Hitbox Review: ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,’ ‘Tears of the Kingdom’ preview

Nintendo will release “Tears of the Kingdom,” the sequel to “Breath of the Wild,” May 12, 2023.

Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom cover art. Courtesy of Nintendo.

Release Date: March 3, 2017

Developer: Nintendo Entertainment Planning & Development

Platform: Nintendo Switch, Wii U

Link wakes up after one hundred years since Calamity Ganon took control of Hyrule. Having forgotten nearly all his key memories, he must relearn what happened to Hyrule and his purpose: defeating Ganon. 

Ganon controls the four divine beasts that were originally made to destroy him, and it is up to Link to gain control of them in his quest to defeat him.

I might be late to the party, but this is my first time playing the critically acclaimed “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” This has been one of the best games I have ever played. 

Open-world has never been brought to the Legend of Zelda on this scale before. The land of Hyrule is completely explorable from the start, which gives breathtaking views and no restrictions on how the player wants to progress in the game. 

Opening scene of the Waterblight Ganon fight inside the Divine Beast Vah Ruta. Screenshot taken by Zachary Christensen

For someone who is newer to the series, it was exciting to see the game create personalized opportunities to reach objectives. For example, I missed the traditional road that takes you to Gerudo Town. I ended up spending forty-five minutes trekking through a mountain range before I ended up at my intended destination. 

The game encourages creativity. If I had wanted to, I could walk up to Hyrule Castle and attempt to defeat Calamity Ganon and beat the game from the beginning. I would not recommend it since it will likely be game-over after one hit from any enemy in the castle. That leads to the next point I like about this game. 

Players can leave a difficult location to get better gear and increase Link’s attributes to get through difficult sections of the game. Getting stronger also does not feel like grinding through enemies to level up in traditional role-playing games. It’s solving puzzles in shrines and completing side quests, which can give Link different advantages in battle. The gameplay does not get old, and the player can choose how they want to play. 

The next iteration in the series is “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” which is set to release on May 12, 2023.

I would expect this game to be better than “Breath of the Wild.” According to statistical data, “Breath of the Wild” has sold 27.79 million units as of September 2022, the most of any Legend of Zelda game. That means Nintendo has the money to make the next iteration that much better. Also, “Tears of the Kingdom” has been in development since 2017, much longer than any other game in the series. 

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding it. The iconic Master Sword is deformed. The game features floating islands, dungeons, and temples. Ganon or some evil force has been resurrected. There are three layers to the map: the sky, ground and underground layers. Using the same map as “Breath of the Wild,” “Tears of the Kingdom” will be a far larger game to explore. 

If Nintendo can perfect the story for “Tears of the Kingdom,” then this game might be the best game in The Legend of Zelda’s history. 

All of this contributed to the most-anticipated game award of 2022 presented by The Game Awards that “Tears of the Kingdom” received this year. This game is going to have all of what “Breath of the Wild” had to offer and then some. I think that it is safe to say that this will be a game worth spending hours in. Get a copy on May 12, 2023.