Is playing more than 60 hours on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom worthwhile?
The paradox of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is that, despite its eternal duration, it is an ideal game for those of us who have little time. The new Zelda adventure contains so much variety and quantity of activities that it can be adapted to a lot of game styles.
Sometimes we think we wish we were 12 again to enjoy releases like Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, we have to face the reality that we have reached forty and my amount of available time is very limited. Between work and family tasks, we have little time left to dedicate to those video games that we like the most, and that is when we have to prioritize and choose the experiences that suit our circumstances. In our case, we have found a perfect ally in Link’s new adventure.
We will tell you that we might sound a bit different: if it is a game that lasts at least 60 hours! Yes, we know, as we are also aware that it could easily be twice or triple the time if we stopped to discover everything it contains. Something similar happened to us with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, because it shares its conceptual base, and that is that these games are designed in such a way that you can spend all day sitting in front of the screen, but also 20 minutes if you don’t have another alternative. And you have a good time… and a lot. How is it possible?
60 hours (or more) that you can play at your own pace
There’s always been a lot of talk about the freedom of the latest Zelda games, given the scope of their open worlds, but the real magic is that there’s always something new to do. The developers said that the way to design the game was to lay out the map and then place all the temples, shrines, cities, activities and secrets. We have heard more than once some users complain that the Hyrule environment was deserted, although we couldn’t disagree more. Shortly after you walk, you come across something that distracts you from your path.
This decentralized structure, in the sandbox style, in which there are no impositions by plot, is what allows you to have so much freedom to face the adventure. This makes it possible before we go to sleep to turn on the Nintendo Switch and clear a shrine in 5 minutes, head to the nearest watchtower to unlock it, and maybe even find a kolo along the way. The next day, if we feel like it, we can go to Kakariko to buy equipment, improve our stamina and have a chat to see what’s going on in the area.
What makes Zelda so versatile and suits our needs so well is that there are a million things to do. Some tasks can be as simple as helping to hold up the Kabalit poles, finding the ghosts or cooking a recipe that we have learned when visiting the nearest post. However, we could also visit one of the mapped regions (Zora, Gerudo, Orni or Goron) to activate the main story and gradually complete it, because even these sections are divided into missions.
For me, the great thing about ZBOTW and ZTOTK is that you don’t need to go straight to the main plot to play the game. You have the freedom to play as you want at any time. We know people who play like this and who, despite having played 30 or 40 hours, have not yet set foot in a temple. There aren’t many games of this magnitude that allow for a similar approach, where you can spend hours and hours without advancing the story, whether it’s exploring caves, visiting the underworld, or even obtaining the Dragon’s Tears to learn more about Zelda’s whereabouts.
Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
This is something we’ve known since Breath of the Wild, but Tears of the Kingdom has brought it to my attention. The other day we spent an hour on the Isla Frontia destroying enemy settlements, just before we started to create an air escape method from this lost enclave (and that you will know from the previous instalment). But another day we can perfectly spend trying weapon combinations like bit different, or maybe finding the fairies to enhance my armour. One of my sessions was dedicated solely to earning rupees, so imagine.
This game seems bit funny to us because of how well it is planned, and that it fits perfectly with the idea of a player who has little time available. We know that it may seem strange if we look at the 200 hours that are needed to complete it 100 per cent, but here you don’t have to pay attention to numbers, but to game design. In this sense, both BOTW and TOTK are made not only for intensive players (who will find a huge vein) but also for occasional users.
Recently, the producer Eiji Aonuma declared that he had passed the game twenty times and that although he was forced to complete the story quickly, he could not do it: “Don’t go straight to the end. If you take your time, deviate and try things, we think you’ll be able to enjoy the game at your own pace .” That is at least what I am doing… and I attest that it is exactly like that. But now it’s your turn to comment: how is your experience, are you more into long games or playing in short periods?