The embargo for reviews of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has been lifted, unleashing a torrent of reviews threatening to overflow your Youtube subscription page. Considering the game’s predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is widely viewed as one of the greatest games ever and was Opencritic’s second-highest-reviewed game, I’ve been eager to see what Tears of the Kingdom can do. With so much pressure, could Nintendo deliver something even better?
Yes. The answer is yes.
Well, to be more exact the answer is a resounding yes according to critics The Legend of Zelda: Tears of Kingdom is now Opencritic’s highest-rated game ever, currently presiding over everything else with an aggregated score of 97, beating out Super Mario Oddysey in the process.
Over on Metacritic, the game has an aggregated score of 96, giving it a rank of 20th in the site’s list of the best-reviewed games. Amusingly, the top game is actually another Zelda title, Ocarina of Time.
Over at IGN writer Tom Marks gave it a staggeringly glowing review and a score of 10, stating, “It both revamps old ground and introduces vast new areas so immense it somehow makes me wonder if Breath of the Wild was actually all that big, with an almost alarming number of tasks to complete, mysteries to discover, and delightful distractions to keep you from ever reaching that place you naively thought you were headed. Nintendo has followed up a triumph with a triumph, expanding and evolving a world that already felt full beyond expectation and raising the bar ever higher into the clouds.”
Gamespot was just as impressed with what the developers have managed. Writer Steve Watts handed it a score of 10 as well, wrapping up his review by saying, “Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a canvas for your own creativity, a book to write your own stories, a world to create your own legends. It gives you back as much as you put into it, and beckons you to soar, burrow, engineer, solve, adventure, and explore.”
Meanwhile, one of the best reviewers in the business Skill Up ended his video review with these words: “Tears of the Kingdom will overawe you with its scale and its imagination. It will demand your creativity and ingenuity in a way that few games would dare demand. It pays tribute to the things that have made this series so timeless, while also innovating so relentlessly that it will be the better part of a decade before any game is able to follow in its wake. Nearly four decades after The Legend of Zelda series made its debut, its latest instalment is a breathtaking high-point for the Zelda franchise, for Nintendo and for video games.”
On Opencritic the lowest score came from Eurogamer who awarded it four out of five stars in their new review scale system, which I’m totally sure they did not steal from me. “Tears of the Kingdom is a direct sequel, for all its changes, and Zelda tends not to go in for those: it used to wipe the slate clean each time, casting the last game’s baggage aside like so much surplus equipment, and setting out for the horizon. I’d like the next Zelda to do that again. But that’s a problem for tomorrow. All told, Tears of the Kingdom is an astonishing, quite literally top-to-bottom sequel, adding complexity and splendor to the Breath of the Wild formula without sacrificing its enchantment.”
But let’s try to balance this out with Metacritic’s lowest score which game from a site called Gfinity. Over there writer Josh Brown gave Tears of the Kingdom 6 out of 10 with his main issue being the lack of a satisfying narrative. They closed out the review by saying, “Whether you go above or below, there’s little worth up there beyond what the main quest requires you to see. In part, that’s a blessing for anyone looking to avoid the distracting open world and ride out the story. But as I’ve said time and again now, Tears of the Kingdom dangles the smallest scraps of the narrative carrot in front of you for far too long. And after the disappointing narrative of the previous game, I’m not convinced the grind is worth the time investment. It’s a fantastic playground and an even more bewildering testament to the latest power of the Nintendo Switch hardware. But I can’t help but feel that the wait wasn’t worth it this time around.”
More reviews will obviously roll in across the next week or two, potentially punting The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom off of its shiny new throne, but there’s no denying that Nintendo have launched a masterpiece here, at least from the perspective of critics. Fan reaction may be different but I don’t see any reason to think that.
As for me, I’m patiently waiting for my copy to arrive on launch day and plan on delving into it as much as I can, though as huge as the game seemingly is I may not have a review out for a while. Plus, I’m in the middle of playing Redfall and Stars Wars Jedi: Survivor as well, so I might consider doing an impressions piece first.
Enjoy your time within Hyrule, folks.