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Do You Have To Play Zelda: Breath Of The Wild To Enjoy Tears Of The Kingdom?

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" is widely regarded as one of the best open world video games of all time, if not the very best. The title has been lauded for its expansive map, full of secrets to uncover and enemies to best at every turn. It's also notable for the ways in which it has expanded the lore of the "Zelda" franchise, telling a centuries-spanning story about the balance of good and evil. The sequel, "Tears of the Kingdom," is even bigger, so fans are right to wonder how much of a basis of knowledge they'll need going in.


Luckily, the new game has been designed with the intention of building on what came before. In an official Ask the Developer interview from Nintendo, a handful of the developers behind the newest "Zelda" game dug into the ways in which the sequel expands upon its predecessor. As it turns out, the devs were very keen on returning to the world of the first game, but doing so in an accessible way. 

To hear producer Eiji Aonuma tell it, the idea of making a direct sequel to "Breath of the Wild" was almost a forgone conclusion. The team felt there was still so much untapped potential in this version of Hyrule: "After finishing development on the previous title, we wondered if we could make it possible for players to continue exploring the world after they've reached the game's ending." 


Instead of shifting to a new era or another unknown area of the kingdom, the team moved forward with creating new types of gameplay that could be used to forge a new path in this world. Game director Hidemaro Fujibayashi said, "in the initial proposal, we clearly stated 'the setting will not change' as an important concept."

New players can still enjoy Tears of the Kingdom

Aonuma said that he understands some trepidation at the idea of jumping right into the sequel to such a massive game, but that players shouldn't fret. He noted, "the new gameplay ideas we packed into this title are all things that can be solved intuitively, so I think first-time players can rest assured that this game is easy to get into." Adding onto this, Fujibayashi said that the game's storytelling has been crafted in such a way that it should not leave new players behind. Thanks to the game's Character Profiles, it's also easy for players to pull up an index and get a quick recap or explainer regarding everyone's relationships with one another, as well as a crash course in the events of the preceding game.


Lastly, art director Satoru Takizawa promised, "Although it is the same world, we want to make sure players experience it with a new sense of wonder." Basically, uninitiated players need not be too intimidated. Whether you're brand new to "Zelda" or you've spent the last few years finding every secret "Breath of the Wild" has to offer, the new game will certainly have something novel to offer, from Link's new Fuse ability to tons of new characters