I know I’m going to get a lot of complaints about this but I have to say what I feel. The graphics in Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom are really bad and for me they’re not forgivable, no matter what the rest of the game is like. I don’t own a Switch, I watched a friend playing, so maybe I’m just not used to its graphics, but I swear other ones I’ve seen, like Super Mario Odyssey and Splatoon 3, were better than this.
I get that the Switch has to end up less powerful than home consoles because it’s portable but to me that means the games should be scaled to suit the hardware. It’s not even necessarily the performance problems I have an issue with. There’s some pretty bad slowdown but you can put up with it and that alone is not enough for me to disregard the game.
What does get me though is just how bland and ugly everything looks, with the strange colour palette they’ve chosen. Everything is so washed out and cloudy looking, like you’re looking at the game through a cloud of smoke. My first assumption was that this was a compromise for the Switch’s lack of power, but I don’t really see how. It wouldn’t have taken any more processing power to have more colour in it, so I’m not sure why it’s like that.
Perhaps it’s means to fit alongside with the poor quality and under-detailed textures, some of which do look truly awful when you get close to them. There’s sometimes, though, when you can move the camera around and, depending on the position of the sun, you can barely make out what’s happening, as the screen almost whites out – again, not for any obvious reason.
The whole game is so murky and indistinct it completely took me out of the experience and any sense of immersion that the physics might have allowed. I am not someone that insists that all games have to look like Horizon Forbidden West but Tears Of The Kingdom is so ugly that it puts me off playing the game and I know I’m not the only one.
My solution would’ve been to decrease the size of the open world and try to tighten things up enough that there’s spare power left to improve the graphics. That or just wait until the Switch 2 and release it on that.
Nintendo are obviously great at making games, and have a lot of ambition, but if their hardware isn’t up to realising their designs then one of those things has to change. You can’t just make a compromise and decide it’s good enough.
I realise Nintendo isn’t going anywhere, especially after the success of the Switch, but I can’t help but wish that Nintendo didn’t make hardware at all and that they would release their games on PlayStation 5 and Xbox.
Imagine how good this game would be if it had the power of those consoles, and PC ports, behind them? It would no longer looked like a washed out PlayStation 3 game but combine the graphics of Horizon with the gameplay of Zelda and make something truly amazing.
Unfortunately, the reality is that the game looks two generations old and, for me at least, is so ugly and indistinct in its visuals that it puts me off playing it. I had even thought of buying a Switch to play it, but I would never do that after seeing it in action. Maybe that makes me shallow, but I have my priorities and Tears Of The Kingdom doesn’t come close to meeting my minimum standards.
By reader Postop
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