The most anticipated game for the Nintendo Switch is finally here. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel to one of the most beloved games in recent memory, 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and has had fans salivating it’s release. So does it live up to the hype and this franchise’s legacy?
The Koalaty Critics are in agreement, this game is a must-play masterpiece. Earning top marks across all Aussis outlets so far, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is now the frontrunner for game of the year. While players are returning to Hyrule, the world which they’ll be exploring is massive, with the world expanding both upwards and downwards, but is far from empty with plenty of sidequests and secrets to discover in the world.
The introduction of new abilities for Link add a great deal of creativity to the game, giving players the tools to tackle any problem in a myriad of different ways. While the critics avoided talking about the story of Tears of the Kingdom, many said it improved greatly on Breath of the Wild with the presence of Ganondorf getting special mentions.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is available May 12, 2023 on Nintendo Switch.
Here’s what Australian critics are saying about the game.
KOALATY CRITICS – AUSTRALIAN CRITICS
AusGamers – 10/10 (Steve Farrelly)
I get the sense that this is it. This is now the The Legend of Zelda blueprint, and from here on out, we live in this version of Hyrule, and I couldn’t be happier about that. This is both a true sequel and a hoisted flagpole on what this series is and where it’s going into the future.
Checkpoint Gaming – 10/10 (Luke Mitchell)
Where Tears of the Kingdom truly thrives is in its puzzle design, which is what keeps me coming back for more every single time. Hyrule is once again littered with Shrines, each an individual mini-dungeon that presents a brainteaser (or in some cases, a combat scenario) that needs to be solved, often incorporating your new abilities. Rewind (where you can rewind the path of an object) and Ascend (which allows you to dive upward through a roof, popping up on the other side) come into play here. These are two new concepts that force you to think differently about the tricky scenarios presented.
GamesHub – 5/5 (Edmond Tran)
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom captures the feeling of playing Breath of the Wild all over again, for the first time. It comes with that constant feeling of wonder and awe, that continuously leads you down new paths, as you gasp quietly over little discoveries. Tears of the Kingdom makes you feel small and vulnerable, instilling the sense that you will never be able to truly grasp this new, divergent version of Hyrule – let alone its skies, or its vast and oppressive underground depths. It feels as if you could exist in this fearsome, breathtaking world forever.
Player2 – A+ (Jess Zammit )
This game, like its predecessor, shouldn’t be rushed, it should be savoured. Gallivanting about the big, open world, getting distracted and wandering off on your own adventures is half the fun. But it was also one of the ways in which Breath of the Wild fell short for many. It was lacking that linear progression, that drip feed of skills, and that clear ‘hero’s journey’ path for many. Tears of the Kingdom does a much better job of opening the world up and filling it with endless possibilities, while also gently nudging you in the direction it wants to go. It will suggest a path while allowing you to stray from it, and while you can choose to forge your own, it isn’t a necessity. The pacing of the story and abilities feels better that it did in Breath of the Wild, and the story feels more rooted in classic Zelda lore.
Press Start – 10/10 (James Berich)
So much sets Tears of the Kingdom apart from other Zelda games. It’s a rare chance for the series to play with a direct sequel – embracing its changes, building upon them and offering something newer while continuing what worked. It’s a genuinely enthralling open world, an inviting playground that encourages exploration with a genuine sense of discovery that you don’t find in other contemporary games with much, much larger budgets. I struggle to find little wrong with its approach. It’s distracting in all the best ways and rewards that distraction consistently. It’s just a joy to lose yourself in.
Stevivor – 10/10 (Ben Salter)
Tears of the Kingdom returns to a known Hyrule, but on a much larger scale. If Breath of the Wild’s shrine-centric incarnation was inspired by Kyoto, Tears of the Kingdom takes its cues from Tokyo by building its already sprawling world up – and down. It’s one of the biggest, and most engaging, open worlds I’ve explored; and it’s achieved by taking the existing world and layering it like a sponge cake. The familiar ground level of Hyrule – which includes its on peaks and troughs – is joined by considerable real estate in the sky inspired by the island layout of The Wind Waker, and expansive land in the depths below.
Vooks – 5/5 (Daniel Vuckovic)
There’s so much going on in this game, so much more than Breath of the Wild. So many things to collect, see and do; the side quests are more in-depth and even have a different Adventures categorisation. These are hour-long side quests, and people need Link’s help. These side adventures and quests are the real story of Tears of the Kingdom. Sure, there’s the main story that plays out, the one with Ganondorf, but if you only tear through that then you’re missing out on everything else. Seeing Hyrule again and how everyone is doing after the first game’s events is also an adventure in and of itself. Go visit Tarrey Town!
WellPlayed – 10/10 (Ralph Panebianco)
You can easily recreate the vibe of these modern Zelda games – space, grass, a bit of piano in the background and you’re halfway there. Similarly, you can easily create a game as big as this. Many developers have done so and will do so again in the future, but I can’t see anyone recreating this sandbox anytime soon. The effort and cost it would take to recreate this would be beyond the reach of almost any studio, any publisher, including the big ones. We better enjoy Tears of the Kingdom because we’re not getting another game like this for a very, very long time.