- Ultrahand, a popular new feature in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, will not be returning in future games due to the difficulty of implementing it in different environments.
- The upcoming Zelda game will take a different approach and distance itself from major mechanics like Ultrahand, but not everything from BOTW and TOTK should be discarded.
- The physics system in both BOTW and TOTK is immersive and allows for creative problem-solving, and it should be retained in future Zelda games due to its versatility and potential for bizarre scenarios.
Although it is generally considered one of the best new features in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, it looks like Ultrahand is going to be a one-off ability, not returning for future games in the series. This may be disappointing, but it does make some sense, as it would surely be a difficult ability to implement in a new game with different environments, puzzles, etc. Moreover, the next Zelda game will take a different approach, according to comments made by Nintendo, and will thus distance itself from major mechanics like Ultrahand. This is a good thing, but not everything from BOTW and TOTK should be axed for future entries.
It’s not exactly a hot take to argue that Breath of the Wild was a massive shakeup to the Zelda formula. The traditional structure and tone of 3D Zelda games were eschewed in favor of a wide-open map that encourages exploration and emergent gameplay. These gameplay foundations were supported by a few key pillars, not the least of which being Link’s unique abilities and endlessly satisfying and entertaining physics system. Tears of the Kingdom altered a good deal of BOTW‘s gameplay mechanics, including Link’s powers, but the stellar physics engine powering its predecessor remained, and it should still be intact in future releases.
The Elder Scrolls 6’s Open-World Should Take a Page From Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s Book
Tears of the Kingdom’s Depths should be a blueprint for something similar in The Elder Scrolls 6 to enhance its exploration beyond its predecessors.
Why the Next Legend of Zelda Games Needs to Keep TOTK’s Physics
Though some TOTK and BOTW features, like weapon durability, should arguably bite the dust, it would be hard to argue against the expansive and immersive physics system of these games. Key BOTW abilities, alongside the puzzles they’re required for, are propped up by this system, as players can analyze and judge the movement of objects in a consistent manner, allowing for clear, creative solutions to problems. TOTK takes this synergy to the next level, with its unparalleled building opportunities, granted via Ultrahand, giving players nearly endless opportunities for creative expression and outside-the-box problem-solving. Even with these finely-tuned systems, there’s always a sense that players are just scratching the surface of what this physics engine is capable of.
Adapting Tears of the Kingdom’s Physics to a New Zelda Game
Long before players were leveraging Ultrahand to craft wild creations in TOTK, they were playing around with the physics in BOTW. Launching enemies (or Link) through the sky via improvised catapults, grappling onto rocks before they are sent flying through the Stasis ability, freezing and blowing enemies off cliffs – all of these things are possible through the expressive and well-wrought physics system of BOTW, which was of course carried into Tears of the Kingdom. TOTK‘s new abilities and features work in tandem with the existing physics engine, opening the door to even more bizarre scenarios.
With a new Zelda game, Nintendo could further expand the opportunities available through the physics system. New abilities, a new rendition of Hyrule, different puzzles, and even a fresh art style could all drastically alter how players engage with a physics engine that is as finely tuned as the one found in Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild. Different forms of emergent gameplay and puzzle solutions could be uncovered by taking full advantage of the physics found in the game, and with TOTK playing with immersive sim elements, perhaps a new game could go all-in on the genre, using things like realistic weight and movement as central gameplay conceits.
Ultimately, there’s simply no good reason to change the way that physics works in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom‘s successor. It underpins the rest of the mechanics, and it’s versatile enough to work in various different kinds of games. TOTK leaves some big shoes to fill, and while the next Zelda game should differentiate itself, it could also greatly benefit from borrowing some key elements from its two predecessors.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the sequel to the beloved open-world adventure, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This installment once again sees Link and Zelda battling to protect Hyrule from falling to Ganondorf. This new adventure takes place in the same land of Hyrule as Breath of the Wild but sees something called the Upheaval, which allows link to travel to Sky Islands, as well as deep into the Depths beneath Hyrule. Players can use special abilities to fuse together weapons, and build items to help them progress through the release.
- May 12, 2023
- Rated E for Everyone 10+ for Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes
- How Long To Beat
- 59 Hours