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When you think about Unreal Engine, it's hard not to immediately think of ultra-realistic games with stunning visuals that are almost impossible to distinguish from real life.
The truth is that it's an incredible versatile engine that can do just about anything, of course, but 99.9% of the projects and remakes fans use Unreal Engine for involve taking classic games and making them look more realstic than ever before. We see it all the time, from The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time all the way through to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
One game I never imagined would benefit from an Unreal Engine remake? The Legend Of Zelda: The Wind Waker. How wrong I was. 3D artist and animator Vitor Maccari has used Unreal Engine to reimagine and overhaul the GameCube classic with properly gorgeous results. See for yourself below!
"I've reused the animation and the 3D assets from a short movie I made a few months ago," Maccari explained. I've also modeled some new assets like grass, palm trees and rocks, and I've made the handcam moviments myself with my DSLR camera. Then I tracked the shots using Nuke and imported them to Unreal."
The Wind Waker's distinct cel-shaded look was a massive gambit for Nintendo at the time, and not one that everyone appreciated. The game is much more kindly looked on these days, fortunately, and it's the very art-style so many hated that has ensured it still looks beautiful today. In fact, I'd argue that the original 2003 version has aged better visually than most, if not all, PS3/360-era games that once touted cutting-edge graphics.
Maccari takes a completely different approach in their video, but it still totally retains the charm and playfulness of The Wind Waker. There's a lovely toy-like quality to the footage that once again has me pining for the Disney Pixar Zelda adaptation that we'll probably never see. Still, I can watch Maccari's work on repeat and dream, can't I?
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