The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launched on Switch earlier this month, and to the surprise of no one, it's an exceptional game. But despite the hype and immense expectation following the success of Breath of the Wild, neither developers nor players were prepared for just how impressive Link's latest adventure was going to be. So good is it, in fact, that according to game developer Lawrence Young it simply "shouldn't be possible on the Switch".
In a TikTok video shared on Twitter by @TheAndyCortez, Young said, "The things that Tears of the Kingdom is doing, it just shouldn't be possible on the Switch. It would be a monumental thing to do on current next-gen consoles, and yet somehow Nintendo has managed to do it on something that amounts to a five year old cellphone."
Here's a game dev (@ModestLaw) explaining why Tears of the Kingdom is such a technical achievement. pic.twitter.com/q8arTEBfZfMay 21, 2023
Among the "things" that Young refers to is Link's Ultrahand ability, which lets you glue practically any objects together, and Recall, a power that allows you to send objects back in the direction they came from by rewinding time. There's also some mighty impressive physics on display, as this shrine puzzle shows, and much more besides.
"Each one of these systems would have been astounding if it was just it by itself. To have it all happening at the same time and all of it to be interconnecting and working and playing nice with each other while the entire Legend of Zelda game, the normal loop that we experience from Breath of the Wild, is just laying right on top, that doesn't seem possible."
As Young points out, the Switch is "notorious for having a very weak CPU" and memory speed that's "incredibly slow compared to modern hardware", so to have all of this going on at once and "behaving predictably" is nothing short of miraculous. "Nintendo's out here making people look like fools on hardware that's literally tenfold what the Switch is," he concludes, "and they're doing things that people thought were impossible on modern hardware."
All that work has paid off for Nintendo as Tears of the Kingdom sold a staggering 10 million copies worldwide in just three days after launch making it the fastest-selling Zelda game in history.
See what we thought of Link's latest adventure in our Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom review.