It’s been five years since the release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Many have commented that was the peak of gaming up to that point, but the reviews for Tears of the Kingdom point to a sequel that could easily overtake that. With the reviews dropping at 7am CT on May 11, shortly before the earliest release, this will serve as a reason for many to purchase.
The reviews are what many had expected from the sequel to BotW, with five stars and 10s from nearly every reputable site on the internet. As always, it seems Nintendo was selective with its codes, even going so far as to blacklist Kotaku. Those who did get to play the game include The Washington Post’s gaming reporter, Gene Park, who gave TotK four out of five stars.
He discusses how many of the issues he faced could be solved with the most simple solution, saying, “There were many times where my answer to a challenge was, ‘I’ll just build a really, really long bridge,’ and it almost always worked.”
Park focuses heavily on the sense of creativity and building your own solution, saying “The experience is dense with the sense of accomplishment. Almost every puzzle gave me self-satisfaction and pride in how I tackled it.” He compares the experience to Minecraft, saying that game introduced the elements to create at will and TotK combines them with unique animations and polish.
The GameSpot review echoes some of Park’s initial sentiments about the evolution, but describes it across the series’ history, with writer Steve Watts saying, “This is The Legend of Zelda at its finest, borrowing the best pieces and qualities from across the franchise’s history and creating something new that is emotionally resonant, captivating, and endlessly rewarding.” Watts gave TotK a 10.
NintendoLife, one of the top sites dedicated to Nintendo’s games and hardware, also published a review on TotK, giving it a 10. They said the monumentally groundbreaking BotW was little more than a tech demo in comparison.
The author, Alana Hagues, says “Somehow, Tears of the Kingdom does the impossible and makes Breath of the Wild feel like a proof of concept; it takes everything its predecessor does, improves upon every single aspect, and gives you even more freedom, an even bigger world, and tons more secrets to uncover. It’s frankly staggering and makes for an absolutely incredible experience.”
Not all reviews were positive, even if the majority were, with Gfinity Esports giving the title a six out of 10, which typically indicates a lower-than-average game.
Author Josh Brown says, “From hearing next to nothing about the game to getting almost too much information in the weeks leading to release, the suddenly fast-moving cloud of information was mixed too quickly into a pot already simmering with speculation, reaching a boiling point that had people making concrete claims from vague assumptions.”
Fans will come to their own conclusions in the coming days, with many likely to comment on the features and characters in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.