Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Thread

Casual Shinji

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I kinda fell off this game hard, and haven't touched it for a week now. After the second temple I could really feel the story and characters not having any presence at all, much the same as BotW. And I think that's why TotK lost steam for me so suddenly; as good as it is it's really just BotW again in almost every way. Sure, there's a bit of remixing, even some new powers, but the feel of the game, both narratively, aesthetically, and mechanically, is identical to a game from back in 2017.

I don't know, I might pick it up again, and I did enjoy the time I had with it, but I can't help but feel the old BotW cobwebs all over this game. They're nice, cozy, and fun cobwebs, but they're still cobwebs.
 
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Hades

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I kinda fell off this game hard, and haven't touched it for a week now. After the second temple I could really feel the story and characters not having any presence at all, much the same as BotW. And I think that's why TotK lost steam for me so suddenly; as good as it is it's really just BotW again in almost every way. Sure, there's a bit of remixing, even some new powers, but the feel of the game, both narratively, aesthetically, and mechanically, is identical to a game from back in 2017.
It is. Though since 2016 was the last time I played BOTW I can't say I really mind. This time. If the next game is BOTW 3 I might get a bit grumpy.
 

Casual Shinji

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It is. Though since 2016 was the last time I played BOTW I can't say I really mind. This time. If the next game is BOTW 3 I might get a bit grumpy.
It took me a while to actually get myself to the ending of BotW, since there's not that much narrative drive there either. That game was really about unpacking an unknown world, and the actual end Boss and ending were incredibly mid. The first real temple in TotK with Tulin gave me hope there'd be a bit more character motivation, but then the next temple with Yunobo felt like a palette swap of the first temple, similar to the Divine Beasts. And I can't help but fear that for the few moments of Zelda and Ganon we get to see, the ending to TotK will be a similar dry fart.
 

sXeth

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It took me a while to actually get myself to the ending of BotW, since there's not that much narrative drive there either. That game was really about unpacking an unknown world, and the actual end Boss and ending were incredibly mid. The first real temple in TotK with Tulin gave me hope there'd be a bit more character motivation, but then the next temple with Yunobo felt like a palette swap of the first temple, similar to the Divine Beasts. And I can't help but fear that for the few moments of Zelda and Ganon we get to see, the ending to TotK will be a similar dry fart.
I will say this as someone who's first game was Zelda 1 and has played literally all of them (I think? not the CD-I ones) .... expecting narrative drive in a Zelda game is like going to a Blink-182 concert expecting to hear Rush's 2112 in full

Go forth and smack the things, solve the mazes/puzzles that iterate up as you get more gadgets... forget that last part if you're in BotW/TotK because "open world", but story? yeah no
 

Casual Shinji

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I will say this as someone who's first game was Zelda 1 and has played literally all of them (I think? not the CD-I ones) .... expecting narrative drive in a Zelda game is like going to a Blink-182 concert expecting to hear Rush's 2112 in full

Go forth and smack the things, solve the mazes/puzzles that iterate up as you get more gadgets... forget that last part if you're in BotW/TotK because "open world", but story? yeah no
Sure, but there is story and there is character. There are even moments where some very important character/story related things happen - this isn't Tetris. I wouldn't call Wind Waker or Twilight Princess story driven, but there is a plot that you follow and story beats that mark the progression of the overall adventure. In BotW and TotK this feels completely absent because nearly everything needs to be able to be tackled at any point by the player. And this isn't bad, but if you incorperate a story into that, or at least the way Nintendo does it, it makes it feel kinda superfluous, eventhough when the story shows up it still makes it seem like a big deal. And unlike something like Hollow Knight or the Souls games the world itself doesn't have that lived-in, storied feel to it to offset the absence of a traditional narrative.
 
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BrawlMan

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I will say this as someone who's first game was Zelda 1 and has played literally all of them (I think? not the CD-I ones) .... expecting narrative drive in a Zelda game is like going to a Blink-182 concert expecting to hear Rush's 2112 in full

Go forth and smack the things, solve the mazes/puzzles that iterate up as you get more gadgets... forget that last part if you're in BotW/TotK because "open world", but story? yeah no
If Wind Waker & Twilight Princess can have engaging stories, narrative, and characters then so can Tears Of The Kingdom. Still doesn't excuse the lack of trying.
 

Eacaraxe

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And I can't help but fear that for the few moments of Zelda and Ganon we get to see, the ending to TotK will be a similar dry fart.
Without spoiling anything, it really depends on if you're looking for narrative catharsis or gameplay challenge.

In terms of plot buildup and narrative catharsis, TotK delivers about the same scale of experience as BotW...dependent on how cathartic you found BotW in the first place. TotK builds on the experience of BotW, after all, so if you didn't find BotW fulfilling, chances are you won't find TotK's ending fulfilling either. It's the same gameplay loop, after all: where there were memories in BotW, there are dragon's tears in TotK; getting the master sword back is vaguely comparable, but more narratively impactful in TotK; solving the regional phenomena is likewise comparable to liberating the divine beasts in BotW; the ending sequence ties everything together, and the catharsis is dependent on how invested you've become by that point.

But I will say, if you bought into BotW, TotK's story is stronger and elevates the narrative model to new heights. If you didn't buy into BotW...well, why did you give TotK a shot in the first place?

Gameplay-wise, holy hell is TotK's endgame better. In BotW, you could skip the entirety of Hyrule castle, knock off half Calamity Ganon's health via divine beast, cheese the last half of his health, and faceroll the "interactive cutscene" phase 3. Yeah, in TotK...not so much. There's not much in the way of a final dungeon this time around, but instead you get a mini-Hyrule Warriors mass combat scene, boss rush for the temples you didn't complete, and a Ganon fight that's probably the hardest and most mechanically-complex in the franchise to date. It's no Dark Souls and it can be cheesed, sure, but we're talking about Zelda here.
 
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Casual Shinji

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But I will say, if you bought into BotW, TotK's story is stronger and elevates the narrative model to new heights. If you didn't buy into BotW...well, why did you give TotK a shot in the first place?
Well, I didn't particularly buy into BotW's story, no. But then that wasn't really what you were there for. I didn't expect a riviting story from TotK, but for a sequel the only really new thing it has to offer is the sky islands, which are mimimal, and the chasm, which is pretty boring. The rest of the open-world is pretty much the same as it was in BotW. Sure, it switches things up here and there, but nothing makes things feel like a new world. And mechanically the game is virtually unchanged - climbing, running, fighting, horse riding, it's identical to BotW. There's obviously the constuction angle to the game, but apart from glueing a couple of planks together or sticking a fan to something, none of it feels really necessary for progession.

Again, I'm not saying this game is bad, quite the opposite, but having already played BotW A LOT, TotK really doesn't offer anything new and exciting, just BotW again. And not 'again' as in 'more of the same' like the usual sequel, it's literally just BotW again; same world, same characters, same mechanics, same controls, same story structure, same visuals. This game is amazing... if you never played BotW.
 
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Eacaraxe

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...The rest of the open-world is pretty much the same as it was in BotW. Sure, it switches things up here and there, but nothing makes things feel like a new world...
Not to be flippant, but it is the same world, albeit with expansions as stated and minor alterations to reflect short-term passage of time. It's a direct sequel, it's what one should expect.

And mechanically the game is virtually unchanged - climbing, running, fighting, horse riding, it's identical to BotW.
Well, yeah. It's the basic 3D Zelda game control scheme, not accounting for motion control or touchscreen gimmicks which have never been particularly well-accepted by Zelda players. You may as well be saying this plays identically to Ocarina of Time, but for higher framerate and controller responsiveness.

There's obviously the constuction angle to the game, but apart from glueing a couple of planks together or sticking a fan to something, none of it feels really necessary for progession.
That none of it is necessary for progression is the design intent. The elephant in the room is that TotK simply isn't a straightforward open-world/sandbox game as was its predecessor: TotK is far better understood as an immersive sim.
 

Casual Shinji

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Not to be flippant, but it is the same world, albeit with expansions as stated and minor alterations to reflect short-term passage of time. It's a direct sequel, it's what one should expect.


Well, yeah. It's the basic 3D Zelda game control scheme, not accounting for motion control or touchscreen gimmicks which have never been particularly well-accepted by Zelda players. You may as well be saying this plays identically to Ocarina of Time, but for higher framerate and controller responsiveness.
No, I mean nothing is mechanically improved or tweaked from the previous game, whether it be the climbing, the fighting, or the horse riding. It's been lifted straight from BotW. No alterations to smooth things out have been applied.

And yes, it is the same world. And it is the same mechanics, and the same characters, and the same aesthetics. Even the Korok Forrest was almost the exact same set-up. For a sequel it's really just Breath of the Wild again (but with added construction mechanics that don't feel particularly necessary), when other game sequels will typically give you new characters (depended on how story focused it is), a new world, beefed-up combat, stuff like that.

It's a really good game that feels about 90% the same as the previous really good game. There's no fresh sense of discovery, or story, or characters.
 
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It's a really good game that feels about 90% the same as the previous really good game. There's no fresh sense of discovery, or story, or characters.
So in other words: emission packs sequel to the highest degree. Say what you will about these two, but Majora's Mask actually accomplished something different, and put you on a strict time limit to finish the game. While Mario Galaxy 2 was more the same with Yoshi, it was at least fun in expansive level design.
 

Kyrian007

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Well, I didn't particularly buy into BotW's story, no. But then that wasn't really what you were there for. I didn't expect a riviting story from TotK, but for a sequel the only really new thing it has to offer is the sky islands, which are mimimal, and the chasm, which is pretty boring. The rest of the open-world is pretty much the same as it was in BotW. Sure, it switches things up here and there, but nothing makes things feel like a new world. And mechanically the game is virtually unchanged - climbing, running, fighting, horse riding, it's identical to BotW. There's obviously the constuction angle to the game, but apart from glueing a couple of planks together or sticking a fan to something, none of it feels really necessary for progession.

Again, I'm not saying this game is bad, quite the opposite, but having already played BotW A LOT, TotK really doesn't offer anything new and exciting, just BotW again. And not 'again' as in 'more of the same' like the usual sequel, it's literally just BotW again; same world, same characters, same mechanics, same controls, same story structure, same visuals. This game is amazing... if you never played BotW.
If someone's goal was to play TotK once to experience it, then never revisit it again... your take was incredibly spot-on. From that point of view, it isn't new or different enough to impress (any more than one was already impressed with BotW.)

But for someone like me, who will in a year or two get a hankering to play it again the actual problem is that TotK makes BotW is kind of useless. TotK IS BotW but more. They showed the proof of concept... and built on it. I won't probably ever now get the itch to replay BotW. I'll boot it up, load an endgame save, watch some cutscenes for context... and then boot up TotK.
 

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But for someone like me, who will in a year or two get a hankering to play it again the actual problem is that TotK makes BotW is kind of useless. TotK IS BotW but more. They showed the proof of concept... and built on it. I won't probably ever now get the itch to replay BotW. I'll boot it up, load an endgame save, watch some cutscenes for context... and then boot up TotK.
So basically GoW: Ragnarok to GoW4, Streets of Rage 4 to Streets of Rage 2 and especially 3 (SOR2 is still fun though) or Doom Eternal to Doom 4 (this one in particular I heavily disagree. Doom 4 is better).
 
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Casual Shinji

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If someone's goal was to play TotK once to experience it, then never revisit it again... your take was incredibly spot-on. From that point of view, it isn't new or different enough to impress (any more than one was already impressed with BotW.)

But for someone like me, who will in a year or two get a hankering to play it again the actual problem is that TotK makes BotW is kind of useless. TotK IS BotW but more. They showed the proof of concept... and built on it. I won't probably ever now get the itch to replay BotW. I'll boot it up, load an endgame save, watch some cutscenes for context... and then boot up TotK.
BotW still handles its intro way better I find. The Great Plateau was terrific at giving you this cozy sense of wonder and discovery, which then beautifully expands when the rest of the game map opens up. TotK does a similar intro, but it feels very lifeless and empty by comparison. This is something I will always have an itch for replaying, despite BotW becoming less special and engaging the longer you play it. And while TotK does make BotW pretty much obsolete, it will never have that same initial feeling by virtue of being a sequel.
 
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Kyrian007

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BotW still handles its intro way better I find. The Great Plateau was terrific at giving you this cozy sense of wonder and discovery, which then beautifully expands when the rest of the game map opens up. TotK does a similar intro, but it feels very lifeless and empty by comparison. This is something I will always have an itch for replaying, despite BotW becoming less special and engaging the longer you play it. And while TotK does make BotW pretty much obsolete, it will never have that same initial feeling by virtue of being a sequel.
BotW handles its intro better, because it barely has an intro. But yes, that's very true. And yes, BotW's initial feel is fantastic and much better the TotK's. But for me BotW won't ever have that same initial feeling again either, due to me already experiencing it for the first time. I did appreciate the very abrupt opening on my recent replay of BotW, but not because it recaptured that initial feeling of playing the game... but more because it just lets you get right on with it. Replaying TotK's intro will be way more of a slog and a chore... but at least for me it will be an annoyance offset by a game that is more enjoyable in more ways.
 
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Elvis Starburst

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Welp, I beat the game today. I avoided this thread the whole way through cause I wanted to avoid even the most minor of spoilers or hints for anything. My Switch profile says "played 250 hours or more" and I did every quest in the game during that. Finally had enough messing around and decided to clear it today. Holy shit, what an ending. The last hour or so of the game was tense.

After looking through every comment in this thread, I'm not surprised at some of the contraptions people made in this game. And to be honest, I really should've built more vehicles for getting around, cause many times I got kinda tired of running but seemed stuck in the BotW mindset, warping when I could've had some fun making stuff instead. Hell, that translated to combat a lot too, I didn't do nearly as much crazy stuff as other people did, I kinda just did combat straight for the most part, it was usually pretty efficient that way. I guess if I did over 250 hours of game time like that and still had fun then it's all good. But in hindsight I feel like I kinda missed out a little. Maybe if a DLC drops I'll be ready to go nuts. (Weirdly enough I'm like this with Monster Hunter, among a few other longer running series. Having started at the 2nd gen of MH, I tend to hunt like an old hunter even now and end up neglecting newfangled systems like the Clutch Claw from World. I do use the Wirebug stuff in Rise though, mostly out of necessity).

I did start experimenting by the end though, and created some pretty fun things. Such things I've uploaded to Imgur and will post a link here (because The Escapist is being a butt and not letting me upload them all at once here). Star Fox 64 in TotK.
I'm sure there's people out there that made these better than I did, but, meh. The Arwing is fully functional and can be equipped with a single attack option before reaching the build limit. It just doesn't pull up very well or move super fast. The Landmaster works great, just attach a cannon to the end of the arm and bam. Though, you do have to angle the cannon attachment forwards rather than upwards or the shot flies up too high and despawns. The Blue Marine was a total pain in the ass and isn't my finest work, but I did what I could. It doesn't move exceptionally well and needs to be in deep water or it gets stuck, but it did what it needed to. The Wolfen, well... I learned just how heavy Zonaite pieces are by using 2 wings, the thing doesn't fly well and steadily loses altitude. It also can't have anything added if I recall correctly cause it's at the attachment limit. It's more or less an art piece. Still nice though, it was satisfying getting the design down using 2 Wings attached together at the bottom.

Not sure if or when I'll come back to this game. I think I need a break for now since it's consumed my life, but, I might dive back in later on for some shenanigans. Though, I fear that me doing nearly everything in the game except for getting all the Korok seeds and finding a few armor pieces means I won't have much reason to go back at all if I'm looking for anything in particular to do. Time will tell.
It does speak to this game's quality that I put 250 hours into my one play through when BotW got me for only 50 the first time and about 100 for the second playthrough.

I understand the criticisms towards the game, 100%, and agree with a number of them. But one thing I can say though... I really appreciated the extra story effort this time around compared to BotW. Some of the memories got me straight up emotional, and the last parts of the game were great. I enjoyed a number of the characters, Purah has no right being this hot, and overall it was just a damn good time. It'd have to be if it locked me in for this many hours of gameplay over the course of MANY all-day game sessions like it did
 
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