Though Nintendo hasn't yet given a release date, it decided this week to promote the first major DLC pack for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Switch and Wii U. Though early purchases had a few extra treasure chests from day one, the Expansion Pass is all about two major sets of content in Summer and then the Holiday season.
For many, we suspect, there's a focus on the Holiday pack that'll include a 'new original story', a 'new dungeon' and 'additional challenges'. The story is what excites this writer - the ending of the game after clearing all the main quests perhaps hints at the direction it'll take, and when playing recently we also looked at the land to the far North of the map, currently inaccessible, and fantasized about Link hopping on a boat to help a new territory. Perhaps that's all a bit ambitious, but when you see the size of story add-ons to the likes of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt the bar is set pretty darn high.
That's a while away, though, and first we'll have The Master Trials DLC, which adds some quality of life features and a bit of actual playable content. Below is a summary of each, but without the PR fluff.
Trial of the Sword - Link starts with no real gear and fights his way through 'around 45 total rooms' to unlock the full power of the Master Sword, in that it'll be boosted permanently (and not just when fighting Guardians and bosses). It seems rather like a longer combat-led version of Eventide Island.
Hard Mode - A basic Hero mode should arguably have been there from the start, as was notably the case with The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. In fairness, the game is plenty difficult in the early stages due to its survival-style mechanics and emergent gameplay, but those that saw the end credits were possibly disappointed when no hard mode was then unlocked. As for what this will specifically do, it'll bring strong foes in each area that are smarter and spot you easier, and some will stand on 'floating planks' protecting treasure.
Hero's Path Mode - The use of a cookie cutter figure aside, this should prove helpful for those seeking those final shrines while also shunning online guides. This will draw out 200 hours of your progress on the map, showing where you've been in that time; naturally you can then head towards any gaps from your exploration.
Travel Medallion - Shrines are not just handy for their orbs, but in the game they're invaluable travel points. This item, once you find it, will allow you to set one custom travel point at a time.
Korok Mask - The quest for Korok seeds is the craziest sidequests in the game - they're used to expand your inventory slots but the very idea of finding all 900 gives this writer a headache. Someone managed it and got a humorously trolling reward, but if you want to really get on the quest for 900 this mask will alert you when you're close to a Korok.
New Equipment - Throwing in extra gear is standard for adventure game DLC, so we shouldn't be surprised. There are eight pieces of equipment 'themed after fan-favorite games and characters such as Midna, Tingle, Phantom and Majora's Mask', with the Tingle gear shown above.
When we asked for your feedback on the initial reveal of the Expansion Pass, we'd say it was mixed. Now that Nintendo has unveiled the content of the Summer update, what do you think of it? Are you keen to dive in, or are you holding off to see what's delivered in the Holiday content? Let us know in the polls and comments below.