Link’s final quest ties a bow on the ‘Game of the Year’
The long-awaited final DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for just under a month, but if you haven’t picked it up yet, this comprehensive, spoiler-free overview will hopefully inform and enlighten you. However, for reasons that will be covered here, there isn’t too terribly much in this package to spoil.
To start, let’s discuss what this DLC fails to be before getting to exactly what it accomplishes. From a surface level basis, this is not the kind of additional content one would come to expect from other large RPGS like The Elder Scrolls or Dark Souls respective series. The Champions’ Ballad, if inserted into either of these titles, would fall flat because it is almost totally lacking in any new assets or experiences. The world does not change in any meaningful way, nor are any new regions discovered.
Likewise, this DLC does not contain any new enemy types to fill in the main game’s relatively small selection of enemies. Lastly, The Champions’ Ballad does not take the story in any novel direction — which slightly points towards false marketing on Nintendo’s part. It does not make the “Game of the Year” winner into anything that it is not already; instead, it takes all the elements of the main game and synthesizes them into the most exciting version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The content comes in two parts. First, it gives you side quests to find iconic armor from past Zelda series games. This is a fun and welcome addition, and searching for the pieces of armor can be a rewarding and difficult task in its own right, but it definitely feels more like a bonus part than the actual “meat” of the bundle.
The main part of the DLC comes in the form of a new main quest that is almost as long as the main quest of the normal game. That isn’t to say that the DLC has as much content as the main game, however, the scale of The Champions’ Ballad main quest is quite impressive in its own right. The quest is split into different parts that all emphasize different aspects of the main game — drawing on nostalgia from one’s original playthrough. It has exploration, puzzles, challenges, Kass doing Kass-things, and yes, there are even more shrines to complete.
Thankfully, the development team made these endeavors into the most exciting, dangerous, and challenging shrines of the whole lot. Unfortunately, the similarities with the main game also include having bosses in common. All-in-all, there are just two or three instances of real novelty within The Champions’ Ballad — which are saved just for the ending. However, these are extremely rewarding and more fun than I first would have imagined in light of other portions of the content.
Overall Score: 8.0 (80%)
Summary: If you were unsatisfied with lack of story elements pieced together throughout the primary campaign of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild, then I am sorry to say that this secondary campaign follows the trend set in being mostly void of plot. However, if you loved the expansive gameplay of the latest Zelda installment — with exploration and freedom abound — and want some of the best of what it has to offer, then The Champions’ Ballad may just be worth heading back into Hyrule for.
- Gameplay that stays true to the main game and in some cases, surpasses it
- Retains innovative explorative elements
- Challenges that are rewarding in both accomplishment and materials
- Dual package of a hefty, 20+ hour main quest with complimentary side missions
- Link rides a motorcycle
- Fails to deliver meaningful additions to an already lackluster story
- Stale boss fights
- Difficulty curve may be high for some rusty players
- No ‘new’ game assets — aside from a motorcycle