Game news Zelda Tears of the Kingdom will never be as memorable as Breath of the Wild
Published on 04/16/2023 at 14:05
In a month, Zelda Tears of the Kingdom will indeed take us above Hyrule. And if the vast majority of players are looking forward to it, I can’t help but tell myself that the game will never live up to its predecessor, the cult Breath of the Wild.
A story of perspective
This article is an opinion piece, it is by nature subjective. The opinion of the author is personal and is not representative of that of the rest of JV’s editorial staff.
Tears of the Kingdom, une pâle copie ?
Since the announcement of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and the first images, we have seen the emergence of a few diehards refusing to participate in the ambient enthusiasm around this game. Tears of the Kingdom (or TOTK for those in a hurry ) would be a simple 1.5 version of its predecessor, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Some profaners are even talking about a DLC-like sequel. So yeah, it’s hard… But in addition to the growing appetite for dramas and other overly sharp words, there are legitimate questions that arise about TOTK. Especially since Nintendo has every interest in offering a Breath of the Wild bis without too many additions. As a reminder, the last game in the franchise has sold more than 30 million copies. For a license whose sales generally revolve around 8 million, it’s colossal. It would be a shame, as a company, not to surf on this unprecedented success by opting for a similar formula. But if Nintendo chooses this path, it could undermine the holy tradition of Zelda, hence the concern of some.
The Zelda license has indeed accustomed us to constant renewal. It’s simple, if it’s so difficult to establish an objective ranking of the best Zelda, it’s precisely because they are very different from each other. Note also that Breath of the Wild is not itself considered a “good Zelda” by many fans. So when TOTK appeared, resembling Hyrule from Breath of the Wild, the discontent automatically mounted. TOTK would thus be a pale copy of its predecessor. The ones to which some have replied “would you say that Majora’s Mask, Phantom Hourglass or Spirit Tracks?” An endless debate on the deep nature of each opus of the license which has, to date, not really found an indisputable answer. And it’s TOTK’s turn to find itself at the heart of this eternal debate.
Everything is a question of point of view, as often. On the one hand, the latest gameplay presentation was reassuring. In addition to the few small novelties implemented here and there, we especially feel a desire to allow players to modulate their gaming experience. This is the essence of Grasp and Amalgam powers that open up new vistas and seem to offer endless possibilities for players. But on the other hand, this new approach is part of the initial approach of Breath of the Wild: a discovery placed under the sign of freedom. Thus, the very essence of these two games may seem sadly similar. Personally, I’m also afraid that TOTK won’t take over me for the same reason.
Even last time’s gameplay presentation wasn’t enough to fully reassure me. And yet, I recognize that the tour de force is impressive. Again, the new powers leave the door open to heaps of new creations and possibilities. We could already imagine 100 ways to kill this or that enemy on Breath of the Wild, imagine what will be possible in TOTK. And then it’s really surprising, we did not expect it. If all the sequels could offer such significant changes, the video game world would certainly be much better off.
Not to mention that technically too, it throws. Going from the skies to the mainland without loading times on Nintendo Switch is not trivial. Moreover, if you are interested in the technical/visual side, we wrote an article on the subject not long ago. And to think that we thought that Breath of the Wild was already pushing the limits of the (then very young) Nintendo console… In truth, the more I think about it, the more I tell myself that on paper TOTK has everything to be a better game than BOTW (yes, let’s get to the acronym too, no special treatment). But in fact, that’s not really the point. In fact, if Tears of the Kingdom has, for me, no chance of coming close to Breath of the Wild, it’s not so much its fault. It doesn’t matter how great the game is, it may even be objectively better, but it will never have the same aura that Breath of the Wild had, and continues to have.
Breath of the Wild, un monument inégalable ?
The idea for this post was born right after the famous gameplay presentation we keep talking about. Again, it was impressive, nothing to say etc. But still, when the ten minutes of gameplay passed and I had to say goodbye to Eiji Aonuma (producer of the license), I only wanted one thing: not pre-order TOTK, but relaunch BOTW. Breath of the Wild, that’s it. A game so powerful that no matter how many hours you may have spent on it, a micro nudge may be enough to get you back into it. I barely have time to play right now and yet so many games that tempt me have come out in the last few weeks. Let’s take Resident Evil 4 Remake like. Since its release three weeks ago, I’ve only played that and I’m having trouble getting to the end for lack of time. But no, instead of finishing it once and for all and dedicating the necessary fifteen hours to it, I preferred to spend double on BOTW. That’s the power of Breath of the Wild.
Besides this strange magnetism that still operates despite the years, BOTW is above all a whole context. In 2017, it is one of the Nintendo Switch’s launch games and undeniably the most significant. Even today, it is one of the essentials of the console, one of the most impressive games both in terms of technique and gaming experience. So when a player asks what game he should buy for his newly acquired hybrid console, well he is still advised BOTW, what regardless of age, gaming habits or preferences. Impossible to miss this monument. And if we dwell on the world of video games in general, it is clear that this game has established new codes in a genre that is nevertheless well established: that of open worlds. Its proposal is so innovative that it even went so far as to disgust some players from more classic open worlds. The CV of the game is, you will understand, impressive. Faced with such a hurricane, it is almost impossible to fight, even the indomitable Hercules would have given up.
In fact, competing with Breath of the Wild is a bit like rubbing shoulders with a titan, a deity or whatever. I honestly don’t see how Tears of the Kingdom can stand the comparison. No chance. “So why compare them in this case? Why not take and appreciate Tears of the Kingdom for what it is?” Because yes, it’s ugly to think like that, I admit it. Especially since it’s paradoxical given the fact that I am content, personally, quite easily with classic sequels that basically don’t bring much new, except at the level of the story. But it is the defect of monuments such as BOTW: impossible to approach a game which resembles them so much without it suffering from the comparison.
Especially since such a game no longer benefits from the element of surprise, from the impression of total and constant discovery which makes it possible to make such an impression. God of War: Ragnarok may be excellent, but it will always remain in the shadow of the amazing 2018 opus (respectively 19/20 and 20/20 with us). And it’s all the more obvious on a game like Breath of the Wild which puts the emphasis on discovery and exploration. Unless we change course and offer us a more linear adventure centered on the narration for example (as seems to be the case in view of the last trailer), TOTK will inevitably remain in the shadow of its predecessor. In 10 years, we will still remember Breath of the Wild. Not to say that this is the case for Tears of the Kingdom if it chooses to take the same route…
A propos de The Legend of Zelda : Tears of the Kindgom