The Great Plateau from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can now be explored entirely in virtual reality, via the VRChat platform.
The Legend of Zelda is undoubtedly one of the most popular and enduring video game series in history, and its 2017 installment, Breath of the Wild, has inspired a variety of community responses, including a detailed recreation in VR thanks to an intrepid fan. The story of Breath of the Wild was recently expanded in the prequel Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, and it’s set to continue in a sequel sometime soon.
The recreation was made in VRChat, an online free-to-play virtual reality social platform that was released in January 2017. The platform allows players to create virtual reality worlds with a vast collection of tools and objects. Meanwhile, Breath of the Wild was released two months later, and true to Legend of Zelda tradition, follows main character Link around the world of Hyrule. The game was particularly noteworthy for its vast and explorable open world, which made it a virtual playground for modders, so it seems only natural that Breath of the Wild and VRChat would someday cross paths as well.
That eventual crossover happened courtesy of VRChat user Colonel McKernal, who painstakingly recreated Breath of the Wild‘s Great Plateau area on the virtual reality platform. Up to four players can traverse the verdant fields, crumbling ruins, and majestic waterfalls of the Great Plateau, and even cross swords with the Guardians. Colonel McKernal demonstrates the breadth of their recreation with a video posted on YouTube:
The amount of work and detail that Colonel McKernal invested in the recreation is impressive and worthy of renown all on its own, but it’s definitely worth noting the building power of VRChat. The recreation is a faithful translation of Breath of the Wild’s cel-shading merged with its open world’s fantastical realism, and looks so good that it could easily be confused as something produced by the entire Legend of Zelda development team rather than a single, hardworking diehard fan. It’s definitely a big visual step-up from RPG Maker.
The virtual reality recreation, coupled with modders using computationally demanding techniques like ray tracing with new ease, seems to be a pretty good indicator that game development is becoming more and more approachable and available to budding developers and small studios who don’t have the prestige or spending power of AAA studios. If one dedicated fan can recreate a lush, verdant area from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in great detail single-handedly, imagine what even a small creative team with the right enthusiasm (and time) can do.
Next: Breath of the Wild’s Ending Is Better If You Beat Everything Else First
Source: Colonel McKernal
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