Nintendo has released just over 10 minutes of new gameplay for its upcoming major game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. The company teased yesterday that it had plans to show off more of the game in a lengthy gameplay deep dive and we finally have a good amount of new information about the anticipated title. This includes various new inventive mechanics and exploration that takes Link to the skies.
The 10-minute gameplay demonstration for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was presented and played by series producer Eiji Aonuma. Players are back in Hyrule but the landscape is much different than what we’ve seen in Breath of the Wild. Large structures now float above the kingdom allowing for vertical exploration and larger land masses than just what’s on the ground.
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In the gameplay, an object is seen falling from one of the floating structures. Link makes his way to the object, a large concrete slab, and uses an ability called Recall to rewind the trajectory of the fallen slab so that it returns upwards back to the sky structure with Link standing on it. Aonuma stated that this is just one of many ways that players can travel to the sky islands, including the use of gliders and various flying contraptions.
The most interesting gameplay addition to Tears of the Kingdom is an ability called Fuse. Using this ability, Link can fuse two items or weapons together to create one weapon. Some examples shown in the gameplay include a stick fused with a boulder, turning it into a hard-hitting hammer-type weapon while a pole is fused with a rake to create a long-ranged weapon that can strike enemies at a distance.
Fuse extends to shields as well. A mushroom can be fused with a shield so when an enemy hits the shield, the mushroom explodes into a blinding puff of smoke that temporarily stuns the enemy. Link is also shown needing to cross a large lake so you can also use Fuse to create a makeshift boat out of logs and some wind-generating devices to propel the boat forward. Another ability called Ultrahand allows Link to change the position of fused objects such as the boat’s logs which can be slightly altered into different shapes.
If you’re out hunting birds and have bad aim, this can be alleviated by combining your arrows with eyeballs dropped by enemies. It essentially turns your arrow into a homing missile that hits birds regardless of where you aim. Fusing ice with your arrows can also freeze enemies in place. There are many applications for Fuse so it will be interesting to see how players combine the tools at their disposal.
The final ability shown off in the gameplay is called Ascend. If Link sees a mountain with a cave in it, he can create an opening in the roof of the cave to float up the mountain and through the top. This applies to other structures in the world with tall roofs as well. Instead of scaling mountains like in Breath of the Wild, Link can now simply glide up them from the inside but only if the mountain has a cave.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches on 12 May 2023 for Nintendo Switch. Check out the full gameplay below: