Tears of the Kingdom gameplay video shows off the sky islands and a bunch of new mechanics

Tears Of The Kingdom Gameplay Skydiving Sky Island

The promised gameplay demonstration for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom just aired today, and it proved quite impressive in many ways. Not only did it finally give us a closer look into the explorable sky islands, but it also showed off plenty of intriguing new mechanics that push Breath of the Wild’s focus on experimentation to a whole new level.

Narrated and played by series producer Eiji Aonuma, the video begins with Link in the Dueling Peaks area of Breath of the Wild’s Hyrule map. Although eagle-eyed viewers will notice some alterations in the world compared to Breath of the Wild, it will remain largely familiar to fans of that game. Soon enough, a rock mysteriously falls from the sky islands above, and Aonuma goes to investigate it. Upon arrival, he utilizes a new mechanic called Recall, which rewinds the rock’s movement so that it falls up instead of down. Aonuma takes advantage of this to ride the rock all the way up to the sky islands.

Roaming the skies above

As Aonuma explores one of the sky islands, he picks up a tree branch and encounters a new robotic enemy type known as a Construct. He brings out the tree branch to fight it, but of course, it breaks after only a couple of swings. Aonuma then steals the tree branch wielded by the Construct and dispatches it, but he then notes that players will need more than just tree branches to proceed.

This is where Fuse, easily the coolest new mechanic shown in the video, comes into play. This allows players to attach various items and objects in the world to their weapons to produce a whole host of interesting effects. Aonuma introduces this mechanic by fusing a lone bolder in the environment with a tree branch to give it some extra attack power and durability. Players can also combine two different weapons together, which Aonuma demonstrates by fusing a pitchfork with a stick for substantially increased attack range.

You can even fuse arrows with materials in your inventory to augment them with unique properties. So fusing arrows with White ChuChu Jelly will turn them into makeshift Ice Arrows, whereas Keese Eyeballs will give arrows a homing property. Aonuma concludes this portion of the video by fusing his shield with a Puff Shroom. This makes it so that when an enemy strikes the shield, the mushroom bursts into a cloud of smoke that confuses the enemy, leaving it open to a sneak attack.

Other noteworthy mechanics

Next, Aonuma showcases the new Ultrahand ability, which lets players attach environmental objects together for various purposes. Here, he attaches three logs and two fans together to create a raft capable of crossing a wide river. The vehicles depicted in the most recent trailer were all crafted from scratch using the Ultrahand ability, so there’s a ton of potential to mess around with this one.

In addition to all this, we get a closer look at the Ascend ability shown off in Tears of the Kingdom’s first gameplay trailer. Whenever Link finds himself underneath a ceiling, he can use Ascend to zip up and pass through it straight to the top. This even applies to areas with incredibly thick ceilings, like in many caves; in these cases, Ascend triggers a special animation when passing through the ceiling.

Interestingly, enemies can also wield fused weapons, such as a board attached to a stick that produces wind gusts when swung. A Construct wielding this weapon manages to knock Aonuma off of the sky island with a wind gust, giving him the opportunity to demonstrate the new skydiving feature. This lets players easily scope out areas from afar and travel to them. Once you know where to land, you can descend much more quickly by holding down the X button.

Although Aonuma teased several more mechanics he wanted to show off, he decided to end the Tears of the Kingdom gameplay showcase after finishing his descent to Hyrule. All in all, this should give fans many more reasons to anticipate the game’s May 12 release.

Daniel Pinheiro
About The Author
Daniel is a Contributing Writer who has been with PC Invasion since June 2021. A recipient of a master's degree in Community Journalism from the University of Alabama, he holds a deep passion for the gaming medium and the impact it can have on our lives. He is open to all kinds of genres, but has a particular affinity for platformers and beat 'em ups (or brawlers, or hack and slash, or character action, or whatever else you prefer to call them). In his spare time, he loves playing franchises like Mario, Kirby, Zelda, Tekken, and Devil May Cry. He also loves to travel and listen to multiple hours-long video essays back-to-back.