It’s already clear that Tears of the Kingdom is one of the best video game releases of this year so far. The game is now a serious contender for the Game of the Year Award, all thanks to the technical and creative magic Nintendo EPD and Monolith Soft together pulled off. Tears of the Kingdom gives more freedom to the players than Breath of the Wild did and simultaneously gives a great deal of emphasis to the wider narrative. Something which Breath of the Wild was criticized for a lot. As with any sequel, comparisons will be made by both fans and critics. It happened with God of War (2018), God of War Ragnarok, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Horizon Forbidden West, and now with Tears of the Kingdom and 2017’s Breath of the Wild. And it isn’t like doing so is unfair. Finding similarities and differences is something gamers are very good at.
It’s inevitable that when a game becomes massively or even mildly successful, it will surely be compared to the sequel in the future. Call it a basic human instinct or something. Sequels have a lot of expectations riding on them, all because fans liked the first game in the series. That’s why, for some devs, it can take multiple years to develop a sequel. Silksong, the follow-up to the indie-darling metroidvania Hollow Knight, is a great example of that. And so is Tears of the Kingdom. The game even went through one delay before shipping out to the Nintendo Switch on May 12th. And now that it’s finally here, many are asking what similarities and differences it has with Breath of the Wild.
Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (ToTK) vs Breath of the Wild (BoTW): Similarities & Differences?
One major reason why Nintendo was able to cram in and create so much content in Tears of the Kingdom is that the devs decided to use the same assets that were used in Breath of the Wild. In fact, there are no noticeable changes in terms of graphics. While some were annoyed by this design choice, the majority of the community is satisfied with the results.
Since Tears of the Kingdom uses the same map as Breath of the Wild, there are really no differences between the locations of both games. The only thing to note here is the Sky Islands and the Depths. Well, these are new additions to ToTK. You will find Hateno and Kakariko Village at the same location where they were before. Mount Lanayru still sits majestically south of Zora’s Domain, overlooking Naydra Snowfield and Kakariko Village.
Combat in ToTK remains the same as in BoTW. You’ve got your charge attacks, evade, perfect guard, counter-attacks, and the like. If you mastered combat in BoTW, then you will be able to breeze through most enemy encounters in ToTK with ease. Provided you have ample good gear.
Weapon Durability –
Yes, it’s back. Arguably one of the most polarizing topics when it comes to the newer Zelda games is weapon durability. Some hated it; others liked it. But that’s a debate that will continue till the end of time. All we can say is that the fuse mechanic helps a little. Not whole.
Great News!! If you happen to have a BoTW save file, your registered horses will transfer over to Tears of the Kingdom. And you can still tame and ride horses in Tears of the Kingdom.
Gear Upgrade Mechanics –
The gear upgrade mechanic is the same as Breath of the Wild’s in ToTK. Get an armor piece, find a Great Fairy Fountain, and then upgrade your gear in exchange for rupees and monster parts.
Towers and Shrines –
In ToTK, towers and shrines make a return too. Although, in this new title, the towers serve another purpose besides just unlocking a portion of the map. The Skyview Towers, as they are called in ToTK, are also used to launch Link up in the air so that he can reach the Sky Islands.
This time, Link gets entirely new abilities. From Ultrahand to Ascend, these abilities are entirely different from the ones we got in Breath of the Wild. And some are even calling them superior to their BoTW counterparts.
Sky Islands and Depths –
The two best additions in ToTK. While Nintendo showcased the Sky Islands as the new shiny thing to explore for the sequel, they totally hid the fact that there’s an entirely new area other than the Sky Islands. An area that is said to be bigger than the Sky Islands and much more dangerous to explore is the Depths.
There’s a lot more emphasis on the story this time around from Nintendo. One of the few criticisms of BoTW was that the devs didn’t really place much importance on the story and instead focused on other gameplay factors. It looks like Nintendo listened to those complaints and put a lot of focus on the story of the princess and her loyal champion. And we finally got the Zonai.
Classic/Traditional Zelda Dungeons –
Oh, the horror when Nintendo didn’t put classic Zelda dungeons in Breath of the Wild and instead included Divine Beasts. The sheer number of videos and posts on the topic was staggering. Nintendo decided not to make the same mistakes again and introduced dungeons for good this time.
Ultrahand Builds –
Despite coming under the abilities heading, this one is so important that we had to give it more focus. The ability to build almost anything using Zonai devices and other stuff is just mind-blowing. There are already videos of players making tanks, fully functioning mechas, airplanes, and much more. ToTK has reached a level of immersive simulation that has been unattained by most and achieved by a few.
New Enemies, Armor, and Weapons –
Most enemies in Breath of the Wild were not so hard to beat, except for Lynels and Guardians. But in Tears of the Kingdom, every old and new enemy has the capability to make mincemeat out of you. Battle Talus, Flux Construct, and Gleeok are equipped to “break” your hearts, if you are not careful enough. As such, you also get new weapons and armor to face these tough foes.
These are all the major similarities and differences between The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. For more guides and info like this, follow DigiStatement.
Also, read: Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (ToTK) Glide Armor Set Location: Where Is It