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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Gameplay Reveals New Abilities, Themed Switch OLED, and More

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is out May 12 and ahead of its release, Nintendo has unveiled 10 minutes of in-depth gameplay. In it, producer Eiji Aonuma walked us through the sprawling lands of Hyrule and the floating Sky Islands, whilst offering glimpses at Link’s new abilities, ranging from time rewind, the ability to fuse objects to construct weapons, and more. He also confirmed that development on the much-anticipated sequel was now complete — the game was originally slated for a 2022 release but got delayed into this year. The video also revealed a The Legend of Zelda: Tears of The Kingdom-themed Nintendo Switch OLED model, launching April 28.

The gameplay footage for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom opens with Link riding around on his horse and exploring Hyrule, before noticing a giant rock falling from the sky. He’s then seen using the new ‘Recall’ ability on the boulder, essentially rewinding its movement and using it like a fancy elevator to get to the Sky Islands. Once he was in a well-elevated position, Aonuma popped open Link’s paraglider and floated onto one of the many floating islands. “There are lots of ways to reach the Sky Islands, so we hope you’ll try a lot of different methods,” Aonuma said via an English translator. The weapon durability factor also returns in the sequel, with armaments like wooden branches breaking apart in just a few hits. To counter that, he demonstrated Link’s new ‘Fuse’ ability, letting him combine a tree branch and a boulder to form a makeshift hammer, which is understandably more resistant to hits and degradation.

Of course, other combinations such as an extended pitchfork are also possible, helping us keep enemies at bay, while we continue prodding at them. You can also fuse arrows with materials in your inventory — fusing an ice elemental item into an arrow helps you shoot and freeze foes in the distance. Similarly, one can fuse a monster ‘Keese Eyeball’ to create a homing arrow that automatically hits a target, irrespective of how bad your aiming skills are. Shields can also be fused with exotic mushrooms, which upon taking a hit, release a giant plume of smoke that blinds enemies.

Next, we got to see Link’s new ‘Ultrahand’ ability, which essentially functions like crafting, albeit telekinetically. With it, players can build rafts, carts, and gliders by attaching fans to help propel them in a direction. “In the most recent trailer, we showed scenes of Link riding a large car and a flying machine. Those vehicles actually aren’t in the game from the start. Instead, you’ll be able to freely craft them on your own,” Aonuma said in the video. And finally, we got to see the ‘Ascend’ ability, which teleports Link onto a floor above him, as long as there’s a ceiling. For instance, if you plan to reach the top of a mountain, instead of climbing it the old-fashioned way, players can simply enter a cave at the bottom and activate the ability to push through the barrier and teleport upwards.

“I’m sure, some of you watching me play were thinking, ‘Wait, if you can do that, then maybe you could do this too’,” Aonuma said. “In this game, you can do a lot of things just by even thinking about what’s possible. There’s still a lot of new gameplay, mysteries, and encounters we couldn’t show today, but they’re all jam-packed into this unfamiliar Hyrule.” The video also revealed a Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom-themed black-and-gold Pro Controller and a carrying case, slated to launch May 12.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom releases May 12, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

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