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What The Critics Are Saying About Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom

It's wild to think that, right up until last fall, fans were still calling the latest "Zelda" game "Breath of the Wild 2." Flash-forward to today, and "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" is finally here. The new game drops players into a darker version of Hyrule than we last saw, complete with new enemies and new powers for Link to command. Early impressions of the game, provided by journalists who got a chance to go hands-on with the title before release, have already been overwhelmingly positive, but fans want to know how the full game fares. 


Is it possible to live up to the grandeur and mystery of "Breath of the Wild?" Well, according to a majority of critics, it sounds like "Tears of the Kingdom" actually manages to outdo its groundbreaking predecessor in pretty much every way. In fact, on the day before its release, "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" has already landed itself in the top 20 best-rated games of all time on Metacritic!

Here's what critics have to say about Link's expansive new adventure.

Breadth of the Wild

"Tears of the Kingdom" is getting perfect scores from a number of outlets, including PCMag, which referred to it as one of the best entries the long-running franchise had ever produced. More 10/10s are likely to arrive as the game continues to receive raves.


Critics are applauding the game for feeling like a true expansion of the "Breath of the Wild," which will surely be exciting for fans who closely follow the "Zelda" series' lore. Gamers will recognize familiar settings that have been transformed by the disastrous magical Upheaval and a growing evil in the land, and beloved characters have taken on new roles and forged new paths for themselves while we've been away. As TheGamer's Jade King puts it, "'Tears of the Kingdom' is the most narrative heavy 'Zelda' game I can recall."

And more than anything else, the game is absolute gigantic. Reviewers are reporting that they've sunk 40-80 hours into the game and have had to skip over some side quests in order to complete the campaign for review purposes. As noted by PCMag's Will Greenwald, "Even without explicit quests to follow, the game is littered with caves, mines, dungeons, and powerful monsters to test your combat skills and wits." This is a story that players will spend the next few years unraveling, much like with "Breath of the Wild." Keza MacDonald of The Guardian remarked that it already doesn't feel like the kind of game that can be fully completed; there is just so much to do.


The voice-acting performances have also been praised pretty much across the board, particularly when it comes to Patricia Summersett as Princess Zelda, who does her best to guide Link in his journey after the cataclysmic opening of the story.

A new kind of Hyrule warrior

But enough about the story — how does this bad boy play? Pretty darn well, it turns out!

"Tears of the Kingdom" has managed to implement Link's new abilities in numerous unexpected ways. From solving puzzles to evading enemies to traversing the wilderness, Link's powers open up whole new dimensions in Hyrule. He can travel through solid floors with Ascend, create vehicles with Ultrahand and Fuse, and even do some time-bending platforming with Recall. Further accessibility options, like Autobuild, allow players to create pre-made structures without breaking a sweat.


Combat is supremely satisfying, even with the return of weapon durability and some occasional drops in frame rate, as noted by Polygon. Swordplay feels very similar to the way it was presented in "Breath of the Wild," but there are enough new wrinkles here to keep things exciting for longtime players. Also, as Link makes his way through the game's dungeons — yes, dungeons are back, baby! – he can call upon various companion Sages that aid him with elemental abilities. With so many new powers, there's no one right way to approach each combat encounter, so players will have a lot of fun experimenting with different equipment and methods of attack. Screen Rant's Cody Gravelle writes, "In every corner of 'Tears of the Kingdom,' there's another example of just how advanced its systems' capacities for artistic interpretation really are."


"Tears of the Kingdom" may begin in a place of death and destruction, but it's already taking on a life of its own. If you loved "Breath of the Wild," then "Tears of the Kingdom" is a loving and impressive expansion of the best that game had to offer. If you're new to the "Legend of Zelda" franchise, don't be intimidated. This is an incredible place to start your adventure.