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Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass Announced -- And It's A Little Odd

Nintendo offer some vague clues about a two-part release of DLC for Link's latest adventure, priced at $19.99.

Eiji Aonuma, the producer for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, has announced the release of an Expansion Pass. It will be on sale beginning March 3rd, for $19.99, and will be identical on both the Switch and the Wii U.

For that price you will receive two portions of additional content, which are being released in two parts -- once in summer, and once at the end of 2017.

The first pack will include a new challenge, a "hard mode", and an unspecified map "feature".

The second pack, released at the end of the year, will include even more challenges, an extra dungeon, and a "new original story".

Buyers of the pass will also benefit from the contents of three different chests scattered around the Great Plateau, containing exclusive clothing -- and possibly more.

The full announcement video is below.

The announcement has raised plenty of questions.

Firstly, why are Nintendo charging for an extra difficulty level, rather than shipping it with the game? While DLC historically ranges from aesthetic additions to full-on extra missions and stories, what Nintendo appears to be doing here is charging for actual gameplay settings.

Secondly, what is the "map feature"? One would assume they aren't talking about simply adding a new mountain and some birds to the overland map. But since they have separately talked about a "dungeon" in the second tranche of DLC, it's unlikely to be that either.

The other elements are a little more straightforward -- if equally vague. The challenges and story DLC may make the purchase of the pass worthwhile, but with no firm details on either, a price tag of twenty bucks on top of the main game may be a little hard to swallow for many fans.

Published Feb. 14th 2017

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