Nintendo announced a season pass for the upcoming Zelda and the community is split for the lack of a better word. But is it actually bad?
No it isn’t, not at all actually. The only two things that weren’t pulled off so well are the timing of the announcement (though that’s debatable as well) and the vagueness of the content.
I’ll say this right off the bat: If you are one of the people that are mad about this: You shouldn’t be! We know for a fact that this announcement was made (perhaps even the decision itself as well, just like in Mario Kart and Smash Bros) after Breath of the Wild officially hit gold status (meaning it’s finished). From experience we can definitely say that Nintendo always have finished and polished products and Zelda won’t be an exception judging from what they announced. So the argument that content was cut from the game is absolute nonsense, more on that later.
This is where the problem of the vagueness comes through though.
To quickly recap and to show you why this isn’t a bad thing, let’s get down the content:
Pieces of equipment
Cave of Trials
New hard mode
New feature for the map
A new dungeon
A new original Story
All of this isn’t bad. But why exactly?
Let me ask you the question: What has already been lost to Zelda by NOT having DLCs? Just one quick example: Wind Waker had two islands and several dungeons scrapped, of which only some were reused in later Zelda games. This goes for basically every Zelda game.
Honestly, I very much welcome the idea of DLC for that very reason and we do still get a complete game, which we can actually see from the content. So what can we take from the DLC list, do we actually get an incomplete game because of it?
Pieces of equipment:
We literally don’t loose anything here as all of them are in the first area of the game, so they’re not end-game ultimate items.
Cave of Trials:
Probably a challenge-dungeon like in Twilight Princess, which was probably on the list for Breath of the Wild rather early in development but with such a huge world, it certainly was no priority and eventually got scrapped, which DLC can fix.
New hard mode:
Please pay attention to the word “NEW” which implies that we still do get a hard mode in this game. Also this isn’t the first time this was done, as Twilight Princess HD had the hard-hard mode locked behind the Ganondorf Amiibo. Though obviously I would like this to be in the game from the very beginning, I don’t mind as long as we do get a hard mode (which will probably be unlocked after completing the game once).
New map feature:
This is where the vagueness is the problem but it shouldn’t be too significant, perhaps it’s note-writing like in Spirit Tracks, who knows.
A new dungeon:
Look at my Wind Waker argument above.
A new original story:
This is important, as it is an original story, not replacing or adding anything to the already-existent story, which is 100% in the game without any cuts.
And that’s already it. The season pass is 20 bucks, which doesn’t really come close to the excellent season pass that Mario Kart 8 or Witcher 3 received (or rather: How to do DLC/season pass perfectly right) but it all comes down to two things in this season pass: The length of the original story and the size of the new dungeon as we do have reference material to everything else that was announced, except the new map feature.
DLCs are not a bad thing but Nintendo should have waited until March 10th before announcing it. Be asssured though: You do still get a complete game, no matter what happens and this kind of DLC isn’t EA DLC, where content of the game was literally cut to be sold later at way-too-high-prices. This kind of DLC is what DLC supposed to be: Additional content for a complete (!) game.
Do you have to like it? No, but perhaps you should think about what was already lost to Zelda games in general without DLC. As long as Nintendo still delivers a complete product, which is the case here, then DLCs are nothing to worry about.