Nintendo bets big on Zelda sequel – with latest instalment met with positive reviews

Japanese games giant Nintendo hopes the latest instalment in their Legend Of Zelda franchise will sell in similar numbers to its predecessor.

The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom has been met today with overwhelmingly positive reviews from print and online outlets.

Sky News played the game the day before its release and first impressions were very positive.

Similarities with the previous iteration are numerous and welcome, with shrines, puzzle rooms and satisfying combat mechanics making a comeback. Much of the traversable landscape remains the same as the last game, as well as a lot of added landmass.

The protagonist, Link’s, abilities have been augmented to allow players to connect objects before using psychokinetic powers to manoeuvre them, along with other enhancements.

New abilities make this a much more creative game than the last, allowing players to approach puzzles and battles in a much more versatile way.

The graphics on Tears Of The Kingdom have also had an upgrade since the last chapter, taking forward the same art style and vibrant colours as in The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild (BOTW).

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A great deal of time was invested in optimising the game for the Switch, Nintendo’s flagship console.

The Switch, which has now sold more consoles than the Game Boy Color and the PlayStation 4, has struggled recently to keep up with its next-gen rivals with its older tech and weaker graphics capabilities.

However, when Sky News played a preview of Tears Of The Kingdom, frame rate stutters were few and far between and the performance held up well.

The game install size comes in at around 18GB, a much smaller file than that of other recent releases. For comparison, the award-winning Sony title God Of War Ragnarok easily surpasses the 100GB mark.

Today’s release follows the success of BOTW, published in 2017 which went on to win various awards. As of March 2023, it is the 4th best-selling Nintendo game of all time, having shifted nearly 30 million copies.

Historically, Zelda games have struggled to sell as many copies as other Nintendo classics like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros and Pokemon.

However, a source at Nintendo has told Sky News hopes are high for Tears Of The Kingdom, as the company eyes a similar financial success to that of BOTW.

BOTW was a marked departure from older instalments, introducing open-world gameplay, a non-linear story and weapon durability. All of these features have made it into the sequel.

Although the series is currently comprised of 29 games, Tears Of The Kingdom is the first direct sequel to a previously released game in the series.

It is in that sense that this is the first real sequel to a Zelda game, in that it retains all of the key game mechanics.

The original The Legend Of Zelda game was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1986. It won no awards, but was one of the first games to have a battery-backed save system, allowing players to save their progress.

The Zelda series has had a profound impact on the video game industry and popular culture at large. It has inspired countless imitators and has been referenced in numerous other media, such as television shows, movies, and music.

It’s difficult to give an exact figure for how much revenue the entire Zelda franchise has made for Nintendo since its inception, as the series has spawned merchandise, licensing deals, and other revenue streams.

The Legend Of Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom releases in the UK on Friday 12 May, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.