Tears of the Kingdom Aims to Fix BotW's Most Controversial System
A divisive mechanic is back ... with a twist.
Despite being one of the most beloved games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was not without controversy. Its weapon durability mechanic is a huge point of contention, as many players view it as a nuisance, while others argue that it encourages experimentation. Tears of the Kingdom will address this concern with the new Fuse ability, which will allow players to combine multiple weapons for increased durability and effects.
Best of Both Worlds
Some players might be frustrated to know that weapon durability is back in Tears of the Kingdom, but Nintendo is seemingly addressing this concern without removing the system entirely. The new Fuse mechanic was revealed during a Tears of the Kingdom showcase on March 28, 2023, which offered around 10 minutes of gameplay as played by Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma.
To circumvent using a broken tree branch, Aonuma demonstrated the new Fuse mechanic by combining that weapon with a boulder to create a “makeshift hammer.” This weapon is much stronger and durable, with the ability to take out multiple enemies before breaking.
But Fusing doesn’t only improve power and durability. It can also impact a weapon’s effects depending on the items combined. For example, Aonuma showed off the ability to Fuse a long stick with a pitchfork to create a weapon with much longer range. This allows players to attack enemies from afar safely.
Elsewhere in the video, it was revealed that you can even combine items like a White Chu Jelly with an arrow, to offer ice elemental effects. After seeing this footage, your mind truly starts to wander. Will you be able to combine more than two objects to create a superpowered weapon? Can you upgrade these newly crafted weapons? What are the limits to the weapons you can combine?
The possibilities seem endless.
This is a smart solution for players who didn’t like the weapon durability system from Breath of the Wild. It still preserves the heart of the durability mechanic, while giving players much more choice, with several ways to work around your weapon breaking so quickly.
There are pros and cons to the weapon durability mechanic in Breath of the Wild. On one hand, it can be frustrating, as it can leave you in a rough spot if all your weapons break. This is especially true at first, when most of your weapons are weak. But once you start discovering new weapons, the durability mechanic truly encourages you to utilize a wide variety of options, which keeps things interesting.
This new Fuse ability seems like it won’t force you one way or another. This means players who want to utilize weapons just as they did in Breath of the Wild can do so — constantly swapping over to new armaments as needed. But those wanting to add some longevity to their weapons can experiment and get creative with the new ability to make some wild combinations.
If executed properly, this could be a creative way to appease all players, allowing everyone to play how they want.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on May 12, 2023.