HomeReviewsThe Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $69.99 – Available Here | $89.95 – Available Here


When The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched for the Switch, it set a new bar for an entire genre, further cementing Nintendo’s famed series as a system seller. Half a decade later, a sequel has been released to attempt to capture some of that magic a second time around. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has everything you could want in a sequel, with ambitious new mechanics and a brand new chapter to dig into, but can lightning strike twice on the Nintendo Switch? Drop your metal items as we take a look and find out.


All is not how you left it. Years after Link’s victory over Ganon – a reawakening takes place that separates Link and Zelda, leaving link with a new arm while the princess disappears. Yeah, on paper the plot follows the general feel for the franchise. Link and Zelda have to take down a new form of Ganon to save Hyrule. Tears of the Kingdom however has expanded the plot by bringing new happenings that must be fixed, such as the Upheaval which has caused chaos to fall over the region, as the world turns to the only hero that can truly stop the terror from plaguing it.

I truly do not think there could be better writing or pacing in any story if Nintendo tried. Rich with lore and a touch of nostalgia, Tears of the Kingdom feels captivating and interesting throughout, bringing so many new story elements that one would have to play through more than once to catch everything that this sequel has to offer. Sequels are already hard enough to remain engaging when set in the same world as the first title, but everything just feels so new and inviting within this title that it feels you’re pushed along effortlessly as you spend countless hours simply exploring. The characters are warm and likable, the setting is gorgeous, and Link’s role feels more important than ever before.


This may a world once traveled, but it certainly will not feel like it this time around. To say the Ultrahand mechanic changes things is putting it lightly. Players now can use Link’s new arm to fuse together almost anything, crafting vehicles, weapons, bridges, and so on, with the main purpose of exploration and puzzle-solving. Need to get across a cliff? Now you can chop down some trees and build a bridge, or maybe instead you can strap a rocket to a cart and zoom over the edge for a quick yet risky thrill. Every objective is left in the hands of the player as they explore this world in their own way, and the open-endedness of these mechanics mean no two people will have the same playthroughs as there never is a wrong solution.

Over a decade ago, Rare dropped Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts, a vehicle builder title with a lot of heart and a large world to make use of your finds. The game had a small following but never seemed to outrun the disappointment from fans that it wasn’t the game they expected to release at the time. Tears of the Kingdom echoes a lot of the same sentiment with its crafting, yet nails the execution as everything feels so second nature for this universe. You will pass by wheels and boards scattered across the lands in common fashion, but are never required to utilize these techniques in any “perfect” fashion, so one can merely take the tools of their choosing to travel and fix puzzles when they want, rather than feel like they are in some sort of forced gimmick.

This title still retains the same energy and quality that we would expect from a Zelda title, as from bombs, to bows, to generally everything else, the combat still feels more of the same. Now, you can upgraded your arsenal with crafting at any given time, and it mostly feels seamless and accessible. The Ultrahand allows players to rotate items and glue them together with a magical adhesive. Players can then add magical elements that act as motors and fans to give them movement, which allows inner creativity to take over as they attempt to solve the many issues happening around them. Combat feels fluid and tight throughout, and the camera does an impeccable job at staying with the player, no matter how hectic the situation.

If I had to name any flaws within this massive experience, it would probably be centered around the Ultrahand’s button mapping, but that can be slightly adjusted as it takes a bit to get used to managing all of the powers that are given to you without accidentally pulling up the wrong one. Even that comes well with practice, and this is an experience that most will be so busy with the most minor of chores that they won’t even realize when they are close to seeing the game end. I know that is an odd bit of praise, but engagement in open world titles matter, and I never wondered to myself “how much more before I beat the game?”, I simply felt like I was in a sandbox of ideas with an epic story unfolding around my hero, as there is so much to do and see that tedium or boredom never really became an issue like it did when I first played other titles within this same franchise.


The graphics are much like its predecessor in almost all ways, running silky smooth with a ton of detail and atmosphere throughout. Everything is so well animated that its hard not to get excited when a pile of sticks and boards that you spend ten minutes building on starts to move and take off, granting the player with a firm feeling of satisfaction as their work comes to life. There are a lot of dark corners in Hyrule, but sunlight and beauty is always a small trek away, and the game makes everything fit together like a well-executed puzzle, despite how large this world really is.


The audio is of course top notch as well, and is sure to be yet another soundtrack that is celebrated for generations. From lively tunes that give the player a chipper tone to the dark and looming suspenseful tracks that quickly create angst, this arrangement is stunning and demands a good pair of headphones or speakers as you move on within the main narrative. The voice acting is also well done, and there is just enough familiarity to always remind you of the franchise you’re in, as at times I think I had to be reminded due to how different this title truly feels compared to not only Breath of the Wild, but all the other games that came before it.


Tears of the Kingdom is going to be a cornerstone for the Switch. Make no mistake, the game isn’t absolutely flawless, but its ability to bring in such refined and engaging mechanics to an already explored world in such an effortless manner is outstanding and deserves countless praise. Sure, the story is great and there will be a lot for long-time fans to see, but Nintendo have managed to take gimmickry that other developers failed to capitalize on in the past and make it work without any issue in this universe, which is surely to set winds of change in a genre so desperate for it. I have never been a huge Zelda fan, as something never clicked for myself with the storied franchise. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom changed that with this entry, as it really is one of the best titles not just for the Nintendo Switch, but for Nintendo as a whole in their long, illustrious history. Well done, Link.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Tears of the Kingdom is a masterpiece that re-sculpts an entire genre to fit its premise. Fans of of the franchise will be sure to find another mainstay for their console for years to come with this entry.
<i>Tears of the Kingdom</i> is a masterpiece that re-sculpts an entire genre to fit its premise. Fans of of the franchise will be sure to find another mainstay for their console for years to come with this entry.The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Review