In ‘Tears of the Kingdom,’ the Depths Are Where the Action Is

Where Breath of the WildIts relatively limited set of player interactions means its world is filled with a lot of free space—a great opportunity to admire the movement of the wind through the tall grass while riding from this town to another town or shudder with sympathy as Link climbs the craggy peaks of a snow-capped mountain range—Kingdom Tears‘s Hyrule is brimming with ingredients needed to facilitate its object-building powers. The link repeatedly stumbles across roadside stops containing wooden planks and iron wheels, or happens on broken river bridges or minecart tracks with vehicles, sails, batteries, and blowers under construction. standing nearby.

Whether above the billowing winds of rocky islands in the sky or beneath the forests, deserts and plains of the surface, the world has plenty of pastimes. These people usually take the form of talkative locals with a red exclamation mark denoting their status as side quest givers or wiggling spirits who need a table. hand across the land to see their friends again. Helping one of these characters or just navigating from one part of the environment to another often involves scanning Link’s surroundings for useful debris, building infrastructure floor or vehicle with it and move on to the next problem (usually no more than a short sprint from the one just solved).

This focus means that the game is more of a toy box than its predecessor’s sandbox—a sprawling obstacle course rather than a hike in the wilderness. Kingdom Tears is a busier game, and often feels too pragmatic in its design to inspire the same adventure as its predecessors.

The newly added “Depths” region — a massive underground landscape full of monsters and precious resources — provides a partial antidote to this man-made type. Covered in darkness, dripping with a materialized demonic goop named “gloom”, and concealing monsters in pitch-black darkness, Depths offers the chance to spark the imagination to explore the free form. After paragliding into one of Hyrule’s surface-fractured abysses, Link must navigate the darkness by launching glowing particles in the form of breadcrumbs that increase visibility, pinpoint the location of Hyrule. luminescent trees mark his position on the map and try not to stumble, being night blind. , off the edge of the cliff go down to the cave deeper than ever.

IN WIRED’s interview with Kingdom Tears Director Hidemaro Fujibayashi and producer Eiji Aonuma Fujibayashi noted that Depths “is really about driving [a] sense of adventure” by “making sure we provide an area where players can really have a spirit of adventure and discovery.”

Organized in contrast to much of the game’s environment—its surface and sky—Depth offers more of a “sense of adventure” than can be found elsewhere in the game. Although great groups of aimless wanderers appear here and there, playing Kingdom Tears is a fundamentally different experience than what is offered by Breath of the Wild. Despite the similarities in aesthetics and plot—Link still, after all these years, tries to rescue Princess Zelda and hangs out with all kinds of rock monsters, mermaids, and bipeds along the way—part what follows is a departure in tone and action that, ironically due to the freedom of player expression, feels much more tightly directed than its predecessor. The fingerprints of its designers are evident in every carefully curated collection of building materials, and the charm of new activities is injected into nearly every nook and cranny of the map.

It may not surprise or feel as refreshing as Breath of the Wild‘s escapes the decades string formula, but Kingdom Tears Still an impressive refinement of what a Zelda the game could be many decades after launch. As an approach to addressing the typical sequel’s need to offer audiences a combination of expected familiarity and novel additions to previous installments, this is a unique creation. understanding distinction.

If the player longs to explore in the quiet and long lost forest Breath of the Wild provided—and the series’ co-creator, Miyamoto, sought to bring virtual life with 1986 Legend of Zelda—However, they would be better served looking elsewhere. The hike in the wilderness now features Lego blocks scattered across the paths and colorful signs marking each milestone along the way.


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