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ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Gets Even Better with First DLC Pack

ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD Gets Even Better with First DLC Pack

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will not only go down as one of the best games of 2017, but will etch its name into the history books as one of the greatest games ever made. Our glowing review says as much. And while a few folk out there were skeptical about Nintendo‘s ability to produce DLC that is both quality and relatively easy on the wallet, I can happily report that the first expansion drop is rather impressive.

The first release of a two-part season pass, “Master Trials” adds quite a bit to the already massive adventure game, including: Master Mode (a.k.a. hard mode), Trial of the Sword quest, a new map feature, and new masks and outfits.

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It doesn’t sound all that impressive until you realize that the stand-out part of the package is actually the Trial of the Sword quest that drops you into one battle room after another until you hit 45 rooms. It’s a grueling challenge that increases in difficulty the further you go, with only three different check points throughout the quest. However, it’s also an absurdly fun time that will test your ability to survive. The only prerequisite to taking on this challenge is having already unlocked the Master Sword.

When starting off the trials you lose all of your gear, excluding your Runes, forcing you to use only skill to persevere. You’ll have to find a way to clear each room of enemies that range from easily taken down with a stick, to the more fierce enemies seen in Hyrule. Finding and sustaining gear becomes of utmost importance, as well. Your reward is permanently unlocking your Master Sword’s awakened state and removing the need to let the mighty blade cool down. It’s not exactly the best reward for those who already completed the main quest, but the fun is in actually challenging yourself through all of the rooms.

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Speaking of content made specifically for those who’ve already defeated Calamity Ganon, the new Master Mode (hard mode) adds more upgraded enemies (standard enemies are replaced with their beefier versions that pack more of a punch) throughout Hyrule and adds some other wrinkles for those who thought the game was too easy. For one, you’ll only get one save file and one auto-save file, a nightmare for those who like to stock up a million save files just in case you take a wrong turn somewhere. Where you would originally face red Bokoblins, you’ll now see the stronger blue variant (the same goes for other enemy types). Some baddies can now restore health as well, and you’ll even see one of the toughest enemies, the Lynel, in the Great Plateau. It can be brutal if you’re not ready for it. And some enemies will also take to the skies, as you can see in the image above. Nintendo also claims there are enemies in this mode that aren’t in the normal setting; I haven’t scoured all of Hyrule to confirm it, but I’ll take their word for it.

It’s definitely more difficult, maybe not impossible like some believed it would be, but it will test your swordsman skills. Is it enough of a reason to replay the whole game? Probably not, but if you’re looking for an excuse to return, look no further.

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Along with the above additions, there is now a way to track everywhere you’ve been in Hyrule with the new Hero’s Path map feature. This nifty map trick will show a track of lines revealing all the spots you’ve visited in the past 200 hours. It will be erased after those couple hundred hours, but will start tracking again. I wish this had been included in the original release, but it’s nice for those who’re attempting to 100% the game. There’s also Travel Medallion that will give you the ability to create a custom fast travel, just to make your quest a bit more manageable.

Finally, no DLC would be complete without some new outfits. Everyone’s cosplay dreams have finally been realized: You can now wear a Tingle outfit. It’s as glorious as you think it is. You can also unlock Korok Mask (which helps you find Korok seeds), Majora’s Mask, Midna’s Helmet, and Phantom Armor. While pretty inconsequential (other than Korok Mask), they are still rad.

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The season pass for Breath of the Wild is $20, and is unfortunately the only way you can grab this first expansion. But, honestly, with the amount of content and quality, this is already a better value than most season passes. And we still have another pack to go! The Master Trials quest is stellar, and worth the price of admission alone. This content can add hundreds of hours of enjoyment to your Zelda quest. Nintendo knocked it out of the park with this DLC, and am hoping I can say the same for the rest of the Breath of the Wild DLC. If you’re a fan of the game, and want more, definitely nab the season pass.

Image: Nintendo

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