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Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom is this generation’s greatest video game, and it’s not even close

Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom is this generation’s greatest video game, and it’s not even close

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the most technically impressive game we've had for years.

I don’t think I’ve spent a single hour playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom without at some point having to take a moment to pause and contemplate one simple question: ‘How the hell was this game possible?’

Breath of the Wild was - and still is - highly revered, and for good reason. It completely shook up the entire Zelda series with a gorgeous open world littered with secrets, which players are free to explore in any way they like. Its excellence was cemented by the oh-so-satisfying physics nonsense which can be messed around with using Link’s abilities, such as Stasis and bomb jumping. However, as I’m sure anyone who’s been online in the last few days will have noticed, Tears of the Kingdom has taken that to a whole new level.

Take a look at our review for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom below.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving Tears of the Kingdom’s story so far (you’ll find no spoilers here, don’t worry), but the sheer buffoonery that can be pulled off using Link’s newly-acquired Zonai abilities is definitely what’s got everyone - including myself - in absolute awe.

As soon as it was announced that Link would be able to construct his own contraptions to explore Hyrule, everyone knew that gamers would come together to make every possible phallic object, and they’ve certainly delivered. With that said, I don’t think anyone anticipated just how many options we’d have for interacting with the world and transforming everything in it to fit our creative visions (phallic or not).

The main ability that everyone’s been experimenting with is Ultrahand. Aptly named after the classic toy manufactured by Nintendo in the 1960s, players can piece together pretty much any object they want to solve puzzles, traverse the land in style, or defeat enemies, and at this point I’m sure I’m not the only one questioning, ‘What’s not possible with this thing?’ It’s been a week since the game’s release, and we’ve seen gamers make functional mechs, helicopters, and Korok rotisseries, as well as penis flamethrowers (because of course they have). While the game actively encourages you to try out certain configurations of parts - such as fans and sails on logs and planks of wood to create makeshift rafts - the only real limit is players’ imaginations, as people continue to prove.

Then there’s the Recall ability, which allows players to reverse the movement of objects. This can be used to get up into the sky on fallen rocks, for example. However, once again, fans have already figured out other purposes for it - by flinging a large object around in the air with the Ultrahand ability, you can then use Recall to send it flying around in that same path, all while dealing heavy damage to any enemies in the surrounding area. There’s so many possibilities, and it’s wild to me that the game can remember the movement of so many objects simultaneously without breaking a sweat.

Link using his paraglider in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. /

Honestly though, the thing that I love most about Tears of the Kingdom is that it leans so heavily into Breath of the Wild's greatest unintentional feature - the ability to almost break the game. Sure, Link's Sheikah abilities were always there to be experimented with, and to overcome obstacles in a variety of ways, but I can’t imagine that anyone at Nintendo thought that players would end up chaining together Stasis and an absurd series of explosions to aggressively propel themselves across the map at speeds previously unbeknownst to Hylians. Now though, that sort of stuff is being actively encouraged - players have been given more options than ever to pull off ridiculous stunts and push the game to its limit.

Obviously, a lot of the wild builds that people have been coming up with are completely superfluous to the main game, but the fact that there's the potential for endless user-generated content on top of an incredible open-world story-driven adventure - which must surely take hundreds of hours to finish to 100% completion - blows my mind. Not a single object that can be found in Hyrule has been included for no reason - every inch of the colossal map is home to some place to discover, something to interact with, or pieces for you to use in some silly invention. And somehow, even without all that extra stuff to play with, it’d still be an amazing game.

Now, admittedly I've not played every single game in the world (fake gamer, I know) but I genuinely can't think of any other title ever released which includes so many complex and innovative mechanics, all of which can be pushed to such preposterous heights without the whole game falling apart. With that on top of the fact that it runs exclusively on six-year-old hybrid handheld hardware, I can only conclude that Tears of the Kingdom is the most technically impressive game of this generation (and maybe ever).

The Nintendo Switch often gets overlooked when it comes to conversations about the so-called console wars (as much as you'd like to think they’d be a thing of the past at this point, they definitely linger on), and it's true to say that in terms of raw firepower, the 2017 system just can't pump out the same consistent high frame rates and resolution as the PS5 and Xbox Series X. However, Tears of the Kingdom is definitive proof that the Switch is in no way limited from putting out genre-defining games in 2023 and beyond, and frankly, I don’t think any other game releasing this year will be able to come close to topping it.

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: The Legend Of Zelda, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, Opinion