Should You Play Breath Of The Wild Before Tears Of The Kingdom?

Should You Play Breath Of The Wild Before Tears Of The Kingdom?

It’s May 12, 2023, and on this beautiful day, Nintendo’s much-hyped sequel, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, finds itself in the eager hands of gamers around the world. But you: Maybe you stand out. Maybe you didn’t end up playing the previous game, 2017’s hit Breath of the Wild. Or maybe you touched it and fell for some reason. I won’t judge, I’m here with you.

Now here you are, seeing all those cool trailers and…interesting things you’re jumping into the new Zelda game and wondering, “Should I play Breath of the Wild before Tears of the Kingdom?” Should I?” Well, that’s what I’m here to help you understand.

A series purist will always say to go back and play the games in the correct order (which, if you’re considering how long Zelda has been around, you might want to be careful with that line of thinking). But here I will lay out some pros and cons for each action plan. There are valid reasons for either approach, so let’s go.

By the way, this article is a spoiler-free zone. So feel free to keep reading even if you haven’t touched 2017’s Breath of the Wild.

Is the Breath of the Wild story worth living before Tears of the Kingdom?

Breath of the Wild tells a very average fantasy story. Hold your farmer’s pitchforks; I’m not saying that to put him down. In general, the overall story beats are very familiar to almost anyone who has experienced a joint from Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. You have your dark lord, your threat to peace, your amnesiac protagoboy, your magic items of power, rinse and repeat. Watching a short recap video would be enough to give you a general idea of ​​BotW’s plot, and you won’t be missing out on an all-time great epic if you do.

Learn more: Catch up on Zelda: Breath of the Wild before the sequel in under seven minutes

How Breath of the Wild tells its story, however, is something you might want to consider living through, not just via synopsis. Link’s journey to regain his memories has led him to meet countless charming and memorable characters along the way, which will get you much more emotionally interested in Hyrule’s bigger story (as simple as that is) and the people who live there only if you just blow. through a summary.

The characters from Breath of the Wild make for an otherwise typical fantasy tale worth watching. Image: Nintendo

If you’re just interested in a SparkNotes brief overview of Hyrulian history, a wiki or video will do. But if you enjoy the experience of meeting interesting characters and gaining a greater emotional investment in a fictional world, jumping into Breath of the Wild first will be time well spent.

Does Tears of the Kingdom make Breath of the Wild gameplay obsolete?

We’ve all been there: first you play a sequel, then the original just seems old in comparison. Some sequels improve on their predecessor so much that it’s hard to go back. Mass Effect 2 is an example. Skyrim may be another.

First of all, no: Tears of the Kingdom certainly has its share of quality of life improvements, as in fast travel and cooking– but nothing as earth-shattering as Breath of the Wild suddenly feels Neolithic in comparison.

Link faces a massive construct in Tears of the Kingdom.

Tears of the Kingdom does not make Breath of the Wild gameplay obsolete. Image: Nintendo

As for whether or not they feel too similar, never fear. While very similar in some ways, Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild are distinct enough that going back to the old game after Tears of the Kingdom would still give you plenty of new experiences to enjoy.

Learn more: Zelda: Tears Of the Kingdom fixes some of BotW’s failures

As my colleague Kenneth Shepard told me after his early hours in Tears of the Kingdom, the sequel’s gameplay is “less of an evolution and more of a sidestep.” Link’s new abilities, especially the crafting and new Ultrahand abilitymake it a distinct enough experience that if you play them in reverse order, you won’t feel like your abilities have been greatly reduced.

Link falls from a great height in Tears of the Kingdom.

Tears of the Kingdom is a looker – and it won’t melt your Switch into plasticky goop. Image: Nintendo

Tears of the Kingdom looks graphically daunting for the old Switch, so should you wait for future hardware?

It’s no secret that the aging Wii U wasn’t too kind to Breath of the Wild. And basically, anyone who saw the first footage of Tears of the Kingdom was a little nervous wondering if the humble Nintendo Switch, released over six years ago, might be able to keep up.

Learn more: Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s Switch performance feels like a minor miracle

Well, I have good news. Or rather, Digital Foundry has good news: Tears of the Kingdom will work damn well on your old Switch. You can expect a very close to solid 30fps with a few drops here and there, especially when using Link’s new Ultrahand ability. Fast loading times are also quite fast, around 30% faster than in BotW.

Nintendo / Digital Foundry

I hear you thinking, “surely there’s another Nintendo console on the way, isn’t there?” The Switch has been out for a while, that’s true, but as we reported on tuesday 9th mayNintendo has no plans for a hardware refresh or follow-up to the Switch in 2023.

Learn more: Nintendo says it’s not expecting a new Switch this year either

And no, I have no idea what a “You Zoo” is.

How long is Breath of the Wild?

Say you don’t mind waiting for the game everyone’s talking about right now and that you’re cool to jump into Breath of the Wild first. Can you expect to knock him out in a weekend? Well no.

Link fights an enemy on horseback in Breath of the Wild.

Breath of the Wild is a long game, and every moment is worth it. Image: Nintendo

According, the main story of Breath of the Wild is around 50 hours long. What if you want to do all the side quests? You’re looking at just under 100 hours. If you’re a completion fiend, HLtB estimates 189 hours. Our own experiences confirm these numbers.

Breath of the Wild is a game of massive proportions. The world is huge and there is so much to do. If you haven’t played it yet and you’re really interested in seeing the release of Tears of the Kingdom to see what this whole Link thing is all about, expect to have to set aside some time for BotW if you’re jumping in first.

Even if you’re not a finalist, stepping into the world of Hyrule in Switch’s first Zelda title is an experience best enjoyed at a gentle pace, and you won’t feel worse for taking time to let everything sink in.

So yes, BotW is long. Which is good, because it’s a great game.

While some franchises can enter at almost any time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers compelling reasons to give it a shot first. The plot consists of standard fantasy concepts, but is told very memorably and in a sight-rich open world that is a joy to explore.

But, if you decide to jump straight into Tears of the Kingdom, a brief summary or two of BotW’s story beats will get you up to speed quickly. And with the differences in gameplay, playing the two games in reverse order shouldn’t feel too strange.

Order aside, another question is whether you should play the old game. You may feel differently, but my personal view is that Breath of the Wild is a truly wonderful experience, from the well-told story with satisfying gameplay, and a truly vibrant and beautiful world to explore, that you owe it to yourself to play this modern classic if you haven’t already, even if you’ve already spent a good few hours in it. Tears of the Kingdom.


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