A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad is a paid expansion to the action/adventure game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The original game is required to play. Expansion content is similar in tone and variety. Players again take on the role of a heroic adventurer out to help people and save his kingdom. He fights aggressive fantasy creatures and robots using swords, axes, bows and arrows, and weapons infused with magic. Defeated enemies disappear in a puff of smoke. New puzzles challenge players to come up with creative solutions by devising clever ways in which to use their weapons and abilities to bypass trickily designed obstacles. Note that players must be well into the base game's story -- all four divine beasts must be freed -- in order to access this expansion's new quests and content.
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What's it about?
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD - THE CHAMPIONS' BALLAD is the second and likely final bit of downloadable content for Nintendo's popular action/adventure game. It doesn't add any new regions to the already vast lands of Hyrule, but instead creates a network of new objectives scattered across the world (note that you must free all four divine beasts as a prerequisite to accessing this expansion's content). It begins in the chamber where Link first wakes up. He is bestowed a new weapon -- the One-Hit Obliterator -- that can kill any enemy with a single hit, but his life gauge is also reduced to a mere quarter heart, meaning that taking a single hit will defeat him, too. He must use this weapon to clear several areas of enemies, and then work through a set of new shrines that erupt from the ground. Link is then provided with a quartet of quests that give players a chance to explore the game's huge map once more and revisit many of the activities found in the base game, from shield surfing to intricate puzzles. Along the way, players will have a chance to earn some new gear for Link, explore a new dungeon, and eventually earn the Master Cycle Zero, a vehicle that makes getting around Hyrule a lot easier.
Is it any good?
Once you get over the disappointment of not being provided a new region to explore or any significant new storytelling to enjoy, this downloadable content (DLC) pack becomes a lot more fun. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad is about being given a chance to revisit one of the best games ever made. You'll get to re-familiarize yourself with its gorgeous world -- and will likely find plenty of secrets you missed the first time through -- and re-master Link's key abilities along the way. And once you've completed the new content, you'll be able to explore with greater freedom than ever before via the Master Zero Cycle, which is about as close as this DLC comes to providing Link a new ability. It's kind of like riding a mechanical horse, but it's much faster and surprisingly more useful when fighting tougher enemies -- especially for those who prefer combat from a mount.
Still, there are moments of disenchanting repetition. Facing down each of the four primary pre-Calamity Ganon bosses a second time rather than taking on new villains feels like a wasted opportunity for fresh challenges. And while the new dungeon is fun, it's neither as complex nor as lengthy as veteran players might expect. In the end, the best reason to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Champions' Ballad might have little to do with the expansion itself. Instead, it might simply be that it serves as an excuse for players to come back to a game they thought they were finished with and remember all the reasons it was so special.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in the media. Are there any battles in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's second expansion that felt unnecessary to you, or was Link always justified when fighting his enemies?
Talk about puzzle solving. Unlike many puzzles in video games, those found here often have more than just one right way to go about solving them. Did you feel clever when you came up with solutions that the game's makers might not have intended?
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid (This expansion is part of the game's Expansion Pass.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Nintendo of America
- Release date: December 8, 2017
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.