Nintendo wowed fans and game developers with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s physics. This is reported by Polygon.
A broken bridge over a lava pit attracts attention in the game. To pass it, the player uses Link’s Ultra Arm ability to deploy the structure by attaching it to a wheeled platform in the lava. When this is done, the wheeled platform activates and moves forward, it pulls the bridge taut, splashing lava as it goes, until the suspension bridge is actually suspended and can be crossed.
The game programming flex of all time. pic.twitter.com/id2K5uE5mz
— William Armstrong (@WillWArmstrong) May 21, 2023
A clip with such a solution has already gone viral on Twitter. At the same time, the physical system of the game was called literally a miracle.
“The most complicated part of game development is when different systems and features start touching each other,” said Shayna Moon, a technical producer who’s worked on games like the 2018 God of War reboot and its sequel, God of War: Ragnarök. “It’s really impressive. The amount of dynamic objects is why there are so many different kinds of solutions to this puzzle in particular. There are so many ways this could break.”
The Last of Us Part 2 game’s naturally moving rope to solve a puzzle in 2020 caused a similar shock among developers. Like the bridge in Tears of the Kingdom, they saw how much work went into its creation.
“Last time I saw something this impressive physics/gameplay wise was the rope in The Last of Us Part 2. And the rope only appeared in [a] few very controlled scenarios,” said Rocksteady Games senior gameplay and combat programmer Aadit Doshi on Twitter. “To be able to confidently present the player with a stack of blocks that are linked with chains that move in accurate ways, without clipping, without objects shaking like crazy as it tries to figure out what it needs to do is awe-inspiring.”
According to Gravity Well senior engineer and former Call of Duty developer Josh Caratelli, Tears of the Kingdom’s physics aren’t magical. It’s clear that Nintendo has a great understanding of physical interactions in a game.
“What’s extremely technically impressive is how stable it is and how it all fits together in a way where there’s no pre-programmed solution and players can solve puzzles with complete freedom,” he added.
It was previously reported that The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom sold over 10 million in the first three days. As a result, Tears of the Kingdom is not only selling faster than any other The Legend of Zelda part in history but also outselling any other Nintendo Switch game – and currently outselling all other Nintendo games across all of the company’s platforms in the US.