Review: Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom explained to parents

Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Featured Ecran Partage

What parents need to know

In Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, play as Link again in his new adventure, which is the direct sequel to the cult game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BOTW). Link can explore the world of Hyrule that was in the previous game, in addition to being able to explore the sky and the floating islands that are now there. He also wields new weapons and has access to new abilities.

The game is very similar aesthetically to the previous game.

After defeating Calamity Ganon and Darth Beast Ganon in BOTW, Princess Zelda and Link ventures under the castle, and awakens a powerful mummy that will drain Link’s powers and separate the hero couple in his curse. After the disaster, Link wakes up in the shelter and finds himself again with 3 hearts of life, powerless and sets out to find Princess Zelda.

The actions possible by Link are: jumping, running, hitting with a sword or knife, shooting arrows, brandishing his shield, using his parasail to hover in the air, jumping and using his shield as a surfboard, cooking, and talking to non-playable characters in particular.

In this installment, BOTW’s special abilities such as Stasis, Cryosis, Magnesis and bombs on demand have disappeared. Instead, 4 new capabilities are arriving:

(English name / French name)

Ultrahand / Emprise : This is a better version of Magnesis. Allows you to magically move many objects, not only metallic, and especially to attach them with each other, in order to create new combined objects, even vehicles, or even weapons. There are a lot of components and objects that you can assemble to do what you want. Only your imagination is the limit.

Fuse / Amalgam: Allows you to merge objects with your shields, weapons, bows. See a patch of ice? You can merge it with your shield, to amplify the surfing ability on it. See a rock? You can merge it with a sword to break rocks, metal boxes and crate more easily.

Recall / Retrospective: Triggers a return in time for the trajectory of the target object. A big spike ball is rolling on you? Use Recall to send it back to the enemies who sent it to you. A water mill turns the wrong way? Use the ability to change its meaning and climb on it to access your destination.

Ascent / Ascension: Allows you to move vertically in a platform above Link. Link will then cross the platform physically and find himself at its summit.

All these abilities completely change the game, and the way to solve puzzles and riddles. We see the world completely differently.

The player explores a huge open world, in 3 dimensions, he must constantly move the camera and use all the buttons on his controller and combinations of them in order to use Link’s multiple abilities.


The game was provided by the publisher for review, this does not influence our opinion.


Release date: 12 May 2023
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Available on: Nintendo Switch
Available format: Physical and digital
Game genre: Adventure and exploration
Themes covered: Fights, history, exploration.
Duration of a game: 1 hour
Duration of the main game/story: 50 hours
Total time to complete everything: 123 heures

Text languages: German, English, Simplified chinese, Traditional chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian,
Voice languages: German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Russian,

Number of local players: 1

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+


Link fights monsters with swords, spears, axes, etc. There is no blood. When Link gets hit or defeated, he lets out a cry of pain. When enemies are defeated, they disappear into a cloud of smoke. Some enemies, especially the <a class="glossaryLink" style="box-sizing: inherit; background-color: transparent; color: #000000 !important; text-decoration: none !important; border-bottom: 1px dotted #000000;" href="" aria-describedby="tt" data-cmtooltip="div class=glossaryItemTitleboss/divdiv class=glossaryItemBodyPersonnage ennemi plus fort que le reste des personnages que l’on rencontre dans un niveau de jeu vidéo. En général, les boss sont également plus important en taille, en détail et en personalité que le reste afin de rendre leur rencontre plus significative.Ils sont souvent placés à la fin des niveaux, en tant que dernier obstacle avant de passer au niveau suivant. Certains jeux proposent de les affronter plusieurs fois au cours de l’histoire. Ils ont naturellement toujours un point faible./div” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]”>bosses of the game, could scare younger children or sensitive people because of their rather scary and creepy appearance.


Mummy Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Shared Screen Construct Zelda Tears of the Kingdom Shared Screen

Some characters like fairies have huge plunging necklines and oversized breasts.

A lot of instructions and texts to read, each new object is introduced by a text, the whole story is told verbatim with some scenes that are dubbed by voice actors.

All the language of combat, destruction, provocation, friendship, courage.

The game emphasizes the values of mutual aid, courage and determination.

The game puts more emphasis on Link’s quest and exploration.

Zelda is unfortunately the damsel in distress that Link must save once again.

The game is quite difficult at first, especially when the player no longer has these powers and hearts of life. He must approach with caution each of the elements he encounters.

We control Link with the left joystick and we control the camera with the right joystick. Having to orient the camera with the right stick constantly can be confusing for people not used to 3D games.

Although the game shows the mechanics of the game in a rather gradual way, it will be necessary to use all the buttons of the controller in order to get out of it. It can be difficult to get away with the multiple button combinations.

The race button is placed on the B button on the Switch controller, and the jump button on the X. When you want to run and jump, you have to do a funny position with your fingers to reach the 2 buttons at once. It is possible to swap the 2 buttons in the options, but that’s it. It doesn’t change much of the problem, and all the rest of the buttons aren’t configurable. Accessibility options are very limited, and people with disabilities can have a hard time playing the game.

I personally get tangled up a lot in the buttons, constantly squeezing the bad ones reflexively from other games. I was already tangling up on BOTW.

No additional costs announced at this time.

Local game modes

Just a story mode.

Our opinion

It took Nintendo 6 years of development to create a sequel to its masterpiece Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BOTW). And what to say except that Tears of the Kingdom (TOTK) is breathtaking in every way. The content is Dantesque, the game design work is a lesson for game developers around the world.

Everything deserves to be commented on, everything deserves to be dissected, criticized. There is so much material. The game is so big, long that it is very difficult to cover everything. I will update this test as I discover.

The atmosphere of BOTW was already special in its genre. TOTK is something else! There is a unique atmosphere, where you feel alone, but not isolated, in a post-post-apocalyptic world (because BOTW was already taking place after a cataclysm). We don’t know what happened, we are confused in familiar environments. Everything is reassuring, everything is scary. It’s a pleasure to see the evolution of some old characters. It’s also a pleasure to no longer face all kinds of Guardian with their laser sight.

The musical atmosphere is masterful. There are both familiar and foreign themes from BOTW that really transport the player elsewhere mentally. The sound effects are mostly taken from the prequel.

At the beginning of the game, Link finds himself on large floating islands that serve as a tutorial for the player to learn his new abilities. This is a very long part in which I got lost multiple times, in which I spent many hours trying to figure out what the developers wanted me to do, and apparently I’m not the only one. The game oscillates between phases where the objectives are clear, and others where the player is more or less guided with elements to the next objective. This allows the player to feel in control, but it does not prevent getting lost and frustrated from time to time.

This is a very difficult balance for developers to achieve given the multiple profiles of players around the world. Everyone will have their own way of playing, of apprehending the elements and environments. In an open world, you have to be able to guide players to the next objective in a sufficiently subtle way, and TOTK does it brilliantly, most of the time.

With so many action possibilities available to Link to interact in his environment, buttons and button combinations are legion on the controller. The number of times I have made a mistake pressing one of the combinations is high. Now there are no more arrows of fire, ice or light for Link. Everything happens with the power of fusion. Each arrow can then be fired by merging it with a material, except that to do so, you must select the bow during the game, start aiming while holding R, press high on the directional cross, select the material with which you want to merge with the right stick, and finally shoot. Want to shoot a second arrow of fire? Do the same thing again! It’s really not practical, especially in the middle of a fight, when enemies run at us. This requires having a bow that lasts long enough without breaking, enough arrows and material.

To throw a material like a bomb flower, you have to aim at a weapon throw while holding R, choose its material from the horizontal list, and finally throw the bomb flower. Same problem as above if you want to throw several in a row. With more than a hundred materials available, the path of these in the horizontal list (independent of the Pause menu accessible with the “+” button) quickly becomes tedious.

Have you seen Link surfing snowy hills on the internet and want to do the same? To do this, you have to jump with X, press ZL, and A at the same time, with an equipped shield. I feel like I’m giving button combinations for a fighting game.

There are many manipulations that could have been simplified, or contextualized. Just having the ability to launch the same object several times in a row, would have made the task easier.

After the tutorial located in the islands, it resumes the path of BOTW, namely that once arrived on Hyrule, you will look for Shrines / Sanctuaries that will allow you to obtain orbs to increase the number of hearts or the stamina bar when accumulated to the number of 4, towers allowing you to discover areas of the map. All its locations will be scattered like breadcrumbs on the map to guide you to the dungeons that now replace the Divine Beast.

The Shrines are very similar to those of BOTW and naturally use the new skills of TOTK. It will be necessary to use the elements, wooden boards, wheel fan, candle, hot air balloon to solve the puzzles.

If the rise of the character is always very pleasant and exhilarating, it is nevertheless quite slow just like in its predecessor. You will have to walk for miles, fall off cliffs, avoid powerful enemies, and make do with the 3 starting life cores and the limited endurance bar for many hours. Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom requires a huge time investment from its players to enjoy it.

At the time of writing, Nintendo has announced that TOTK has sold 10 million copies worldwide in the first 3 days of its marketing and is a great critical success. If there is no doubt about the great playful qualities of the title, it should be noted that the game is not for everyone. It is a game too complex for beginners in video games,
Zelda: Link’s Awakening
is much more suitable for this title, because in 2D and allowing to discover the Zelda game series. BOTW (this time in 3D) is also more suitable to start this saga.

While it is obviously possible to start with TOTK, the game really assumes that players have gone through BOTW before.

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About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

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