Final Weapon Awards 2023 – Technical Achievement

    With 2023 coming to an end, it’s time for the 2023 Final Weapon Awards! There are a total of eight awards we will be giving out this year, which are the following: 

    This article will showcase each Final Weapon staff member’s pick for Technical Achievement, which recognizes a game that went above and beyond with the technology behind it. With that, here are our picks for the Technical Achievement Award.

    Staff Technical Achievement Picks

    Itch – Alan Wake 2

    Alan Wake 2 Launch Trailer

    Alan Wake 2 is simply the most graphically stunning video game I have seen in a long while. Even at its lowest settings on PC, the game is still a technical feat. We’re already well into the life cycle of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X|S, and there are barely any games out there that truly push these systems to their limits. 

    Alan Wake 2 is a strong exception to that. Never before has a game felt so lifelike with its lighting and overall detail. It may bring many GPUs to their knees, but not for unwarranted reasons. This game simply contains some of the most demanding visuals you will ever find in a video game. It’s solid proof that ray tracing isn’t just a gimmick when implemented properly. 

    I can only imagine what Remedy Entertainment will be able to accomplish in the future if this is the bar they are setting now. Control was also a very impressive game, but Alan Wake 2 is on a whole other technical level. If you own an expensive rig, you owe it to yourself to give it at least a single try. This is likely the closest we’re going to get to a modern Crysis

    Noah – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

    The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom version 1.1.2 update

    This was my hardest award to give. Two games stunned me with the technology behind them this year: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

    The ability to quickly load sections of New York in Spider-Man 2 was fascinating as I zipped around and glided with the web wings. I had a lot of fun exploring all of the new ray-tracing features and instances where the developers had to compromise to achieve performance. This was the first game that made me feel like the PlayStation 5 SSD was actually being put to use.

    That brings us to my pick, Tears of the Kingdom. You can’t talk enough about what the team was able to accomplish with the Nintendo Switch and this title. From the Sky Islands and skydiving to the base map with zero load times to the new abilities that all were fascinating with physics, Tears of the Kingdom did it all and had an immense amount of technology behind it. Each time I opened the game, I only grew more and more impressed. And you’ve got to mention the performance of the game, which looks incredible both handheld and docked. TOTK pushed Switch to its limits, and I can’t wait to see what a potential “next-gen” version could look like on Nintendo’s next console.

    Saras – Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

    Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Has Topped 5 Million Copies Sold

    In a year filled with games that pushed their respective console’s limits, Spider-Man 2 managed to stick out as both a visual and technical marvel. The game looks utterly gorgeous. The characters look incredibly well realized and the city of New York looks alarmingly close to reality. The different times of day add to the game’s beauty. For example, the iconic black suit looks just as beautiful in the sunlight as it does in the eye of a thunderstorm.

    Spider-Man 2 also manages to truly show off the power of the PlayStation 5’s SSD. Players are able to swing and fly across the city at high speeds. As such, they can go from one corner of the map to the other within seconds, especially thanks to the help of the map’s many slingshots. Additionally, the game’s fast travel is near instant and teleports players to the chosen area of the city seamlessly. Thanks to the game’s zero loading screens, there are no breaks in the action, allowing players to appreciate the game’s technical achievements without any issue.

    Soul – The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

    The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom

    The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a true highlight of what the Nintendo Switch is capable of. The game’s vast open world holds up quite well in portable mode, and the docked mode really makes the scenery look incredible on a big display. I haven’t finished The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom yet, since I just get lost in the side content while exploring the world and making Link stronger. I’m even more overwhelmed and impressed considering I’ve only explored like half of the Depths after all this time. Nintendo truly made a marvel of a game with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

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