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Tears of the Kingdom is going to ruin our lives, and I’m here for it

Tears of the Kingdom is going to ruin our lives, and I’m here for it


The sheer potential of this game, with its level of creative freedom, is staggering.

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Screenshot from The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom featuring Link standing on a precipice overlooking the vast sky landscape of Hyrule.
Image: Nintendo

As the high from watching Nintendo’s Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video fades, I’m left with a staggering thought: “this game is going to ruin lives.”

As much as I enjoy The Legend of Zelda, it’s never really been a series that I get out of bed for. Before today’s TotK (pronounced “tok”) presentation, I figured I’d invest however long it’d take for me to finish a review and never pick it up again. But seeing Link take a monster eye and fuse it to an arrow to create a homing missile, I felt my brain crack open and spill everywhere. It was an “oh... oh no” kind of moment. I could see the nigh limitless potential of the kinds of shenanigans I could get up to running around Hyrule. And I know that, just like I did with Elden Ring, I will spend hundreds of hours futzing about, either creating the stick sword to end all stick swords or maybe a bespoke Hylian Aston Martin. In that one moment, I saw my beautiful doom.

And! We haven’t even seen all the game has to offer yet. Nintendo coyly didn’t reveal anything about the story or other mechanics. Why is Link’s arm all chewed up? Where’s Zelda? Why is Ganon back? How’d those islands get up in the sky? Where are the shrines (are they even there anymore?) and what kinds of puzzles will be in them? If the presentation had addressed those questions and nothing else, I’d feel decently hyped for the game. That my butt is firmly planted on the hype train without knowing any of the details I’d normally get hyped for... oh yeah, come May 12th, it is over for us all.

Breath of the Wild is arguably in the top tier of games of the last 20 years, maybe even of all time. Six years later, players are still finding new ways to play, beat, or fight in Breath of the Wild. That’s not only a testament to the awesome power of the Sheikah Slate but also the game’s “everything is permitted” level of freedom and, of course, player creativity. Tears of the Kingdom seems like that level of open, unrestricted creativity amped up to an incalculable degree. I am going to lose my mind and my life to this game, and I genuinely can’t wait to give them up.