Tears of the Kingdom vs. BotW
Everyone was expecting the release of “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,” the next game in the popular series. But is this game better than its predecessor, “Breath of the Wild” (BotW)?
“Breath of the Wild” proudly wears the title as one of the best games ever made. And when Nintendo announced they would release a sequel, everyone wondered how this game would compare to BotW.
This article will compare “Tears of the Kingdom” to “Breath of the Wild” according to different aspects, from gameplay to lore.
Lore and Storytelling
When discussing BotW’s story, there are a few important notes to mention. For one, the story happens in the past, compared to “Tears of the Kingdom,” where things are happening in the present.
Initially, the timeline is divided in three ways after the “Ocarina in Time” event. Two paths are related to Link’s battle with Gandondorg. In one, he loses, and in the other, he wins and travels back in time to his childhood. The third branch, however, leads to a post-Link world where the hero isn’t present. Both BotW and “Tears of the Kingdom” have a storyline happening after these three events had transpired.
Moreover, the events of Hyrule’s history make it seem that “Tears of the Kingdom” is in an alternative timeline compared to BotW. In the sequel, Zelda travels back in time to assist the king and queen of Hyrule, setting events that will push Link to save Hyrule in motion.
Since none of the consequences of Zelda’s time travel are reflected in BotW, the “Tears of the Kingdom” story must happen in a totally different timeline.
In “Tears of the Kingdom,” Zelda and Link are doing their own thing, trying to fight off the Demon King who reappears in this game. While the narrative is engaging, what is lacking here is the complexity and strength of the characters.
Enemies and Base Creatures
There are many similarities between “Tears of the Kingdom” and “Breath of the Wild” regarding base enemies and ways to fight them. The attacking and dodging patterns are the same. You want to hit and avoid getting hit. But when you look at the NPCs alone, the similarities stop.
“Tears of the Kingdom” brought fresh-looking monsters to the world. A new enemy, visually similar to Botw’s Guardians, the Construct, is introduced. Construct enemies will keep Link in the air longer, making him fly more than players had previously seen before.
Flying enemies overall are improved a lot in the sequel. Using weapons and fighting patterns makes it more exciting and creative, instead of just fighting off a creature coming at you from the ground. Link must use bows and arrows more frequently than before for flying enemies. The appearance of more bosses in this game is another change players can look forward to, which was somewhat lacking in BotW.
Tutorials and Introductions to the Game
Open-world games imply the ability to start exploring the world in any way you see fit as soon as you enter the game. Along that line of thinking, skipping tutorials and the King of Hyrule guide and exploring the world in your way was doable at the start of “Breath of the Wind.” Furthermore, you didn’t have to acquire the Sheikah Slate powers since there are many ways to acquire them later. However, that’s not the case with “Tears of the Kingdom.”
In “Tears of the Kingdom,” you have to sit through a cinematic at the beginning, after which Link needs to do the quest to get to three Shrines. Despite being an exciting quest, it can feel restrictive and limited and takes several hours to complete. Upon finishing this, you are finally let into the world.
Powers and Tools
Players can try many interesting tools, toys, and powers in “Tears of the Kingdom” and “Breath of the Wild.” However, the sequel has two new moves, giving it a slight advantage.
BotW introduced a new system and gave the player more freedom. Link could reuse the powers and abilities of the Sheikah Slate, stop moving objects, make different bombs in various shapes, move things made of metal, freeze water, etc. With so many tools, the possibilities were immense.
However, “Tears of the Kingdom” introduced the ghost claw hand, or “Ultrahand,” for new abilities like “Move” and “Fuse.”
“Move” gives you the ability to move structures and objects with more freedom. You can also use “Move” to build things by attaching them. This power can make various things, such as ladders, platforms, and vehicles.
The power “Fuse” melds two objects to make a weapon. For example, you can make a club with a stick and a rock. “Tears of the Kingdom” gives the player more possibilities and creative ways to use tools compared to Botw.
Level of Difficulty
Both games are challenging to master, but since “Tears of the Kingdom” is a sequel, they had to raise the bar a little.
In “Breath of the Wild,” there were weak and hard monsters to defeat. You needed various abilities and skills while exploring to navigate these monsters.
Likewise, enemies in “Tears of the Kingdom” can be challenging, especially in The Depths. Some monsters in this area are empowered. You’ll have to use everything you have to defeat them, including new abilities such as “Fuse.”
Hyrule is present in “Tears of the Kingdom” but differs from its predecessor. It offers new experiences as well as two new layers.
BotW’s open world is, without a doubt, well-made and fun to play. You could discover new things every time you went back to play the game. However, “Tears of the Kingdom” brought new adventures and regions to conquer on a giant map. The Sky Islands and The Depths are the latest additions to the land of Hyrule.
Which Is Better?
BotW made the community go wild upon its release. In contrast, “Tears of the Kingdom” was considered too similar to BotW, and the community had lukewarm expectations. However, with new enemies, skills, and regions, fans are seeing that it is completely different from its predecessor.
Ultimately, the “better” one all comes down to personal preference and gaming style. If you prefer to stick to the main story and quests, BotW is a game for you. But if you are more into exploring the world and finding new challenges, “Tears of the Kingdom” is a good choice.
Have you tried “Tears of the Kingdom?” Which game do you think is better in terms of gameplay? Let us know in the comments section below.