The time has finally arrived! The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is released on May 12th, and die-hard Zelda fans will once again be able to roam the magical landscapes of Hyrule after a grueling six-year hiatus since the last installment.
The Legend of Zelda franchise is well known as one of the greatest and most beloved gaming series of all time and the hype surrounding its new release is palpable. The game is developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch console and Nintendo is a name that needs no introduction. It’s a name that is synonymous with gaming and is responsible for creating countless classic games throughout the years with the Zelda series being one of the most successful.
The previous installment of the game back in 2017 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was massively successful and has been credited with revolutionizing open-world game design. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been designed to be a direct sequel to the previous installment, and this has led to immense anticipation around the launch of the game.
History of The Legend of Zelda Series
The Legend of Zelda series has been a staple at Nintendo for decades with the original game – The Legend of Zelda being released way back in 1987. Since then, another 18 titles have been released and with Tears of the Kingdom launch that number increased to 19. However, not all Zelda games are created equal. But in the spirit of the upcoming release of the new game, let’s talk about some of the stronger titles in the game’s storied history.
Let’s start with the third installment of the series – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. This truly was a sublime game that substantially refined the game’s basic combat and played a huge role in the childhood memories of untold 90’s kids.
Secondly, the 2006 version – The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is often cited as one of the best games in the franchise’s history. Its unique art direction that draws heavily from avant-garde themes and tight gameplay makes it a truly outstanding iteration in the Zelda catalogue.
Of course, the list of great entries over the years would not be complete without The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. The 2011 version of the game featured some of the best dungeons in the history of the game, paired with polished combat and a heart-felt story making it a stand out in the Zelda universe.
Over the years developers have experimented with different art styles and controls but there are some mainstay elements that players have grown to love and can expect to see in most installments of the series.
Firstly, the core group of characters is present in every version of the game. Although they have evolved and changed over the years, they remain a familiar and cherished part of the allure of the game.
Secondly, the fantasy kingdom of Hyrule and the Triforce. Whilst, Hyrule does not feature as the setting for all of the Zelda games, its magical and ever-changing landscapes are synonymous with it as is the light of the Triforce that protects it.
Finally, the dungeons, as any Zelda fan will tell you, the quality of a Zelda game hinges on the quality of its dungeons and the host of puzzles contained within them.
The Legend of Zelda series will go down as one of the greatest game franchises in history and each new iteration only adds to its already legendary legacy and that’s why players around the world will be watching the clock, impatiently waiting for the new game to drop.
The Legend of Zelda series is known for its innovative puzzles and Zelda games have been known to live and die by the calibre of their puzzles. Thus, part of the reason for the success of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be attributed to its evolution of the tricky puzzles it offered players in gameplay.
It will be interesting to see how the developers approach this important element in Tears of the Kingdom but if its predecessor is any indicator then fans are in for a bevy of tasty puzzles to solve.
The latest addition to the Zelda catalogue will return to the magical landscapes of Hyrule and whilst the game is yet to be released, Nintendo has showcased the gameplay mechanics and given players a glimpse of the new color-soaked environments of Hyrule.
The Hyrule showcased bears many similarities to the Hyrule of Breath of the Wild and has no shortage of wild mystical terrain to explore. The open world looks set to be vast and expansive with plenty of vertical movement infused into the gameplay.
As with all games designed for the Switch Console, there are some graphical limitations. However, the game’s mythical and creative design far outweighs its graphical deficiencies and players are sure to be impressed by the game’s art direction and the surprising amount of detail developers have been able to imbue in the game.
The game is set to introduce a host of new features for players to use as they explore the mountainous landscapes of Hyrule and battle the savage enemies they encounter in the fantasy kingdom.
Tears of the Kingdom will add Ultrahand and Fuse to the tools that Link will have at his disposal. Both of these new abilities center around combining varying objects. Firstly, Ultrahand allows the pointy-eared protagonist to craft vehicles and structures to help traverse the environment. Whereas, the fuse ability is focused on combining weapons, items, and crafting materials you have acquired in your inventory.
Additionally, the developers have introduced a new ability called Ascend. This allows Link to leap and pass through a ceiling above coming out on the other side. Thus, in a game that revolves heavily around vertical movement, this new feature will be particularly handy.
Finally, the last of the new abilities revealed by Nintendo is Recall. This ability allows players to return moving objects to where they originated. Thus, giving Link the ability to send deadly projectiles that are fired at him back at his enemies with interest. Furthermore, this ability is also useful for recalling lost materials and Ultrahand creations.
It’s not every day that a game franchise with such an acclaimed legacy drops a new title, combine that with the masterful execution of its predecessor and you have the perfect storm of anticipation, nostalgia, and excitement. The world is waiting to see if this game will live up to the hype and personally, I think it will.