They have their priorities right, and yet the game still suffers from framerate drops…
Nintendo is a company that cares more about how its games play than how they look- don’t get me wrong, Nintendo games almost always look very pretty, but that comes down to their immaculate art, more than anything. With the just released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, however, you can see that there is some impressive tech at work to back up the gorgeous artstyle- so much so, in fact, that the game often chugs, even on the Nintendo Switch, as the hardware tries to keep up.
This is in spite of the fact that Nintendo prioritized increased performance over everything else. “As the team responsible for the design and art, of course we wanted to deliver beautiful and realistic visuals, but what we fixated on most was designing the visuals so that they matched the features of the game and facilitated comfortable play for the user,” Art Director Satoru Takizawa confirmed in the new Making of Zelda view we reported on yesterday. “So, when it came down to deciding whether to make the game prettier or improve response during play, we always chose to prioritize the features of the game and improved response. I hope that players will experience the world for themselves rather than simply watching videos of the game.”
In the end, the game still stutters- not distractingly so, especially not on the Switch, but there are performance issues. It doesn’t take away from how great the game is- but it does make me wonder how badly it would have performed had it looked as good as it did in the E3 2014 reveal trailer.