If you’re considering dropping $20 on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s Expansion Pass, just the first pack alone is worth the price of admission.
It’s pretty safe to say that yours truly was going to be among those who purchased The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild‘s DLC Expansion Pass. In my review here on Culturess I dubbed it near-perfect, and, let’s face it, yours truly is also a pretty big Zelda fan anyway. Passing up the chance to play more Zelda would practically be sacrilege.
With the Expansion Pass comes the promise of two separate DLC packs. The first, The Master Trials, arrived this past Friday, June 30. Meanwhile, as I noted during E3, the second will arrive this holiday. At this time, you can’t buy them separately; you have to drop $20 upfront.
Master Mode makes it worth it
Fortunately, the $20 is worth it already just for the addition of Master Mode. On its face, this is a pretty simple addition: enemies are scaled up, but Link is not. He’ll start with three hearts and pitiful defense on the Great Plateau just as he would in the base game. What this forces you to do is rethink (once again) how to approach enemies and combat in particular. There are also floating platforms of enemies. But they’re easily worked around so long as you’re a decent shot with a bow.
Even if you’ve finished the base game, the challenge of Master Mode is to see how much you remember and what you learned from your first time through. The more you do, the more fun Master Mode is.
Also, it has a spooky orange color just to let you know you’re going to die. Still from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, taken via Nintendo Switch screencap function by C. Wassenaar. Image via Nintendo.
Yes, yes, $20 just for a hard mode probably seems a little absurd, but it’s $20 to basically get the chance to play Breath of the Wild for the first time all over again. If you shelled money out for a Nintendo Switch and the game in the first place, it’s practically a drop in the bucket.
But wait, what about the Trials?
Fortunately, Master Mode isn’t the only addition you’ll immediately get. There’s also the Trial of the Sword, which allows you to properly power up the Master Sword provided you can actually get through the trials. Like Master Mode, this is a challenge that isn’t for the faint of heart. Even with a few tips I’d learned on Twitter from @BOTWShots about what you can and can’t take in with you, it’s a struggle to get through. But the rewards are worth it — and it’s honestly not a bad warm-up for Master Mode itself.
Sometimes, though, you even get to succeed. Still from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, taken via Nintendo Switch screencap function by C. Wassenaar. Image via Nintendo.
Then come the armor sets, which include a Korok finding mask, the ability to dress like Tingle, or even one of the Phantoms. Besides, who doesn’t want the opportunity to run around wearing Majora’s Mask? Granted, the search for all of these armor pieces might be a tad frustrating at times.
On the one hand, it encourages exploration. On the other, if you don’t want to run around Hyrule Field (if you’re not silly like me, misread one clue as referring to Hyrule Castle, and promptly waste at least an hour), you can just give up and go to somewhere like IGN. (This is what happened to me, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Yes, even with the Sheikah Sensor switched to find treasure chests.)
To make the inevitable joke, I met with a terrible fate: going to the Internet. Still from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taken via Nintendo Switch screencap function by C. Wassenaar. Image via Nintendo.
Technically speaking, this first pack really only comes out to $10. If you play through the entirety of Master Mode, you probably earned more than 10 hours’ worth out of the purchase anyway. That basically justifies it. Throw in the Trials of the Sword for another few hours of gameplay, and the hunt for the armor pieces as another hour or so if not longer. Those right there practically justify the full $20, and there’s a promise of a new storyline with the second pack later this year.
This is to say nothing of the Travel Medallion or even the Hero’s Path mode, although it is pretty funny to watch your progress and hear Link’s screams every time you got him killed along the way.
Maybe if I’d looked at this I would have figured out I was missing ruins on Hyrule Field. Still from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taken via Nintendo Switch screencap function by C. Wassenaar. Image via Nintendo.
If you’re still hesitant about purchasing Breath of the Wild‘s expansion pass, ask yourself this: Am I willing to get owned by a video game for the sake of power and bragging rights?
If the answer is yes, pick the DLC up. However, if the answer is no, ask yourself if you want to play the story DLC later this year. Then you’ll likely say yes.