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Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom vs Breath of the Wild – What’s the difference?

Nintendo has released Tears of the Kingdom, a new sequel to the hugely popular Breath of the Wild. But with the new game sharing the same map as its predecessor, many fans were initially concerned that the two games would be too similar. 

Having reviewed The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we can confirm that those concerns are ill-founded. There are dozens of improvements and tweaks to make Tears of the Kingdom feel like a proper sequel rather than just an expansion. 

We’ve listed all of the main differences below, so keep on reading to find out what new features you can expect to find in Tears of the Kingdom. 

The greatest new feature in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is Link’s new ability to build various constructions. When using the new Ultrahand ability, you’re able to pick up virtually any object in the wild and glue it to something else. This allows you to create bridges, or even wheeled carts that your horse can pull. 

New Zonai technology can also be used with your constructions. There’s a huge variety of these new gadgets, including fans, rockets, steering wheels, gliders and more. This increases the scope of vehicles you can build, even if you fancy a hot air balloon that can ascend into the heavens. 

Building vehicles is not only useful for traversing Hyrule, but can also be used to solve the many puzzles within each shrine. It adds an entire new dimension to The Legend of Zelda, reinforcing its focus on encouraging the player to use their imagination. 

Link operating a vehicle he has built in Tears of the Kingdom
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

New weapon fusing mechanic

The weapon degradation mechanic was a divisive topic for Breath of the Wild, as extended use of a weapon or shield would cause them to shatter. Nintendo hasn’t removed this mechanic for Tears of the Kingdom, but has added in a new fusing feature that allows you to create your own high-damage dealing gear. 

Link can now fuse virtually any object with each weapon. That means you could add a barrel to the end of a wooden stick, or a sharper blade to your rusty sword. Each item will vary in how much they increase the damage output of your weapon, with enemy loot (such as the toenail of a Hinox) proving highly effective. 

Since you can carry a huge number of items in your inventory, Tears of the Kingdom makes it easy to assemble high-quality weapons using tree branches and the like. This maintains the survival angle of The Legend of Zelda series, while making weapon degradation less frustrating. 

New Recall and Ascend abilities 

By gaining the power of the Zonai, Link has unlocked other abilities beyond building and fusing. One of our favourite new abilities is Recall, which allows you to reverse the direction of a moving object. For example, if an enemy hurls a boulder at you, activating Recall will see that boulder crash back towards the enemy. 

Recall isn’t just handy for combat. It also has many practical uses: you can reverse the direction of a raft, despite flowing down a high-current river, or even jump on top of a rock that’s fallen from a great height, and then ascend into the sky. 

Speaking of ascending, the new Ascend ability makes it significantly easier for Link to travel vertically. If you’re inside a cave with a low ceiling, you’ll be able to use the Ascend ability, which will see you appear on top of the cave’s roof. It will also make it easier for you to find an ideal vantage point when attacking a group of enemies with your bow. 

Link skydiving in Tears of the Kingdom
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

A new version of Hyrule 

Tears of the Kingdom takes place in the same location as Breath of the Wild, with Hyrule slowly healing after the reign of Calamity Ganon. However, a number of changes have ensured this map is still a joy to explore. 

Most notably, there are now various floating islands dotted around the map’s sky. The new sky towers can catapult Link into the air, allowing him to reach these islands, where you can find hidden loot and additional side quests. 

Huge chasms have also appeared all over Hyrule, which Link can travel down into to discover a new underground land that’s just as big as Hyrule. This dark, gloomy area has many high-level enemies, but there’s also buried treasure worth discovering. 

Other areas of the map have also been altered. There are additional areas to explore by the volcano with the molten lava having disappeared, while once peaceful villages have been overrun by pirates in one corner of the land. It’s an absolute joy finding out which areas have seen changes in the time since the events of Breath of the Wild. 

New companions to aid in combat 

It’s dangerous to go alone, and so Nintendo has given Link the ability to summon companions. These companions are unlocked once you help each tribe in Hyrule, gifting Link elemental powers such as a gust of wind and water shield. 

These companions will also fight alongside you, attacking any nearby enemies so you’re not vastly outnumbered. This is particularly helpful for boss encounters with huge health bars. 

You are able to deactivate these summons if you don’t fancy the companions being at your side day and night, but it’s still a nice option to have. 

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