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It's Finally Time To Talk About Tears Of The Kingdom's Gameplay

After years of waiting, "Zelda" fans finally got a look at new gameplay mechanics in "Tears of the Kingdom." While the preview only lasted a few minutes, it wowed fans with demonstrations of Link's new abilities, as well as the new, fragmented world of Hyrule.

The gameplay preview showed off several new abilities Link can use to get around Hyrule, including Rewind, Fuse, Ascend, and Ultrahand. Overall, each ability contributed to a central theme of the presentation: creative exploration. With the Rewind ability, Link can send objects back in time. In the case of the presentation, that meant Link rewinding a cube that had fallen from a sky island back to its original spot – and hitching a ride along with it. Ascend also helps Link get around more easily by shooting him upwards through a stream of light. Link kicks his feet as if swimming, popping out of the top of the stream and moving through any walls in the process. Producer Eiji Aonuma explained that Ascend can't help Link travel through any barrier, but it's extremely useful in navigating through the world. Still, the most exciting news for thoughtful explorers came with the other two abilities.

Get ready to create

Aonuma spent much of the demonstration focusing on Fuse and Ultrahand, two abilities that allow players to combine objects together to create new weapons and vehicles. Fuse sticks two objects together, which can result in some odd weapons. For example, Aonuma combined a mushroom and a shield, leaving the fungi jutting out in front. While the object didn't seem to have any use, the mushroom acted like a smoke bomb, and exploded in a cloud once an enemy hit it. Gamers immediately began wondering what sorts of inventions they could create with the Fuse system.

Ultrahand offers players the ability to manipulate objects, positioning them in any way they please to fuse together with other items. Why might you want to do this? Using Ultrahand and Fuse, Link can craft vehicles to explore the world in new ways. Aonuma provided an example of Link making a small boat. While the raft couldn't move on its own, adding fans to one end made it considerably more advanced – and fast. Aonuma pointed to promotional art for "Tears of the Kingdom" that showed Link riding on different vehicles and commented that these items were all buildable in the game, along with anything else players can dream up. Some fans suspected this might be the case based on earlier previews, and a few compared the new "Zelda" title to "Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts."

These new abilities highlight the ways that "Tears of the Kingdom" seeks to set itself apart from "Breath of the Wild." Exploring the world in inventive ways will clearly be a key part of the gameplay. Now all fans can do is wait to see what sorts of wild creations they can build come May 12.