Breath of the Wild: Master Mode

I thought I was done with Breath of the Wild. I’d conquered all the Divine Beasts, defeated Ganon and saved Princess Zelda. Master Mode has surprised me though.

The first half of Nintendo’s DLC for BOTW felt a little shallow at first if I’m honest. The Master Trials were interesting at first but didn’t really keep me engaged enough to even see them all the way through. The collectables like the Korok Mask and the new outfits were kind of neat but if Nintendo thinks I’m going to go hunt down every last Korok seed now they are wrong. What’s the point of charging up the Master Sword or collecting more collectables when I’ve already defeated Ganon? It’s not like this game has an end game. All told I had picked up and put down the Master Trials in probably about an hour.

Master Mode though, is actually interesting and challenging. I actually died in my first hour of playing, and not on purpose either. In Master Mode every enemy has been ranked up which not only makes them hit harder but also makes them way tougher to kill. I’m just burning through weapons right now at a pace that I don’t think I can keep up. Before, in normal mode, a weapon might have lasted for 3 or 4 enemies but I’m currently using weapons at a pace of about 1 to 2 weapons per enemy. This means I’ve already been forced to use what limited powers I have on the Great Plateau for even the most basic encounters. Something that I never had to do in normal mode.

There’s also flying platforms now that use octoroks to get a height advantage over you. It’s relatively simple to dispatch them if you’re quick enough but when the archers up above start firing fire arrows back at you, excuse the pun, but you definitely feel the heat. Finally, despite the normal enemies being way tougher they’ve gone and added tough enemies where there were none before. There’s a lynel on the great plateau, right next to the forest near the shrine on the cliffs. I thought I was being clever sneaking around but this guy saw me and promptly fired a 5 shot of bomb arrows at me. I was so amazed I didn’t see him sneak up behind his own smoke screen he had created to loose another volley at me.

I’m not sure I want to devote another 100+ hours to BOTW again but after just a few hours of Master Mode I’m sitting here wondering “what else did they change”. Even if you only consider Master Mode I think Nintendo succeeded in adding real value to Breath of the Wild with part 1 of their DLC and now I’m really looking forward to what part 2 might bring.