Boss Rush Banter: So…Is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Really Just More Breath of the Wild?

We’ve made it. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has launched, and millions of people around the world continued Link’s journey in Hyrule. For those in particular that picked up physical copies, we know all too well how successful this release was judging by the long lines. Also, the ratings have been near flawless.

Now that we are past this milestone, and I’ve sunk decent amount of time into Tears of the Kingdom, I’m eager to share my thoughts and engage in fun conversation with others. One thing I’ve noticed were consistent similarities to how Nintendo structured Tears of the Kingdom to its predecessor. This led to the question I recently had a difficult time shaking: is The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom simply more Breath of the Wild?

While there are additional (and vast) sky and underground areas and novel game play, I also noticed many structural and foundational similarities, which lead me to conclude that, yes, in a way it is. However, the answer isn’t purely black and white, either.

Let me provide a few examples:

  1. The tutorial area–the Great Sky Island is very similar to the Great Plateau in how it educates and trains the player. You wake up after suffering life threatening injuries (Shrine of Resurrection vs Room of Awakening), and a spirit guides you through several shrines before you can traverse Hyrule (Old Man/King Rhoam vs Rauru). You gain four skills through shrines–and speaking of shrines…
  2. Shrines–these are dotted throughout the land just as they were in Breath of the Wild (Sheikah vs Zonai). You still solve puzzles relating to your abilities in order to receive elements that can be exchanged for hearts or stamina (four per trade in both games).
  3. Korok Seeds and upgrade system: The adorable Koroks are back. Although not a complaint, the same hide and seek system to add weapon, shield, and bow slots apply.

There are more similarities, but those are a few glaring ones. Although the story is beefier and the new abilities blast open the door for unlimited creation, the path feels like its been walked down before. Instead of the Divine Beasts, we are checking out the same areas that are experiencing…a different problem.

Does this mean the game is bad or boring? No! I personally was worried The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom would be more of the same, and in some ways it is; however, I am loving every second of it! The tweaks and story are just enough to make the content fresh and enjoyable. In fact, I had to “unlearn” some habits I had in Breath of the Wild in order to solve puzzles differently in the sequel. It does mean though that if someone did not like Breath of the Wild, I would predict they would feel the same way with Tears of the Kingdom.

As I continue to play, I expect the structural similarities to continue, and yet, I also expect The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom to forge an identity of its very own.

What do you think? Are the similarities a good thing? Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord.

Nintendo Pow Block – Nintendo Pow Block is Boss Rush Media’s Nintendo Podcast. Each week, Edward, Corey, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk about the week that was in the world of Nintendo, including news, rumors, games, fun facts, and more, including fan favorite segments like Snacktendo, Playing with Power, Game Fact Advance, and Question Block. Look for the question thread in the community Discord.

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