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Zelda: Breath of the Wild with ray tracing looks like a whole new game

While we're waiting for Breath of the Wild 2 to take us back to Hyrule, a fan-made mod has shown us what a different world it would be with more photorealistic rendering.

The 4K video from Digital Dreams uses a custom ray-tracing preset for ReShade, a tool which can be used to add new effects to existing games. You can check out their Patreon if you want to try it out yourself - though first you'll need to emulate Breath of the Wild on PC, which may put you in a legal grey area depending on where you live.

Or you could just enjoy the nine minutes of gameplay Digital Dreams shared with the ray-tracing preset enabled. It makes for a remarkably different feeling world, with trees and structures casting stark shadows across the landscape. The mod also seems to change the quality of the light itself to favor a more golden hue.

I'm not sure if I'd want to play through the whole game with it looking like this - the vibrant, original look of Breath of the Wild is pretty close to perfect in my book - but it's still a captivating way to enjoy Hyrule in a new light. Or you could just spend a few hours pushing together all the Old Men (who are supposed to be the same Old Man) on the Great Plateau for a family reunion. They're equally valid, for there is no wrong way to breathe in the wild. 

Another new way to appreciate Breath of the Wild's world? Scoot around Hyrule like you're in Google Maps. 

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.