The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Without Cel-Shading is Missing the Nintendo Magic

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Without Cel-Shading is Missing the Nintendo Magic

Looks aren't everything, but they sure are something.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a huge, gorgeous game that carries a unique visual style thanks to its cel-shaded graphics. But what happens when you turn off that cel-shading? Well, you get a game that's still nice-looking, but lacks a certain something, visually.

A YouTuber named Arkh Longstride recently started performing a bit of technical wizardry on Breath of the Wild's graphics via their PC. The description on their most popular video gets down to the technical nitty-gritty of what's running and what's not, but the gist is that the game moves at a smooth 60 frames per second, its explosion effects are improved (nothing wrong with better explosions), and—most notably—there's no cel-shading. Breath of the Wild looks more realistic with its cel-shading removed, yet we can't help but raise our fists to heaven and cry out, "But at what cost?"

In all seriousness, "realistic" Breath of the Wild still looks great, but it's not hard to understand why Nintendo went for something a little more stylized with its final product. Breath of the Wild's soft colors and gentle lighting present a world that's ripe for exploration. Hyrule is sparsely-populated, but something about the way it looks and feels keeps it from feeling empty and lonely. That's why Breath of the Wild is one of my favorite post-apocalyptic games.

If you're thinking of starting Breath of the Wild for the first time, we have tons of guides, hints, and tips to help you on your way. It's worth noting Breath of the Wild's cel-shading takes the edge off the horror of the Tingle costume.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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