Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom had me hooked from the start, and I’m still chasing that buzz.

Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom had me hooked from the start, and I'm still chasing that buzz.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars – A Surprising Comparison

I can confidently say that I’m probably the only person who has ever played The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and thought, “Hey, this reminds me of Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars!” Now, before you call me crazy, hear me out. Sure, these games couldn’t be more different in terms of technology, graphics, mechanics, and themes. But there’s one striking similarity that sets them apart from the rest – they both make you feel like a tiny, insignificant speck in a world that’s ready to devour you whole.

Let’s start with Link, the hero of our beloved Zelda series. From the very beginning, he’s thrown into a world where the odds are stacked against him. And it’s not just your usual “save the princess” kind of story. No, no. Link has to face treacherous mountains, deadly rapids, harsh weather, and floating platforms that are just waiting to send him plummeting to his demise. This game takes verticality to a whole new level, quite literally. And let me tell you, even in the calmest moments, the action is faster than you can say, “Hey, look, it’s a treasure chest!”

But what really makes Tears of the Kingdom shine is its combat. When you stumble upon enemy encampments, it’s like a symphony of chaos. The battlefield is multi-leveled, with foes lurking around every corner. It’s a playground for creativity and strategy as you utilize Link’s new abilities to triumph over your enemies. Now, I must admit, in my nearly 40-hour playthrough, the thrill of being a complete underdog has somewhat diminished as I’ve become more powerful. But oh, those early moments when I was a feeble greenhorn, fighting against all odds, they were pure adrenaline-fueled bliss!

Now, let’s shift our attention to another iconic game series – Grand Theft Auto. We all know the rags-to-riches stories that define each game. But Chinatown Wars takes it to a whole new level. We meet Huang Lee, a protagonist who starts with nothing, but through his involvement in the drug trade, he slowly climbs his way to the top. And I mean slowly. This game doesn’t hand you success on a silver platter. From the start, Huang robs civilians for spare change, holds up liquor stores, and sells drugs on street corners. It’s a gritty and unforgiving world that makes you work for every ounce of progress.

So, picture this: while I’m lurking in the grass opposite a Bokoblin stronghold in Zelda’s Hyrule, armed with just a stick and a pot lid for a shield, memories of Huang Lee’s desperate stick-ups on Liberty City’s streets come flooding back. The exhilaration of teetering on the edge of failure, planning my every move meticulously to avoid getting ambushed and turned into Bokoblin barbecue, it was like nothing else. But as I ventured further into Tears of the Kingdom, gained more hearts, mastered my abilities, and obtained powerful weapons, those heart-pounding encounters lost some of their charm. Don’t get me wrong, most games eventually lose that initial thrill, but there’s something uniquely captivating about Tears of the Kingdom that keeps me coming back for more.

And let me tell you, the satisfaction of finally conquering a challenging encounter in this game is addictive. It’s like chasing the dragon (not literally, of course). Elden Ring was the last game that had me hooked like this, with its intense boss battles. But even those could be avoided if you were clever enough. In Tears of the Kingdom, you can’t resist the lure of these battles. The risk is high, but so is the reward. And even though I may never experience the same intense highs as I did at the beginning of my Hyrule journey, I’m grateful for the memories and excited to keep exploring this enchanting world.

So, gear up and get ready for an adventure like no other. Get lost in the vastness of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and embrace the thrill of being a tiny hero in an unforgiving universe. Trust me, this game is going to be talked about for years to come.

Tears of the Kingdom
Chinatown Wars