Tears of the Kingdom should change gaming forever

Tears of the Kingdom has become the biggest video game release of the year so far, dominating nearly every outlet and social media platform as people share their new and bizarre contraptions. This latest outing for Link had high expectations due to following up on one of the best Zelda adventures of all time and an impressively long hype train. 

Breath of the Wild had a huge impact on gaming as a whole, but I am hoping that Tears of the Kingdom will change the way developers approach making games. Not just because it is an excellent game and I love the series, but because it dares to simply be different.

Tears of the Kingdom shows what Nintendo does best

Tears of the Kingdom car from trailer

It turns out that Tears of the Kingdom was close to done back in early 2022 but, according to producer Eiji Aonuma, they decided to delay the game until this year so that they could polish the physics engine and minimise bugs in the game. That delay might be one of the best choices Nintendo has made in recent years, as it made the single most important feature of the game simply incredible. 

Simply put, the physics in Tears of the Kingdom are mindboggling. Devices that the developers could never have predicted players would create work in the game, because they created one of the most realistic settings in gaming history. The number of systems working alongside each other, interacting in believable, predictable, and repeatable ways is breathtaking. The small bits I know about both physics and programming tell me that this shouldn’t work and yet here we are. Building giant mechs and transforming jets in the game.

The fact that this game doesn’t have hyper-realistic, raytraced, Ultra 4K 60 fps graphics isn’t even coming into any worthwhile conversation about the game because Tears of the Kingdom does something far more important; it makes me excited to play it. I want to delve deeper into Hyrule, build different things, and marvel at the world they’ve created. As I said in my first impressions of the game, it isn’t going to win any awards for graphics, and I honestly don’t care. Creating realistic physics is so much more important than shinier, wetter looking graphics, particularly if you have some good art design at play.

Tears of the kingdom tower animation

I hope this makes more developers take notice of what gets us really excited about gaming. I’m not bothered by an extra layer of shine on every NPC. I don’t need endless minigames to pad out the playtime. I’m not even worried about how powerful the console is; if Nintendo can get Tears of the Kingdom to run, relatively bug-free, on what is essentially a 10-year-old smartphone chipset, then clearly everyone else has been underachieving on systems like the PlayStation.

Games like this give me hope for an industry that is becoming more homogeneous and, honestly, boring. As Sony and Microsoft continue to gobble up every small studio in the world to ensure their profit margins make the magic stock market numbers go up, innovation and creativity are in short supply outside of niche titles and increasingly rare indie developers. The fact that someone as huge as Nintendo can put a game like Tears of the Kingdom together and have it be so distinctive and so different, yet still undeniably their own, is magical. This is why I love gaming so much.

I’ll put together a proper, full Tears of the Kingdom review in the next few days, but I have said before that I think gaming is at its best when it is allowed to be weird. Seeing the Internet embrace the latest Zelda game so completely, not despite, but because of its inherent weirdness, is wonderful. I only hope more developers spend their time making their games fun and less time bothering with making my graphics card explode during the loading screen.

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