Last week, Cary covered the newest update on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Much of this update covered Link’s new crafting abilities, including a new feature to create vehicles that can cross the ground, water, and air! As exciting as this high degree of creative freedom is, I can’t help but feel a bit…hesitant at the same time.
I absolutely loved Breath of the Wild. I loved exploring this massive world, and the open, non-linear gameplay made everyone’s adventure unique. Sure, the game wasn’t perfect, namely that it was lacking in the traditional sorts of dungeons longtime fans were used to. But the memories I made along the way were still among some of the best in my decades of gaming.
So when we originally learned of a Breath of the Wild sequel, I was thrilled. The earliest thing I remember watching was the video with the decrepit corpse of Ganon coming to life, which instantly made me excited to see where this new entry into the franchise would take us story-wise (I always love Zelda at its creepiest). The next major update I can recall were the floating islands in the sky, which were also pretty cool. And then another preview of Tears of the Kingdom was released last week, and I watched with bated breath, eager to behold the next amazing new thing we’ll be able to look forward to. And we get…
Hey, everybody, look! Link hit the enemy with a stick, and it broke! So he finished it off with another stick!
Hey, guess what? Link can fuse a stick and a boulder together! Neat, huh? Now he can make an impractically long pitchfork by fusing that to the end of a stick!
I’m sorry, but when I fantasize about the next major Zelda game, seeing what sorts of things I can attach to a tree branch isn’t exactly at the top of my list.
Jokes aside, as cool as crafting should be (once the video progressed beyond all the super duper amazing things you can do with sticks, cough, sarcasm), I can’t help but feel just a bit less excited with each new video. The game is literally being released in a few months, and all they really had to show us was…you know, gluing sticks to more sticks to make the next hit roadside attraction, Hyrule’s Longest Stick. (I know they showed a few more things, but clearly STICKS was my main takeaway.)
Because frankly, I still have a few concerns about this upcoming game, and the videos I’ve seen thus far have yet to address them. For example, with them reusing the map from Breath of the Wild, just how different is Tears of the Kingdom going to be? I mean, I know such a thing is not unheard of; Jak 2 and Jak 3 both shared the same location, Haven City. But the latter didn’t feel redundant because Haven City had been partially destroyed, and the game now featured the huge Wasteland to explore, which was much bigger than Haven City ever was.
But BotW’s Hyrule was already so darn massive! Are they really going to change the whole environment enough in the sequel to make it stand out from its predecessor? And are those floating islands going to offer enough new content to compete in scale with the more familiar Hyrule?
My biggest concern, however, are the dungeons, which were…lacking in BotW. Sure, the game had dozens of shrines and four smaller dungeons in the form of the Divine Beasts, but as a longtime Zelda fan, I’d really like some larger, traditional dungeons like we had in the past.
In regards to these issues, you might be saying, “But Duck, surely Nintendo is going to transform Hyrule enough to make it feel like a whole new land to explore. There’s no way they’re going to just copy and paste the exact same map from BotW.”
And yes, it is safe to assume that some of my concerns will be addressed, even if I haven’t seen much to suggest this. What bothers me is, why won’t they show any of this, though? I know it’s best to spoil as little of our upcoming adventure as possible, but when a video published just months before the game’s release date has Link fusing sticks to boulders, I just can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I want to see more of this updated Hyrule or the lands in the sky. I want to see what we can expect from the dungeons. Excuse me if whacking enemies with an unwieldy boulder attached to a stick isn’t exactly what I’ve been looking forward to!
I’m sure in a few months’ time, I’ll be happily surprised to discover that Tears of the Kingdom is everything that we hoped it would be and more. But until then, I guess I’ll prepare for its release by heading out into my backyard and taping as many sticks together as I can.
Lede image taken from IGDB.com presskit for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (© Nintendo).
Oh, this made me laugh – in a good way. Upon watching the video again, you’re right, it IS all about sticks! 😄😄 Is it all just a distraction from the game taking place in the same Hyrule as BotW? Like, “sure it’s the same, but look at all the new things you can do with STICKS!?” Hahahaha. Ah, anyway, I guess there’s still time for Nintendo highlight more new, non-stick-related stuff from the game, but we’ll see.
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