Nintendo published a video showing off a couple of new mechanics in Tears of the Kingdom yesterday.
Maybe this was a planned release. But to me it appears as though the company wasn't entirely happy with how little online engagement last month's Nintedo Direct trailer caused. In any case, as with that recent trailer, yesterday's demonstration did little to raise my hopes for the game (speaking for myself, that is). This new game still feels much more like glorified DLC for Breath of the Wild, and apparently I'm not alone on this.
Breath of the Wild had already turned Hyrule Field into a sandbox for players to screw around in. Tears of the Kingdom seems to double down on that approach to gameplay. Link's new super powers, allowing him to noclip through ceilings and quickly undo mistakes, speak testament for how of little value the adventure aspect actually is to these games. Watching the Direct last month myself and many others were immediately reminded of a certain game, infamous for killing the Banjo & Kazooie franchise, upon witnessing Link manouvering through Hyrule in vehicles. It's evident now that Zelda's developers were having the same idea there. I'm sure fusing is going to be a fun mechanic, but what does any of the glue-and-craft gameplay have in common with what Zelda games used to be famous for? Personally I just want to delve into some really spooky dungeons!
It's easy to feel pessimistic about this upcoming game with how little Nintendo has shown of it so far and how similar to Breath of the Wild it looks. However I feel like there's a lot of room to be optimistic about Tears of the Kingdom anyways. Nintendo might be holding back on the marketing, showing only very little in known maps and of what is possible on purpose. There's no word on dungeons yet, leaving open the possibility that classic dungeons might be making their comeback after all. They might still be hiding vast segments of new map terrain. The crafting mechanics will likely allow players to craft not only small vehicles, but also larger structures ranging from houses to air fortresses and much more. Not to mention that we still have no idea what the game will actually be about and what its plot might entail. As far as I'm aware, a playable Zelda is still in the cards also.
Although I'm still not much excited about Tears of the Kingdom my conclusion is that it's still much too early to dismiss it as overpriced BotW DLC. Personally I expect dungeons to make an appearance again — but also to be disappointed that they're too simple, short, easy and lacking in horror atmosphere. I'm not looking forward to experiencing another open world sandbox, but still curious about what The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will have in store for fans.
And if you're as little excited so far as I am — maybe this unflattering accident of a screencap can change your mind about what playing the upcoming Zelda might feel like:
All careful optimism aside — I wish they would offshore much of the new gameplay to a new franchise instead of mixing Zelda with Minecraft and similar…