This morning, Nintendo released a video with around 10 minutes of Eiji Aonuma showing actual The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay, and it reveals spectacular new abilities for Link like Recall, Fuse, Ultrahand, and Ascend, which enable player imagination in vast and enormous new ways. Although we still know almost nothing about the story, this is an incredibly impressive showcase for how Tears of the Kingdom will offer fundamentally different gameplay opportunities than Breath of the Wild.
This time around, floating land masses are called Sky Islands. To get to Sky Islands when they’re so high up, you just have to find what is falling from the sky. When you find objects that fall from the sky, you can use Link’s new Recall ability to make the fallen object rewind in time, sending it back into the sky (and you can ride it along the way). Then you can use the Paraglider to hop from place to place when you’re in the sky. However, Aonuma promises that there are several ways to traverse the Sky Islands, and he hopes you will find and experience them all.
There is a new enemy called the Construct, and Link battles it using a Tree Branch — which breaks immediately, confirming that weapons breaking still exists the same as always. However, Link has a new Fuse ability in Tears of the Kingdom that can combine a lousy, nearly broken item like a Tree Branch with something awesome like a big rock or boulder, turning your Tree Branch into a rock hammer of sorts. This gives your weapon significantly better durability and damage output.
The Fuse ability in Tears of the Kingdom isn’t limited to combining strictly natural objects though, as Aonuma demonstrates fusing a Long Stick with a Farmer’s Pitchfork to create a weapon with an extremely long lance-like attack range. You can furthermore fuse materials in your inventory with an arrow, with the example of fusing ice materials to an arrow to turn it into an ice arrow. Most awesomely of all, you can fuse a Keese Eyeball to an arrow, and it will automatically lock on to aerial creatures like birds! It’s a freaking homemade homing attack!
The possibilities seem enormous with the Fuse ability, which is even shown to combine a mushroom with a shield so that the mushroom can burst, deploy spores that obscure the area, and give Link an opportunity to counterattack. You have to just watch the Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video to fully appreciate how much creativity the Fuse ability will give this game. (Also, Construct enemies sometimes have their own fused weapons that you have to navigate, like a wind fan.)
In similar fashion, the new Ultrahand ability can fuse objects together for various purposes, with the example being that giant logs are combined with fan objects in order to create a rudimentary boat. You have the power to build vehicles now, basically.
Finally, the Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video more fully explained the Ascend ability, which can be used (with some limitations) to shoot Link directly up and through a solid surface above. This might help with reaching Sky Islands, but it can also help you get to the top of mountains much faster than actually climbing if you can find a cave from which to use the Ascend ability.
So, with Recall, Fuse, Ultrahand (excellent name choice), and Ascend, Eiji Aonuma has sold us really hard on the gameplay possibilities of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. Let us know what you thought of the showcase. Also, check out the TotK Nintendo Switch OLED that was announced.