There are spoilers in this post!
There was certainly a mixed bag of emotions from gamers when Nintendo announced that BotW would have its own DLC expansions.
It’s understandable really, people have been burned in the past by DLC that seems to complete a game, but people were also concerned about it just being Nintendo jumping on the bandwagon.
Honestly, I was too, but I’m a sucker for Nintendo and the Zelda franchise so I snapped it up as soon as I could, knowing nothing about it other than I’d get a sweet Switch t-shirt for Link.
(It looks great in his selfies)
The first expansion was great and I haven’t even touched most of it (yeah, so what if I’m too scared to face a Lynel on the Great Plateau in Master Mode), but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today.
The Champions’ Ballad (DLC 2) is honestly wonderful.
Whilst it’s not necessary to understand or enjoy the whole story, the DLC adds to the story in a way that would make someone who loves world building (and Zelda lore) really quite excited. It’s a very lovely addition.
Yes, parts can be repetitive, similar to how you had to constantly revisit areas in Skyward Sword (Wii), but other bits are new and challenging – it feels separate from the game and it’s multitude of shrines, seeds, and side quests (yes, I did that on purpose). You become engrossed in the Ballad and that in itself is amazing.
Maybe I’m biased, I do have a tendency to pore over Zelda fan theories, and the Hyrule Historia is one of my favourite books to just read (it’s great when I’m a bit bored), I just LOVE Zelda lore, but the story of the Champions’ Ballad made me cry. Not only was the story lovely, but my cries were something along the lines of “I just love this game so muuuuch”, so thanks Nintendo.
Though you still playthrough as Link, the fact that all the flashback scenes focus on Princess Zelda, rather than Link, is great! Seeing just a part of her journey to gather the Champions was refreshing and I hope to see more like this in the future.
I could talk for hours about why this Princess Zelda is one of my favourites but, alas, restraint is necessary.
After I finished it, I slept on it – perhaps I was just sleep deprived and a little grouchy anyway, and yet I woke up the next morning and my opinions were the same.
What it boils down to is that Nintendo is learning from their past mistakes, and from the mistakes of others.
The DLC is packed full of items, extra bits to play through, new story, shrines, it’s mad – and it only cost £17.99.
We’re surrounded by extra content now that’s like £40 for a season pass and honestly they don’t even add that much to the games (and if they do, it’s filling in the gaps that should’ve already been filled in the game itself), we’re honestly drowning in digital content – don’t even talk to me about EA.
For the money, even just DLC 2 would’ve been worth it, the fact that the first DLC came with a whole new game mode, let alone the Master Sword trials, it’s kind of insane to me.
Forgive me, Nintendo, for ever doubting you.
Also, spoilers, who doesn’t want to ride around this vast new Hyrule on a motorbike made of ancient technology?