The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Primed to be One of 2023’s Megatons

The sequel to Breath of the Wild has the potential to be one of 2023's biggest new releases- here's why.

Posted By | On 07th, Apr. 2023

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Primed to be One of 2023’s Megatons

From Starfield to Final Fantasy 16, from Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 to Street Fighter 6, there’s still a bevy of AAA heavy hitters that are set to release over the course of 2023. But even in a year that’s as packed as 2023 is clearly going to be, many would argue that one game stands head and shoulders above all others in terms of its scale and the magnitude of its release. That game, of course, is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Saying that it’s going to be one of 2023’s biggest games feels like a massive understatement. For as long as anyone can remember, the launch of a new Zelda game has always felt like a momentous event, one that the entire industry pauses and takes note of. For decades, every single new mainline console Zelda title has ranked as one of the best games of its year, with pretty much all of them being rated at 90+ scores on Metacritic and receiving widespread praise and countless end-of-year awards. But even so, even within that context, Tears of the Kingdom feels particularly massive. It is obviously going to be one of the games that’ll define this year, and maybe even this generation of games, for a long time to come- but what exactly is it about it that makes it feel so gargantuan, other than the plain and simple fact that it’s a new Zelda game?

The biggest and most obvious reason, of course, is the fact that this isn’t just any new Zelda game (although that would be a massive reason for the hype surrounding the game nonetheless)- it’s the fact that this is a sequel to Breath of the Wild that elevates that hype to stratospheric levels. The 2017 open world masterpiece has firmly established itself as flat out one of the greatest games ever made, and not only did it reinvent the Zelda franchise in ways that no one could have imagined, it also gave the industry at large an entirely new perspective on how to design open worlds, and how to let players properly express themselves through gameplay systems that present near limitless options.

And yet, insanely enough, it’s still easy to see that there’s plenty of room for improvement in what Breath of the Wild did. There are several aspects of the game that could either be refined further to make it an even more accomplished open world experience, or changed to make it a better Zelda game. And as impossible as it might seem on paper, if Tears of the Kingdom does end up making those improvements, it might actually end up surpassing its generational predecessor.

The most obvious way it can do that is by introducing proper Zelda dungeons. This is a series that has always been known for its incredible dungeon design, but that was one area where Breath of the Wild was definitely lacking. Then there are the boss fights, which is another area where the 2017 game fell short of the series’ traditional standards. Add to that things such as enemy variety and storytelling, and it becomes easy to see how Tears of the Kingdom could improve upon its predecessor that, when put together, would actually end up accounting for a pretty significant upgrade.

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

That’s probably one of the biggest reasons why Tears of the Kingdom is generating the sort of massive hype that it is. Even if it was nothing more than just more of the same, it would still be almost guaranteed to one of the best games of the year, so the fact that it actually has the potential to improve upon what’s widely regarded as one of the best games ever made is nothing short of staggering. If it can deliver the same expansive open world experience that Breath of the Wild did while also delivering dungeons that feel more in line with classic Zelda games, better boss fights, improved storytelling, and better enemy variety, it would be the textbook definition of a masterpiece.

Whether or not Tears of the Kingdom actually does all of that remains to be seen. That is, in fact, a particularly difficult question to answer right now because of how close to its chest Nintendo is keeping all of its cards. We’re now less than two months away from the game’s launch, and other than a couple of trailers and its recent gameplay reveal, we’ve seen absolutely nothing of it. That gameplay reveal was, to be fair, a pretty meaty one, with Nintendo showcasing over ten minutes of new footage and talking about some of the new abilities Link will have at his disposal in the upcoming sequel, but even in now, even after that gameplay demonstration, there’s so much about Tears of the Kingdom that we don’t know. For instance, details on its narrative setup have been scant (to say the least), and most importantly, we don’t know just how different the actual content of the experience is going to be from Breath of the Wild.

That last bit is a particularly pivotal question that remains unanswered, because Tears of the Kingdom is, of course, going to be set in the same Hyrule as its predecessor, which is rare for a Zelda game. But what exactly does that mean? Will it have the exact same map? If it does make changes to the existing map, how significant will they be? How expansive can we expect the game’s new sky sections to be, especially seeing as they seem to be the central hook of the experience? Nintendo has previously said that this is a massive game with plenty of new content on offer (which, incidentally, is why it feels so comfortable pricing it at $70), so does that mean we should expect little to no overlap between Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild where their content is concerned?

the legend of zelda tears of the kingdom

It’s also worth mentioning that there’s little chance of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom having the same impact that Breath of the Wild did. In fact, it’s safe to say that there’s almost no way it can come anywhere close to being as revolutionary as its predecessor was, even if it turns out to be a significantly better game. Breath of the Wild was new and novel, and that was a big factor in why it took everybody by storm the way it did, and to expect its sequel to repeat that would be unreasonable, since at the end of the day, it’s going to b an iterative upgrade that builds upon what its predecessor did, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel once again.

And yet, even with all of that in mind, it almost seems to be set in stone that this is going to be a massive game, in more ways than one. Even some of the most underwhelming mainline Zelda releases end up being huge critical successes – just look at Skyward Sword, for instance – and as a game that’s building on the foundations of Breath of the Wild, it doesn’t feel like Tears of the Kingdom is going to be underwhelming by any means. From its critical reception to the number of copies it’s likely going to sell over the course of the coming years, Nintendo’s upcoming open world megaton seems primed for unprecedented success. And at the end of the day, the fact that people can say that as confidently as they can even in the absence of any real gameplay showings for the game so far should tell you all you need to know about the magnitude of this release.

Note: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, GamingBolt as an organization.


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