Breath of the Wild: Master Trials
Warning: This review may contain spoilers from both the main game and the DLC. If you do not wish to see such spoilers, you may not want to read this review.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is an amazing game. You can read about how much I enjoyed it in my Breath of the Wild review. The Master Trials DLC only adds to the experience, introducing new items and new trials to keep you engaged and entertained.
The DLC pack reignited the passion I felt when I first played the game, giving me another 15 hours of enjoyment. My hours are continuing to grow, thanks to both the added content, and the new drive for exploration it provides.
The biggest draw of the first DLC pack is the Trial of the Sword. This trial is reminiscent of the Eventide Island shrine quest, offering the greatest of challenge that you can experience in Breath of the Wild. Eventide Island was my favourite shrine in Breath of the Wild, and the Trial of the Sword expands it to be far more engaging. There are three levels to this trial. Each one gets progressively more complicated, each having unique scenery. The first trial has environments not unlike the Great Plateau. The second trial is a more traditional shrine environment. The final, most interesting trial has you fight your way through 4 different environments; electricity, fire, ice, and an environment that simulates the ruins of Hyrule. Whilst all 3 were certainly challenging, I felt as if they were a little too easy. By the end of each trial, I had plenty of resources left, including food, fairies, and weapons. The trials would feel a lot more threatening if they limited the resources more, or contained more floors.
The Trial of the Sword also makes cooking interesting again. In my Breath of the Wild review, I criticised the fact that cooking quickly becomes tedious. The Trial of the Sword brings back the excitement I felt when I first cooked, as it forces you to cook to survive. In the main game, I felt that the cooking became less and less important as you progressed, but it feels vital in every part of the Trial of the Sword. However, most of the ingredients in the trials were given to you without effort. I feel as if the trials would be even more engaging and challenging if you could hunt in the trial rooms, requiring you to manage more resources – is it worth damaging this sword for some meat? It would make the trials even richer in challenge.
The DLC also introduced ‘Master Mode’. This is the hard mode that Nintendo promised back when they announced the DLC. Whilst I haven’t invested a lot of time in it, I have found it very disappointing. Rather than making the game more difficult in enjoyable ways, the game instead opts to make all of the enemies damage sponges. You will waste an abundance of weapons killing one enemy on the Great Plateau, and it’s not really that fun. On the other hand, I do think that cooking could be a lot more exciting in Master Mode than in normal mode, and I will have to play more before making my final judgement. I think that it could have been a lot better had it taken cues from games such as the Kingdom Hearts series, which have entertaining and challenging hard modes that feel less dull.
More minor additions to the game include new items to help you find more shrines and Korok seeds. The new Hero’s Path feature is an excellent way of finding and completing shrines. Using this feature, I could track down the 22 shrines I was missing, and discover many breathtaking places that I missed, such as the Forgotten Temple and the Statue of the Eighth Heroine. This is the best feature of this DLC in my opinion, enabling me to play for many more hours than I had initially predicted.
I’d certainly suggest buying the DLC pack if you loved Breath of the Wild, and it’s only going to get better when the Champions’ Ballad DLC comes out in Winter.