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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild "The Master Trials" DLC review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: Wii U
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

The first DLC pack for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released recently on both Wii U and the Switch, dubbed The Master Trials. I’ve been able to spend ample time with the new content, and as far as DLC goes, this feels like a pretty worthy purchase in my opinion. You get the new Master Mode difficulty, the Trial of the Sword challenge, a host of unique armor and outfits, a teleportation medallion, and the ability to see where you’ve already walked across the Hyrule map. While this doesn’t add any significant story content past a few pages of flavor text, it’s still a worthwhile opportunity to jump back into the game.

The biggest additions are the new Master Mode difficulty and the Trial of the Sword. Master Mode is a tougher difficulty, where enemies are all leveled higher than before, and enemy placement on the map is completely changed around. Managed to get pretty good at avoiding enemies via stealth? Good luck at that with this new difficulty mode as well. Stealth is still a thing, but it becomes much easier for Link to get spotted when skulking around.

Trial of the Sword is a challenge presented to Link by the Great Deku Tree, giving you the ability to power up the Master Sword quite a bit. To do so, you’ll need to complete three waves of enemy battles, featuring multiple stages within each wave. On top of that, you’ll need to do it all in one go, with checkpoints in-between waves. Also, you’ll be stripped of your armor and weapons going in, meaning you’ll need to scrounge around each wave in order to survive, either collecting shields and weapons from fallen enemies, or using your other abilities and skills to make it through. It’s a remarkably challenging event, and will take a fair amount of strategy to get through.

The rest of the content might not seem as significant, but there’s definitely some cool items to hunt down. For instance, you can put together a complete Tingle outfit, or even locate Majora’s Mask or Midna’s Mask. These items can’t be upgraded, but provide special bonuses when equipped. The super-helpful Korok mask will even help you locate the many, many Korok’s hidden around Hyrule.

One other feature that I found really useful was the new map feature called Hero’s Path Mode. When enabled, it’ll essentially show you everywhere Link has already walked over the past couple of hundred hours. This is extremely helpful if you’re still in the process of hunting down shrines, giving you the ability to pinpoint the roads less traveled on the map. Right off the map I was able to locate two new shrines as soon as I started using the feature, which is obviously a huge plus.

All in all, this initial DLC pack is worth picking up, especially if you’re still toying around with Breath of the Wild. Granted, the next story focused pack is probably the more hotly anticipated of the two, but the gameplay features, additional difficulty, and the Trial of the Sword challenge are nothing to scoff at here. Definitely pick this up, it’s well worth the asking price.

Grade: A