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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s fuse ability reinvents the open-world game

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom got a new lengthy gameplay video today, and it revealed many of Link’s new abilities. He can now fuse objects together to create weapons and vehicles, as well as rewind objects and ascend through ceilings.

While Tears of the Kingdom was first revealed back in June 2019, we didn’t even know the game’s official name until last September, nor did we see much gameplay before the Nintendo Direct in February. As such, this gameplay showcase was really our first true deep dive into the game and its features. While many of the core mechanics and open-world setup are somewhat reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (weapon degradation is returning), some key differences do stand out, namely Link’s ability to fuse items.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – Mr. Aonuma Gameplay Demonstration

During the video, series producer Eiji Aonuma revealed this feature by adding a rock to a stick to create a more powerful hammer. He went on to show many other examples, like adding a pitchfork to a stick to make a longer-range attacking weapon, adding different elements to arrows in order to create arrows that can home in on or freeze enemies, and adding a mushroom to a shield to create a cloud of gas that Link can hide in when hit. This not only looks like a clever way to counter weapon degradation, but cracks open a whole lot of gameplay possibilities for people to experiment with.

That sentiment became doubly true when Aonuma revealed that players can also combine Fuse and another ability called Ultrahand to build vehicles. The video shows Aonuma fuse multiple logs and a fan together to make a boat that can get Link across a lake. He also confirmed that this is how the vehicles that we saw in February’s trailer came together. “In this game, you can do a lot of things just by thinking about what’s possible,” Aonuma says.

Link rides a boat he made with Fuse in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

While Fuse is the biggest new gameplay draw of Tears of the Kingdom, this video also did confirm a couple of other new abilities. These include Recall, which allows players to rewind time on certain objects. The gameplay showcase showed Link finding a chunk of rock that fell from the sky, standing on it, and rewinding time to reach the sky islands above Hyrule.

Ascend is another new tool too that players can use to get through ceilings blocking their path while exploring the world. Aonuma also confirmed that the development of Tears of the Kingdom is complete, so we don’t have to worry about any more delays.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will be released exclusively for Nintendo Switch on May 12. It will be the first Nintendo-published game for Switch to cost $70.

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Tomas Franzese
Gaming Staff Writer
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
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