There are some fans who are concerned that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom won’t live up to expectations, but if one looks at the history of the Zelda franchise, they have very little to worry about. 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild stands tall as one of the industry’s most critically-acclaimed games of all time, and so it’s no surprise there are many who are anxiously awaiting the sequel, set to launch on May 12.
In typical Nintendo fashion, the Big N has kept its cards close to its chest when it comes to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, offering only a handful of trailers and gameplay reveals for the game since it was first announced in 2019. The latest Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video was one of its most comprehensive yet, giving fans a look at some of the new abilities Link will have access to on his next adventure.
For the most part, the latest Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video was well-received by fans, with many now more hyped for the game than ever before. The Fuse ability seems to be of particular interest, as many Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom players are excited to push it to its limits and discover all the different kinds of weapon combinations the game will have to offer. However, others are less enthusiastic, with a growing worry that Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom won’t live up to the hype and may even be a disappointment.
Zelda Reviews Show the Franchise’s Near-Spotless Track Record
If one looks at the history of the main series Legend of Zelda games, it’s clear that fans have little legitimate reason to be worried about the quality of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Nearly every main series Zelda game has released to widespread critical acclaim, with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time still listed as the highest-rated video game ever made. In fact, every single Zelda game has been one of the highest-rated games in its respective release year, with just one exception.
The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes on the Nintendo 3DS earned mixed reviews from critics, but it is the exception, not the rule. Every other main series Zelda game has earned acclaim from critics, and so chances are good that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom reviews will follow suit. Granted, reviews are subjective opinions, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still a strong indicator of something’s quality. Chances are good that if the majority of critics give Tears of the Kingdom high review scores that most fans will be impressed with the game as well. There are exceptions to this rule too, of course, but the odds are still in Tears of the Kingdom‘s favor.
Tears of the Kingdom is Not Just Breath of the Wild DLC
One common worry that fans have about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is that it will feel like an expanded Breath of the Wild DLC as opposed to a full-fledged adventure. The main reason for this seems to be that the game takes place in the same open world Hyrule as its predecessor, but this worry is likely overblown. While there may be some familiarity with Tears of the Kingdom‘s map, players are also taking to Hyrule’s skies and, if early trailers are any indication, its underground areas. There’s been some footage that suggests Tears of the Kingdom will have underwater areas as well, which would give players even more areas to explore in the new game.
While some fans are worried that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom‘s map will feel too familiar, others are more concerned with the game’s graphics. It’s no secret that the Nintendo Switch is dated hardware. The Switch console is over six years old at this point, and so it’s being massively outmatched by other gaming systems on the market. Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom likely looks as best as it possibly can on the Switch, but the game’s graphics aren’t going to be as important as the gameplay itself. Tears of the Kingdom is clearly making big advancements with gameplay, giving players even more freedom than they had in Breath of the Wild and greatly expanding Link’s capabilities when it comes to combat, exploration, and puzzle-solving.
Tears of the Kingdom’s $70 Price Tag
With some fans feeling as though The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom isn’t doing enough different to stand out from Breath of the Wild‘s shadow, there are those who aren’t happy about the game’s price tag. Tears of the Kingdom is Nintendo’s first $70 game, following a trend where the newer titles on more powerful hardware are being released at $10 more than the usual asking price. Since the Switch is outdated, it does seem like Nintendo can’t really justify the upcharge like other companies can. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom‘s $70 price is genuinely disappointing, but the game will still likely deliver more value and high quality content than most other games that are at the same price, assuming it’s anywhere near the quality of Breath of the Wild.
Tears of the Kingdom Will Probably Live Up to the Hype
While fans do have some legitimate concerns about The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, history shows that these concerns are likely misplaced. Most all Zelda games have released to widespread critical acclaim, and so chances are good that Tears of the Kingdom will as well. The game may be set in the same Hyrule as Breath of the Wild, but it’s clear from the trailers and gameplay videos that it is greatly expanding the world in ways that should make it feel like a new experience. Accusations of it being an overpriced Breath of the Wild DLC are completely unfounded, with new gameplay mechanics that should help it feel like a brand-new experience in many ways.
That being said, there will still be those who do play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and come away unimpressed or underwhelmed. Some people may feel like the game doesn’t match Breath of the Wild‘s quality, while others may be upset that the Zelda franchise is continuing in this open world direction as opposed to going back to the more linear Zelda experiences that they grew up with. But this is true of all Zelda games and all games in general – some people simply won’t like it no matter what. There’s also the possibility, however slim, that there are some unforeseen technical issues or something that plague Tears of the Kingdom at launch, but that seems unlikely.
Fans won’t know if Tears of the Kingdom meets their expectations until they get the chance to play it themselves. Luckily, the wait to play The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is nearly at an end. Come next month, Nintendo Switch owners will have the chance to play the highly-anticipated game for themselves and discover everything new that Tears of the Kingdom is bringing to the table. Time will tell if The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is as popular as Breath of the Wild was back in its day, but considering Nintendo’s track record with The Legend of Zelda franchise, those who are worried about the game are likely worrying for nothing.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches May 12, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
MORE: What Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s New Vehicles Could Mean For The Master Cycle Zero