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Breath of the Wild DLC Pack 1: The Master Trials and Other New Challenges

A little while ago, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released on both the Nintendo Switch and Wii U on March 3, 2017. The game scored tens in reviews all over the place with fans even calling it the best Zelda game. The game was a good change to the series being completely open and letting the player play however they wanted, with an emphasis on exploration. During E3 2017, Nintendo revealed more details on the DLC and last Friday, June 30th, the first DLC pack was unleashed. The second DLC may be more of a reason to go back to Hyrule with a brand new story added. However, this first pack has a lot to offer and is a bit of a surprise. The first DLC has enough content to keep players playing a little more of the vast open world game that is Breath of the Wild.

The first addition to talk about is the Trial of the Sword. The trial of the sword may seem a little familiar with the way it is structured. If you have played any Legend of Zelda game previously, you’ll notice that the Trial of the Sword plays as a sort of battle arena that goes level by level. As you go through each level it just gets more difficult. Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and even A Link Between Worlds include a side quest similar to this. In Breath of the Wild, there was a shrine quest where you are removed of your equipment and clothes and forced to survive on an island all Cast Away style. The point is the Trial of the Sword mixes the battle arena style with the challenge of having to survive with all the beautiful weapons and armor you may have collected on your journey. It is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be where you really need to focus, because there is one big difference between the trial and the island. The trial also takes away your abilities that you may have had on the island, so no more taking out enemies with lightning. You can still use bombs which is useful but the special abilities from the main story that are pretty over powered are completely removed in the trial. It’s a good challenge, and even rage inducing since when you die you have to start from the very beginning. So is the rage worth it? Well yeah, there’s a really cool prize for beating it and a reason to even go through all the trouble. Once the trial is completed, the master sword will no longer break and always be powered up which is in itself is overpowered. After playing through the trial, such an over powered ability will be a lot more challenging to obtain which is good since getting that would make the game too easy. I mean think about it, if someone hasn’t beaten the game yet and somehow they get the unbreakable master sword they would tear through everything!

The first DLC pass also includes some other new features. One being a brand new master mode that allows veteran players to play through the game again but on a more difficult setting. Master Mode isn’t anything new to the Zelda franchise but it is nice seeing it back in Breath of the Wild as a DLC and not having to rebuy a Breath of the Wild deluxe edition or something. That would be pretty terrible. The original game was already pretty hard with the ability to kill yourself accidentally and fast. Also starting out with barely anything proved to make things really challenging, and now every enemy has been upscaled to a more powerful version. Basically, in places where you would normally encounter the normal easy Red enemies, you will now encounter the more difficult Blue enemies. Also they notice you quicker which makes killing enemies stealthily nearly impossible. It changes up the gameplay quite a bit.

Hero’s Path Mode is a small inclusion that allows players to look on their map and see the path they have taken on their journey. It’s a tiny feature but pretty neat seeing everywhere you’ve been and also cool how it measures out everywhere you’ve been in 100+ hours of gameplay. It’s not something I would pay for individually but it is a cool little feature.

The Travel Medallion is an item included in the pack, that allows the player to set their current location as a fast travel point where they could teleport to it later. Although definitely not a necessity, and it can only used with one location at a time, it’s still a new item worth picking up. That’s one thing worth mentioning, the new items and clothing are not just given out to the player but placed in the world. Although it would be kind of annoying having to go through the vast openness of Hyrule searching for a chest that would appear as a speck on the map, there are hints for where they are located. Also it’s something to do if you’ve found all the shrines already. I mean new stuff to do is always welcome. Although the Travel Medallion is pretty unnecessary, it is still something to search out and a reason for exploring more. The new clothing items would be more an award for exploration though with clothes that reference past titles.

The clothes are all worth getting although pretty goofy looking and even plain ridiculous. They’re still a fun new addition. I mean I like the idea of dressing up as Tingle the fairy and blowing up guardians flying through the air. It’s so weird but also worth it. These items are really well hidden by the way, although the game tells you the exact location, they blend in with the environment. I ran by one chest four different times before I actually found it. The clothes have different abilities with the phantom armor allowing the wearing to inflict more pain with an attack plus, and the Majora’s mask making it harder for certain enemies to spot you. Again the items aren’t necessary gameplay wise but they do add to it with just the sheer goofiness involved. The Korok Mask is another item that is more useful than previously mentioned items since it shakes and makes a noise when closer to a hidden Korok. Considering how many Koroks are hidden in the game, it is a much welcomed item in the game. There are over 900 hidden Koroks apparently. Most of the time you just pick up a rock and there’s one but seeing how there’s just so many of them spread out in the world, yeah a Korok detector is highly appreciated.

A lot of the new features and new clothing are definitely a welcome addition that will keep me and many other players still exploring and burning anything in our way. It is “set fire to everything” the game after all. Also it’s worth mentioning, this is the very first DLC for a Legend of Zelda game so that’s pretty sweet. I’m not the biggest fan of DLC but I do like when it adds to an already complete game. The DLC definitely adds more hours to the game and it is worth the price considering it includes the second DLC to release sometime later this year. The second DLC adds a new story and will most likely include better content worth the pricing, but the first DLC definitely includes stuff and things to keep players satisfied til then.