Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
100 Greatest Characters
Your all-time favourite heroes and villains
Subscribe To Empire
Sign up now and save 44%
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

GAME DETAILS
Released
15 November 2013
Format
Nintendo 3DS
Developer
Nintendo

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Payday 2: Crimewave Edition
4 Star Empire Rating
Batman: Arkham Knight
5 Star Empire Rating
Yoshi's Wooly World
4 Star Empire Rating
Lego Jurassic World
3 Star Empire Rating
Heroes Of The Storm
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Batman: Arkham Knight
5 Star Empire Rating
Witcher III: Wild Hunt, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Bloodborne
5 Star Empire Rating
Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds


submit to reddit

The Legend Of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (2013)
Review
Fittingly for a game built around themes of duality, A Link Between Worlds is simultaneously the most original and familiar Zelda entry in years.

The Zelda games, like many of Nintendo’s beloved franchises, are almost sacrosanct in many players’ eyes. To suggest that flaws may exist within them is to all but place your head on the block and direct the axeman to at least be quick about it. Yet for a quarter of a century and counting, each entry has usually repeated the same formula – guide Link through dungeon, find item, defeat boss, move to next dungeon, repeat, destroy arch-fiend Ganon.

While this instalment doesn’t shatter the paradigm – Link is called on to save the world once again, travelling between the beautiful kingdom of Hyrule and its shadowy twin Lorule to rescue the Seven Sages and Princess Zelda – the first and boldest thing it does is abandon the staid, predictable progression. All of the key items and weapons that allow successful navigation of the realms and their perils are available early on, rendering the game a far more open and enjoyable experience. Each dungeon can be tackled at your leisure, or ignored entirely while you pursue side quests.

Whichever approach you choose, the design and structure of the world is fantastic, with clever tricks and puzzles meticulously woven into every location. Link’s new ability to turn into a two-dimensional painting adds a fresh way of thinking about challenges too, as seemingly inaccessible areas may be reached or barriers slipped though simply by flattening the impish hero against a wall.

However, as a rare direct sequel within the saga (to the SNES epic A Link To The Past, specifically) it also suffers from heaps of repetition. Certain bosses return, and are defeated in exactly the same manner as in older games – a handful even show up multiple times within this game alone. The script also feels derivative of its predecessors, more for samey jokes and side characters than for the expected cycle of reincarnation and destiny that marks Link’s adventures. Adopting the same top-down style as its forebear works well for the controls of the 3DS, but mimicking the 16-bit layout with tiny 3D models is less successful. With neither the sharp, impressive detail of Twilight Princess or the charming, impressionistic style of Wind Waker, A Link Between Worlds simply looks bland.

Despite the visual imperfections and the moments where returning players will feel they’ve done this all before, there’s a marvellous adventure here. A fine addition to the wider Zelda lore.


Reviewed by Matt Kamen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The N.W.A-Team
Empire visits the set of Straight Outta Compton

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation
Read Empire's official verdict

Empire Meets Joely Richardson
On Maggie, Arnie and Event Horizon

Sven Hansen-Løve Talks Eden
The house DJ on France’s answer to 24 Hour Party People

100 Greatest Movie Characters
The complete list of your all-time favourite heroes and villains

Vote Now For Your Favourite TV Shows
Pick your top five - if you can...

Paul Rudd Is Awesome
Being awesome: from Clueless to Ant-Man

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month!

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 67%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)