The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is an unfathomable follow-up, expanding a world that already felt full beyond expectation and raising the bar ever higher into the clouds.
Ask yourself this: what do you want from a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild? More enemy variety? Better dungeons? Totally unexpected new ideas? Or is simply more Hyrule to explore enough for you? Thankfully, you don’t have to pick just one, because Nintendo’s response to all of those answers is a casual but confident, "Sure thing.” The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom doesn’t necessarily revolutionize what already made Breath of the Wild one of the greatest games of all time, but it’s not a sequel that’s simply more of the same, either. This sandbox is bigger, richer, and somehow even more ambitious, with creative new systems like vehicle building, ridiculous weapon crafting, and a revamped map with a dizzying amount of depth further fleshing out the intoxicating exploration that made the original so captivating. Breath of the Wild felt far from unfinished but, inconceivably, Tears of the Kingdom has somehow made it feel like a first draft.
Before we dive too deep into Hyrule, a quick note about spoilers. I won’t spoil the (actually pretty great) story Tears tells, but these games are about so much more than the plot. That magic the first time you see one of BotW’s dragons soaring overhead is around every corner here too, and the last thing I’d want to do is steal the many moments that made my jaw literally drop from you. That said, there are some huge parts of Tears that are introduced fairly early on that I will be talking about because of how fundamental they are to why this game is so impressive. I am going to preserve as much of the magic as I can but, if (like millions of others) you’ve already decided you are going to play Tears, you should probably just go play it and then come back to share in the wonder with me later.