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It looks like Nintendo has big plans for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild after it launches alongside the Switch. It turns out that the game will sport some DLC content, but the details and practices surrounding it are about as "Nintendo" as you might expect.
Breath of the Wild director Eiji Aonuma made a brief announcement on the game's news feed today, letting folks know that his upcoming Zelda game will boast a DLC "Expansion Pass." At first glance, nothing seems too out of the ordinary about what Nintendo has put together. There will be two pieces of DLC released in 2017 following the game's March 3 launch, and you can snag the season pass for all of that content for $19.99. The catch is that the season pass is the only way to get said content. Nintendo has announced the barest of details for what each DLC pack will include, and they don't seem particularly tied together, but you have to buy everything if you want to enjoy any of it.
Also, and maybe we're being a bit too critical here, but most of what Nintendo has announced doesn't feel like DLC so much as stuff that could (maybe even should) have been included in the base game. There's going to be some extra story content, which we understand charging for, but the rest of the content included in the season pass feels more like things that are traditionally included in the base game.
So what, exactly, are we talking about here? Well, for starters, ordering the season pass or pre-ordering the game will get you some in-game chests popping up in the Great Plateau. One will have a shirt with a Switch logo for Link to wear while the others will boast some useful items. They're not described in any way, they're just called "useful."
Once you buy the DLC pass, though, you can expect the first bundle of content to arrive sometime this summer. It will include a Cave of Trials challenge, as well as a hard mode and a "new feature for the in-game map." Again, those all kind of sound like things that are typically baked into a game, but maybe they'll be more impressive than they sound.
Then, come holiday 2017, additional challenges will be added into the game in the form of a new dungeon with a new section of story to uncover. That bit, at least, sounds more like what you would typically expect out of DLC.
Again, it seems odd to force folks to buy the whole shebang, but there you have it. And in case you're worried, both the Wii U and Switch versions of Breath of the Wild will offer this DLC package. The packs will be identical, too, so no worries about missing out just because you got the last-gen version of the game.