Fans’ emotional responses pour in as the highly anticipated sequel to Zelda is released

Nintendo has recently unveiled Tears of the Kingdom, the latest installment in the beloved Legend of Zelda franchise, marking an exciting addition to the action-adventure series.

In this highly anticipated game, players assume the role of the heroic Link as he embarks on a quest across the vast open-world of Hyrule to rescue Princess Zelda. Fans have eagerly awaited this sequel for six long years since the release of the critically acclaimed Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, which accompanied the launch of Nintendo’s Switch console.

Early reviews for Tears of the Kingdom have been overwhelmingly positive, earning the game “universal acclaim” according to the aggregation of critic reviews on Metacritic.

However, Metacritic advises players to spend more time exploring the game before submitting their own reviews, urging them to return tomorrow evening (13 May) to provide their feedback. In the meantime, fans have been actively sharing their initial impressions, capturing screenshots, and expressing their joys and concerns about the game on various social media platforms.

While there were initial concerns that the expansive nature of the game could be overwhelming for newcomers, fans are expressing their delight at the expanded version of Hyrule, which now encompasses a wider range of environments and possibilities.

“I have been playing the new Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for over five hours and I’m still just in the beginning!” Twitter user @daveymilkshakes1 said.

“You can reach me again in about a fortnight,” another joked.

“I feel as if I will never finish this game,” Keza MacDonald, video games editor at The Guardian, wrote in her five-star review of the game. “Every time I think I’ve got a handle on it, it reveals a new expanse.”

Meanwhile, speedrunners – who try to blitz through games at record speeds – have already completed Tears of the Kingdom in less than two hours, according to Video Games Chronicle.

As Tears of the Kingdom made its debut at midnight, eager gamers around the globe flocked to video game stores, forming lengthy queues in anticipation of securing their copy.

In cities like Tokyo and New York, scenes of long lines snaked outside stores, showcasing the dedication of some super-fans who had been patiently waiting for up to two days prior to the release.

During the launch event at Nintendo’s New York store, Doug Bowser, the president of Nintendo of America, made a special appearance to personally sell the first copy of Tears of the Kingdom to a lucky fan.

Breath of the Wild has received critical acclaim, boasting a score of 97/100 based on reviews from game critics. It has also garnered a user score of 8.7 out of 10 from nearly 20,000 reviews on Metacritic. The game has been the recipient of several awards and is widely regarded as one of the greatest games of all time.

In a video message to fans, Eiji Aonuma, the producer of the Legend of Zelda series, and Hidemaro Fujibayashi, the director of the game, expressed their intention to make Tears of the Kingdom accessible to new players while ensuring an enjoyable experience for fans of Breath of the Wild.

BBC’s gaming correspondent, Steffan Powell, described Tears of the Kingdom as more than just a sequel, emphasizing its immersive free-roaming roleplaying experience and expansive storytelling canvas. Navigating the vast world of Hyrule, players are encouraged to employ their imagination to solve puzzles, forge weapons, and confront Ganondorf, the tribal chief and main antagonist.

Gene Park, games reporter for The Washington Post, hailed Tears of the Kingdom as “the fullest Zelda story to date,” further emphasizing its narrative depth and richness.