Tears of the Kingdom’s creativity makes it look stunning, not the graphics

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We’re right off the back of the latest Zelda Tears of the Kingdom gameplay reveal, and while most are all aboard the hype train, as expected, a few vocal individuals have found something to complain about.

During the showcase, we saw some of the new Tears of the Kingdom abilities in the follow-up, but perhaps none caught the attention more than the Fuse and Ultrahand powers, which allow players to stick weapons and objects in the world together.

Nintendo Switch OLED Model: The Legend of Zelda

Nintendo OLED Switch The Legend of Zelda

Screen type

OLED

Color

Zelda limited edition (green)

Storage Type

Flash

USB Ports

2

NOW READ: Where to pre-order Tears of the Kingdom Switch OLED model

However, the aspect that ruffled some Hylian feathers was the graphical fidelity of the Breath of the Wild sequel. Fans have complained that it looks nigh-on identical to Breath of the Wild – presumably thanks to it running on six-year-old hardware. Tears of the Kingdom is the wrong game to be aiming this criticism at though, because ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Breath of the Wild had a distinct style, and sure, it can’t offer the ray tracing or 4K resolution you’ll find in games such as Final Fantasy 16 or Elden Ring, but it looks gorgeous in its own way.

If there’s one thing that Breath of the WiIld showed us, it’s that when presented with a playground and a combination of both familiar and new mechanics, player ingenuity is what shines. The basic Zelda template is still there – defeat Ganon, save the princess, etc. – but Breath of the Wild offered unprecedented freedom for the series, permitting players to do pretty much whatever they like from the get-go, including heading straight to fight the big bad himself.

Six years on from the most grandiose Zelda game we’ve ever seen, clips and highlights are still making their way to social media, and speedrunners are still finding quicker methods to beat the game. Players’ attention was being held for way longer than we’d seen before with the series, long after the credits had rolled, and that’s all thanks to the freedom the game offered.

NOW READ: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Map Guide – Everything We know

From ingenious methods of transport, to inventive and amusing ways of taking out tough enemies, it gave players something to look at, long after that beautiful scene at the start of the game – where Link looked out over a sprawling Hyrule – had faded from memory. Tears of the Kingdom is built upon the ingenuity of players, providing them with even more tools to get creative, especially with the Fuse and Ultrahand abilities.

Hovercrafts – hot air balloons, even full blown cars – if this is just what’s possible from the studio, imagine these tools in the hands of the Zelda community. Players were already constructing amazing Rube-Goldberg like machines in Breath of the Wild, so it’s amazing to think what they’ll create in Tears of the Kingdom.

It’s hardly the first time a Zelda game has been maligned prior to its release for its visual style either (hello, Wind Waker) – but it feels like more than two decades later, perhaps those lessons that graphical power isn’t the only thing that makes a game look good are being forgotten. Because Tears of the Kingdom looks like it’ll act as an incredible canvas for players to create masterpieces in, and I can’t wait to see the Zelda community continuing to flourish. We’re still waiting on that Nintendo Switch 2 though… 

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About the Author

Ben Borthwick

Ben Borthwick is the News Editor for VideoGamer. He's a fan of action adventure games, music games and especially comedic games like the Monkey Island series.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

  • Release Date: May 12, 2023
  • Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
  • Genre(s): Action, Action Adventure, Adventure
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