer. There’s also no truth in the slander that Nintendo has been complacent since Breath’s release in 2017,” writes Will Bedingfield. He goes on to explain that the game is “not as visually astonishing,” but it builds on previous successes to the point that they look amateur in comparison.

I could go on, but honestly, they’re all like this. For the sake of balance, I’ve tried to find reviewers with something negative to say and the best I could come up with is Gfinity‘s Josh Brown’s solitary 6/10 review. Brown’s gripe is that the game is not nearly as different as hoped and that it’s basically a victim of the well-oiled Nintendo marketing juggernaut. Polygon have also complained that the game signposts things a little too blatantly sometimes. Forbes writes that the new weapon-fusing mechanic is “a bit goofy.”

Besides that, reviewers are basically falling over themselves to tell you to drop everything, cancel your social life, and spend all of your hard earned rupees on the new game.

With a near-perfect 96/100 on Metacritic, brought down only by Gfinity, who am I to tell you otherwise?

Do You Have to Play ‘Breath of the Wild’ Before ‘Tears of the Kingdom’?

To paraphrase Reverend Lovejoy, short answer no with a but, and long answer yes with an if.

If you’re new to Zelda, or haven’t played a game since the generation-defining 1998 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you don’t technically need to bother with Breath of the Wild.

Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to Breath of the Wild, but Nintendo aren’t about to make playing the previous game a prerequisite for the new one.

As a tentpole game in the incredibly successful Nintendo cannon, Breath of the Wild was designed to be intuitive and non-confrontational to newcomers. The game’s developers learnt from their mistakes with the previous game, Skyward Sword, which was panned for being too complex and too linear.

Breath of the Wild doesn’t really force you to do anything. If you want to spend weeks of your life running around gorgeous-looking fields, scaling mountains, and collecting hundreds of little seeds from tiny leaf-faced critters, go right ahead. In that sense, it appeals to the non-hardcore gamers who just want a bit of light escapism. Tears of the Kingdom, judging by the reviews, follows in these commercially-successful footsteps.

An image of Link flying through the air in The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom to illustrate the cheapest copy of the game.
Image: Nintendo

In addition, Tears of the Kingdom is the 20th ‘mainline’ Zelda game in the franchise, starting with 1986’s The Legend of Zelda. The games consist of a warped, three-strand timeline structure that is not necessarily chronological or comprehensible, even to die-hard fans. As such, the games deal more in the myths and legends of the Kingdom of Hyrule, which are generally covered in each game.

Knowing some background will likely make playing Tears of the Kindom a richer experience, but whether it’s worth the time is up to you. Suffice it to say that the game is based on the premise that bad stuff has happened, courtesy of the big-baddie Ganon, and it’s up to you, as the mute but endearing Link, to put it right.

In fact, part of the fun of Breath of the Wild is the discovery aspect. Many fans online share the opinion that if someone offered to wipe their memory of the game, just so they could go back and experience the wonder of playing it for the first time again, they would do it.

As we know, Tears of the Kingdom takes place in broadly the same territory as its prequel, meaning that for old hats, the discovery aspect that made the original so good will be limited by their experience of it. As a beginner, you get to experience the current iteration of Hyrule with fresh eyes and no expectations. That’s an experience many would envy.

Cheapest Tears of the Kingdom in Australia

Alright, you’re all aboard the hype train and ready to start swinging a sword at any bokoblins unlucky enough to cross your path, but you still need a copy of the game. Here are the current cheapest copies of Tears of the Kingdom in Australia.

In price order, Gorilla Gaming are driving the hardest bargain at $69. Even Jeff Bezos can’t compete with that, as Amazon comes in at a close second with $74 plus free shipping. Kogan and Dick Smith are both doing it for that same price, while Catch and eBay are slinging copies for $84.95 each.

While the above are online retailers, if you want to run down to a physical store and pick the game up for yourself, right now, the brick-and-mortar players are mostly sitting on an even keel. JB Hi-Fi and Big W are selling the game for $74. EB Games, however, is going high at $89.95.

Now, the above is just for the basic game, which is all you really need to start your next adventure. You can also pick up the collector’s edition, which comes with a range of memorabilia and is selling for $189 at Big W, Dick Smith, Kogan, and Amazon.

Whatever you decide, you should probably move quickly as reports of the game being pillaged are already starting to surface.

Related: Aussies Now Prefer Gaming Over Almost Every Other Household Activity

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