Spoiler Warning: The article below contains minor spoilers for some of the side quests in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. It is possible the comment section could contain spoilers in both pictures and words. Please click at your own risk.

For as groundbreaking as Breath of the Wild was for open-world games, there were a few aspects of its design that – even by 2017’s standards — felt uncharacteristically run-of-the-mill. Specifically, in subsequent playthroughs of the game, I have difficulty with revisiting most of the side quests. As a pretense to explore more of Hyrule, they certainly get the job done. As a vehicle for enriching the world’s characters and mythology, however, they leave a lot to be desired.

Not every side quest needs to be a complicated exploration of the human condition, as I’m a sucker for assignments that are as simple as “go to this location and defeat these monsters.” But when the Tarrey Town questline is one of the sole exceptions to this rule, that’s a bummer.

With Tears of the Kingdom, one of my greatest hopes was that it would take inspiration from some of its contemporaries and offer more meaningful side content — more stories, less errands. Having completed the game last night — with about 100 hours clocked in — I’m mostly satisfied on that front. Although many of the quests are about as contextually basic as those in its predecessor, I can also recall more than a handful of honest-to-goodness stories with endearing characters. From solving cases as a journalist to assisting in a mayoral election, there’s a much greater sense of community this time around.

I’d love to hear from you guys, though. How do you think Tears of the Kingdom’s side quests stack up against those found in Breath of the Wild? Are they enough of a step up? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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