The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already four years old, meaning that it has begun showing its age on the Nintendo Switch. But emulated on PC, the game continues to look absolutely dazzling thanks to a steady stream of fan updates and improvements.
Seriously, check out the latest showcase by the Germany-based modder Digital Dreams. In it, Breath of the Wild runs at 8K resolution with a ray tracing “beyond all limits” reshade that truly makes the hills come alive with the sound of Moblings and weapon degradation.
Sunlight filtering through dense forest canopies or glittering over hills at sunset are obviously some of the most visually striking moments in the video, but even at night the environments have a lot of extra depth to them thanks to the incredible draw distances. And man that I could spend hours just splashing around in those marshy ponds.
Naturally, you need a beefy PC to unlock this magic, including an Asus TUF RTX 3090, 32GB of RAM, and 2TB of SSD storage among other things, as well as Digital Dreams’ ray tracing reshade presets. The results speak for themselves though, and show what a gorgeous second life Breath of the Wild could have as a proper PC game. I’m sure Breath of the Wild 2, whenever it actually comes out, will look excellent on the new OLED Switch, but probably not this excellent.
We’re used to seeing massive open world third-party games like Skyrim, The Witcher 3, and Red Dead Redemption 2 get these mod treatments. More and more first-party console games are as well as now thanks to Sony and Xbox porting things like Horizon: Zero Dawn and the newer Gears games to PC. Maybe one day fans won’t need to use a console emulator to do the same for Nintendo’s marquee releases.