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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC Review

The breadth of content in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is astounding. But with the arrival of the Master Trials DLC, a 100+ hour game can easily turn into much more. Between the challenging Trial of the Sword to the variety of masks on offer, the DLC is quite the treasure trove for the die-hard Zelda fan.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is already a massive game. With a gigantic version of Hyrule to explore and four Divine Beasts to tame, it’s hard to believe that anyone was complaining about the lack of content. However, the Master Trials DLC adds a host of new features making for a wonderfully enriched adventure. The Master Trials is the first part of the game’s Expansion Pass, with The Champion’s Ballad releasing later in 2017 which will add a new dungeon and an original story.

As one of Breath of the Wild’s most time consuming quests, collecting the Korok Seeds is arguably a mammoth task for any die-hard fan. Gathering all 900 of the game’s Korok Seeds, which the inhabitants of the Forest Haven have scattered all over the map, was quite the sore spot amongst fans. Though the original game provides few clues to their location, it didn’t quite take root, forcing players to dig deep into the overworld map. Thankfully, players can now grab the Korok mask in the Lost Woods for a helping hand. After locating the item and equipping it, Link will be given a hint when a Korok is nearby. While it isn’t more than a sound effect, it’s extremely useful when you’re tracking down some of the more well-hidden Koroks.

Alongside the Korok Mask, the Travel Medallion also serves a unique function within the game. After finding it in a strange area under one of the labyrinths, the Travel Medallion can be used to make a travel gate anywhere in Hyrule. This allows Link to instantly travel to wherever it was placed. And while the 120 Shrines serve the same function, it’s incredibly useful to be able to warp to anywhere in Hyrule. It’s slightly disappointing that you can only place one travel gate at a time, but it’s an extremely handy addition nonetheless.

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The Master Trials also include a variety of classic Legend of Zelda items. Alongside Midna’s Helmet and Majora’s Mask, the DLC also adds a full set of armour based on both Tingle and the Phantoms. Unlike the Korok Mask though, Link will not gain any exclusive DLC abilities when wearing these nostalgic items. They’re a nice touch for any devoted fan, adding to the iconic Zelda feel that Breath of the Wild can sometimes lack.

All of these additional items are scattered across the game’s gigantic map. While a cryptic hint will point to a specific location, as Link is told to look “at the ruins where sinners were imprisoned”, it quickly becomes repetitive searching for the ten treasure chests. Plus, it doesn’t help that each bit of armour for the Phantom and Tingle are stored separately. It would have been rather anticlimactic just to give these items to the player, but the hunt can become extremely monotonous. Although it would have required much more work from the developers, it would have been interesting to tie a more creative side quest to each item. This is especially true for the Travel Medallion and the Korok Mask as these unique unlockables are relegated to generic treasure chests in the overworld.

One of the larger additions to the game is Master Mode. Unlike Skyward Sword or Twilight Princess HD, Breath of the Wild does not feature a Hero Mode to increase the game’s difficulty. The Master Trials DLC adds a replacement in the form of Master Mode. It primarily deals with the game’s enemies, as Link will now face Blue Bokoblins in areas normally inhabited by Red Bokoblins. It also allows enemies to regenerate health; an ability even the player doesn’t possess. However, the unchanged Divine Beasts and Shrines prevent this mode from reaching the heights of the original Legend of Zelda’s Second Quest. While it feels a bit shallow, Master Mode is a great challenge for only the strongest of adventurers.

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The Trial of the Sword is the DLC’s real attraction though, with the Great Deku Tree challenging Link to defeat waves of increasingly difficult enemies. Twilight Princess and The Wind Waker feature similar challenges, but Breath of the Wild manages to put a unique spin on it. Similar to Stranded on Eventide, Link begins the Trial of the Sword without any of his armour or weaponry. This means that even simple Bokoblins and ChuChus can prove difficult, with Link forced to scavenge for basic weaponry to survive. While it’s let down slightly by Breath of the Wild’s horrendous enemy variety, the constantly changing environments certainly make up for this. The Trial of the Sword isn’t for all players, but it’s a fun challenge and presents a worthy reward to anyone who manages to complete it.

It’s extremely difficult to say whether the Expansion Pass is value for money. While the Master Trials DLC contains some great additional features, it’s a little light on content at present. If you’re on the fence about the Expansion Pass, it seems sensible to wait until we learn more about The Champion’s Ballad before you invest. However, the Master Trials is still a great package for anyone still venturing through Hyrule.


Disclaimer: The above reflects the score of the released Master Trials DLC only, it does not reflect the score for the full Expansion Pass.

44 thoughts on “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC Review”

  1. I’ve been saving Trial of the Sword for next week and Master Mode (pretty much Master Quest) for a future second playthrough. So far I think it’s worth it. Can’t wait to get all the details on pack 2.

    1. Checking your profile on the switch tells you your hours. It’s not exact with how it rounds to the nearest 5, but it is what it is.

    2. Yes it’s in player profile. Click on Zelda BOTW. It will show you the amount you spent playing. I’ve clocked in about 120hr. I’m about to purchase the DLC. AWESOME game.

    3. +1 for Wii U. It tells you exactly how long you’ve played, what days, how long on each session and for how many sessions.

  2. Jaded Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4; Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch! Just need cloud storage, add external hard drive support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

    Sadly, this pack of DLC did not pull me back in to the game. Finding out I can’t upgrade Majora’s Mask & that it’s only got 1 defense was a huge letdown. Maybe if I had the fucking Majora’s Mask Link amiibo & could get the Fierce Deity gear in the game to pair with Majora’s Mask, maybe i could have gotten over the pitiful defense of Majora’s Mask & got sucked back in as I play as Majora Deity Link. lol Hopefully Super Mario Odyssey can pull me back to the Switch when it releases in October if I don’t get sucked in by Assassin’s Creed Origins on my PS4 instead.

  3. The way I see it, this is $10 of the $20 I paid for the expansion pass (since it’s split into 2 packs). I definitely got my money’s worth so far. Trial of the Sword is challenging and rewarding, and a good 3-5 hours of content. Master Mode is a bit more challenging, not as much as I hoped for though. The new armor sets are cool, and the korok mask is extremely helpful. Just gotta wait for the next pack to see if the $20 price is worth it. I agree with the 7/10 score though, just because I’m not fully satisfied with Master Mode.

  4. Big thing about this pack is that it’s great for people who haven’t played/beaten the game yet. Once you’ve beaten it though you’ve got the lay of the land, so you know exactly what the quest hints are saying and can go straight there without any trouble with your high powered weapons lol.

    Though I guess in the same sense, they’re expecting people who’ve beaten it to start up a new game with master mode and find the dlc items through that rather than hop back into their OP final form file and teleport to every location for the items.

    That 7/10 is spot on lol

    1. That’s what I’m doing. I’m collecting the DLC gear in Hard Mode, and not touching it in Normal. I didn’t 100% Normal Mode, but I did beat the game. I’m starting in Hard Mode and playing it to 100%, something I rarely do with a game.

      I think Josh’s review was great. Insightful and fair. Thanks Josh!

    1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

      Brandy Headache just called me, shadowvegeta, & skeletons420 trolls because we actually liked your comments & agree with you. He probably believes you are a troll, too. I see why he’s been ignoring my negative comments over the past few weeks now. He honestly believes I’m just being a troll so ignores them. And here I thought it was because he finally accepted that my opinions won’t change & most of them will always be negative so he doesn’t respond or even read them. It seems to be much worse than that. I wonder when he’ll start crying to have us banned from MNN. *shrug* Maybe one day he’ll grow up & quit being such a little fascist Nintendo fanboy that can’t handle opinions different from his. Oh that’s right. He wants to pretend what we say aren’t opinions. I knew he was delusional when he honestly believed he wasn’t a Nintendo fanboy because he disagreed with ONE LITTLE THING they did which was FedshitForce but wow. I just didn’t realize just how delusional he truly was. It’s pathetic & sad, really. More about his feelings toward FedshitForce to show just how much of a Nintendo fanboy he truly is. He damage controlled the game a couple of weeks back about how Nintendo swept the game under the rug. Anyway, if you like toying with your food, I say continue responding to him. He is good for a laugh at least when he tries so damn hard to defend & damage control for Nintendo.

      (Sorry if you don’t care about any of this concerning him but just thought I’d give you an idea of what you were dealing with. Oh who am I kidding! He’s the biggest Nintendo fanboy here since he is on nearly every article with negative comments defending Nintendo from someone, so you have probably seem him numerous times if you haven’t actually dealt with him personally before this article.)

  5. I’m happy with all the new stuff included in the Master Trials half of the DLC, but even I’m not fond of the treasure hunts needed to find all the new gear like Phantom Armor. “One part can be found at the site where soldiers gathered”? There are like a dozen places that could be.

    Also, (for context, I wiped my file so I could start clean- I missed getting photos of certain creatures that you can’t find again anyway plus I gave myself an extra challenge: no Divine Beasts until I get the Master Sword), to activate the Trial of the Sword after getting the Master Sword, you literally have to exit back to the title screen to trigger the prompt. I wish they’d fix that; I spent 15 minutes at the Deku Tree trying to get it to activate right after pulling the sword, only to have to stop, turning the game on again later after hoofing it all the way to a memory location, and THEN getting the prompt.

      1. I don’t know if it *is* a glitch, but it sure annoyed me because I was like “what… what it doooo? What activates it?”

        You’re welcome for the tip. I think I figured out the general location of the piece I mentioned above; I think it’s around Akkala Tower based on NPC dialogue. Magnesis will help you find the chests.

  6. I agree with the reviewer, the master Mode is a letdown honestly. The main problem is that you can avoid most encounters in the wild.. So then, whats changed? Nothing. If you avoid encounters, literally nothing has changed. It’s an extremely lazy Master Quest Mode and doesn’t even deserve to have the word master in it.. Yea, they put a Lynel in the starting area… But there would be no way you could defeat it that early on, and its so easy to avoid… So what was the point? Seriously, what was the point of doing that? You know maybe if they put him directly in your path and you had to find a clever way to get around him or defeat him.. But hes off to the side in a area youll never need to be…? So what was the point!? Lmaoo … whatever. the game still kicks ass

    1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

      Where is this Lynel at on the Great Plateau, anyway?

      1. If I had to wager a guess, it would be around the top of the hill just behind/above the Shrine of Resurrection (right around where the temperature gets too cold). It’s a big, flat enough area that players aren’t required to go to.

        Haven’t started Master Mode, so this is just an educated guess.

        1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

          Lame. I agree with Deepsouth. They could have at least put it in a spot people are most likely to go through & force us to think of another way around. :/

      2. I can’t quite remember exactly but I think it was close to one the the shrines. But far enough away where you can completely avoid him. He should have been hovering right on top of the shrine so you were forced to deal with him… Now that would have been cool… But nope, you just walk right around him, no need to sneak or anything, lol. Lame af

  7. We should be discussing the DLC’s Majora’s Mask. The thing breaks the game completely. It baffles me that the Hard Mode and an item that breaks it are in the same DLC. Majora’s Mask lets you enter any enemy camp, steal anything they’ve got (if its not one of those kill-all-enemies chests) and then flee. No monster will attack you. To make things worse, you can get it as soon as you leave the Great Plateu. You can literally fly to it with no trouble whatsoever. The mask is viciously overpowered, and makes the other masks useless. It should be nerfed, or placed elsewhere or something, because… why on Earth would you level-up the enemies if you give the player, at the beginning of the game, an item that lets you blend with them?. I just cannot understand WHY THE HELL Nintendo made this stupid decision.

    1. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

      You don’t have to get it or even use it. No need to nerf an awesome item in a single player game where the only person it’s gonna effect is the person choosing to use it. In fact, there is nothing stopping you from wearing it & still picking fights with every monster out there. It’s not like it keeps the monsters from attacking you if you attack them.

    2. Ridley X3 {Jaded Ninty fan. Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4. Awaiting Greatness on Nintendo Switch; just need cloud storage, add external HDD support, & to eliminate the need for that stupid Nintendo Switch Online App on smartphones.}

      So I have to disagree that it was a stupid decision or that the mask breaks the hard mode since it’s an optional item.

      1. What defines difficulty is the fact that it is imposed to you. Even if the ítem is optional, the player will still feel that the supposedly difficult task of doing something is not necessary, that is not a REAL obstacle. Moreover, the Master Mode makes most enemies more aware of you and thus diifcult to sneak upon, and Majora’s Mask breaks that structure by giving you the chance not to just avoid them, but to literally raid them with no effort whatsoever (if you hit them and they spot you, you can hide, wait some seconds and the effect of Majora’s Mask will reactivate: you can easilly sneak-strike every enemy by doing this). Videogame design is not about giving freedom to the player, is about designing a world. In this case, for Breath of the Wild as a whole and for the Master Mode specifically, the world was designed on the basis of exploring and SURVIVING. This is not something you should decide upon, but rather something that defines the game in itself. By placing Majora’s Mask the way it was placed, both the hard mode and the normal mode are compromised in their particular foundations. The argument of “don’t use it if you don’t want it” just ditches the fundamentals of designing a videogame that is compelling, because videogames, or at least this kind of videogames, need to impose some conditions on which the player cannot decide. The mask should be nerfed, or maybe placed elsewhere. Also, it renders all other masks useless, because it does the same thing as each one of them, combined. So why would ANYONE bother to buy those masks if Majora’s Mask is just given to you, practically thrown at you to the face? The ítem is broken, period.

  8. This DLC Pack deserves no more than a 5/10. Most of it should have been free and at launch. Master Mode has been free in other Zelda games. The costumes can’t be upgraded and offer no new abilities other than the Korok Mask. Which is 4 months too late. I’ve already found them all. The Travel Medallion should have been free too, it required no effort to implement.

    The biggest bug bear is the Hero’s Path. That has been following our progress since launch but we have to pay for it to be unlocked.

    The best thing about the Pack is the Trial of the Sword. It’s a good challenge but only lasts a few hours. I’ve completed it, as I’ve completed everything else in the game. It’s recycled enemies inside Shrines. There’s nothing new to it. I’d give it a 7 but everything else drags the score down.

    As I said it deserves no more than 5/10. What we really paid for is Pack 2. It hope it’s worth it.

  9. Pingback: Multiplayer Breath Of The Wild Mod Now In Development – My Nintendo News

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