‘Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’ Scores Widespread Acclaim in First Reviews

“Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is the latest critical darling in a long string of them from Nintendo, serving as a direct follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” which won many Game of the Year awards back in 2017. It looks like Nintendo’s set to dominate 2023’s Game of the Year lists as well, if current critic scores for “Tears of the Kingdom” are anything to go by.

At present, Metacritic indicates only a single critic (out of 87 critics) has given the game a less-than-positive review. An overwhelming number of publications have awarded the Zelda sequel a perfect 100 score, citing the open-world game’s dense, engrossing environments and epic sense of adventure as its greatest draws.

In the sequel, players assume control of longtime series protagonist Link, who’s on his umpteenth quest to stop malevolent forces from harming the fantasy kingdom of Hyrule. However, outlets such as Forbes praised the story for being a bit richer and more thoughtful than most Zelda games. IGN also appreciated the game’s “exciting story,” and its “wildly creative new building mechanics.”

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PCMag said the game was among the best Zelda entries ever made thanks to its adventure-friendly world design and exciting new mechanics. Gamespot praised these elements as well.

While most outlets awarded the game anywhere between a 90 and perfect 100, the one dissenting opinion came from Gfinity, clocking in with a mixed rating of 60. The review’s author, Josh Brown, respected a lot of what was on display in the sequel, but he felt it “could almost erase any reason to play Breath of the Wild,” with the core complaint there being that instead of feeling like a properly inventive, stand-alone experience, “Tears of the Kingdom” felt more like a deluxe remix of the previous title, failing to truly distinguish itself.

Though Brown’s unimpressed tone and nostalgia for the more linear days of the franchise is likely representative of how a lot of players will feel, reviews indicate that exponentially more folks are keen on embracing the open-world Zelda formula that’s quickly becoming a fixture of the franchise.

“Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” for Nintendo Switch costs $70 USD and goes on sale today.

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