In ‘Tears of the Kingdom,’ the Depths Are Where the Action Is

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How does a studio make a game sequel whose success comes from the novelty of exploring an uncharted world? It offers more. More ways to interact with the setting’s flora and fauna; more areas to explore across, above, and below the Kingdom of Hyrule.

’s comparatively limited set of player interactions meant its world contained plenty of empty spaces—great opportunities to contemplate the movement of the breeze through tall grass while riding a horse from one town to another or empathetically shiver as Link scrambles up to the craggy peaks of a snow-capped mountain range—’s Hyrule is littered with the necessary components to facilitate its object-building powers.

This focus means that the game resembles a toybox more than its predecessor’s sandbox—a sprawling obstacle course rather than a lengthy wilderness a busier game, and one that often feels too utilitarian in its design to inspire the same sense of adventure as what came before.


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