New Gameplay for Tears of the Kingdom

Link looks out over Hyrule Kingdom in TOTK

Tears of the Kingdom is over a month from its official global release. While most fans grow more hyped, other people became concerned over the game’s content. Recent reveals show little difference compared to Breath of the Wild. Luckily, Nintendo decided to showcase new gameplay for TOTK, lessening the fans’ worries.

Similarities with BOTW and TOTK

Mounts and UI are similar in Tears of the Kingdom

There are a few similarities between Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild. The global predicament is occurring in the same Hyrule Kingdom, forcing players to re-explore Hyrule grounds. Like its predecessor, U.I. in TOTK showcases the same temperature, sound, time of day, equipment options, health gauge, and the mini-map. This does make it easier and more convenient for players to jump into the new sequel.

The area on the mini-map is dark and hidden. In Breath of the Wild, players would find towers that revealed large regions on the map using the Sheikah Slate. Despite already activating the towers in the previous installment, it seems they became inactive while the Sheikah Slate’s data has been erased or lost. This news isn’t exciting as it requires players to reexplore the whole kingdom. The experience will depend on how much familiar areas have changed.

Item management and combat are the same. Enemies may drop materials on the spot once defeated. The weapon durability feature returns, making every weapon break upon overuse. This is the most controversial feature of Legend of Zelda from how common weapons break, including rarer weapons. Anyone who loathes the weapon-breaking mechanic will be dissatisfied with the sequel’s combat.

Link’s New Abilities in Tears of the Kingdom

Link has new abilities in Tears of the Kingdom

Link isn’t depending on the spirits of Hyrule Champions and runes of the Sheikah Slate anymore. Instead, Link achieved different powers that utilize and control the environment around him. Many of Link’s abilities are showcased under the health bar.

Using the new control ability

Link will be traversing from the grounds of Hyrule Kingdom to the floating islands in the sky. Despite such massive heights, reaching it is quite simple with the new ability, Recall. This skill allows Link to rewind time for certain objects, such as reversing fallen debris to its original position. 

Ascend is another new feature in Tears of the Kingdom

Instead of climbing by hand, Link achieved a more effective method to transcend higher heights, Ascend. This new skill allows Link to dive into any ceiling above him and pop out to a higher elevation. This skill requires a ceiling; it’s a one-way trip. Proceed to use with caution. Higher lands could lead to more dangerous areas that require preparation, such as snowy or burning lands.

You can now combine weapons!

BOTW offered a diverse selection of weapons that supported different playstyles for Link. In TOTK, Link can now combine different weapons with the skill Fuse. This new ability allows Link to create more potent weapons with enhanced stats and durability. Weaker weapons like tree branches and long sticks last much longer when fused with other utensils like a boulder or pitchfork. 

Crafting vehicles in Tears of the Kindgom

No vehicles will be available for Link when starting TOTK. Instead, Link will craft them himself with his new skill, Ultrahand. This ability allows Link to create makeshift inventions to traverse through different environments, such as a car, air balloon, raft, or others. Turning on any makeshift vehicle causes a battery gauge to appear, draining its energy. 

Expansion of Hyrule Kingdom

Tears of the Kingdom expands Hyrule

Though it is the same Hyrule Kingdom, a lot has changed between the two games. The trailer showcased Link riding his horse past a familiar location, Dueling Peak Stables. The area used to have a Sheikah Shrine, Guardian rubble, and Sheikah Towers around its vicinity. All of them vanished in the sequel. The people within the area are reconstructing the global damage with piles of 2×4 and building materials. Whatever danger is affecting the kingdom hasn’t spread everywhere yet.

The most expanded area lies within the sky. Islands are very different compared to the Hyrule kingdom. The yellow trees spread more throughout the islands, appearing younger and full of life, than in the Hyrule Kingdom. Vegetation life may be corrupted in the Hyrule Kingdom, draining away nature’s life. The floating areas appear more ancient, with decrepit ruins and debris, holding possible secrets and answer to the upcoming danger.

Secrets await in Link's latest adventure!

There’s still a lot that hasn’t been revealed in TOTK. We’ve yet to see its dungeon structures, new global dangers, gameplay loop, plan to save Hyrule, Ganondorf’s allies, the whereabouts of Zelda, and many other details. Nintendo revealed only a small hint of what’s happening in the Hyrule Kingdom.

Since the sequel continues where BOTW left off, it’s more accustomed to fans who are more invested in its overall story and gameplay. TOTK adds upon its predecessor’s features rather than reconfiguring its system, making the experience similar. Gamers who are disinterested in BOTW’s world won’t find the sequel too appealing. 

Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom will release on Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.

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