Don’t Sleep on the Zelda DLC, It’s Better Than It Sounds


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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


Fallout New Vegas.

I got into this game a few years after its release and well after all the DLC game out. Turns out, the DLC is all really good and tells a meaningful story about revenge and greed very fitting for Fallout. In my mind FNV is my favorite open world game because of the DLC. There’s a lot in the base game I simply haven’t seen because of how depthy the game is.


As much as I loved The Champions Ballad, I can’t truck with Austin about Trials of the Sword. It felt like such a chore to die and repeat the same levels over and over. Combat is not BotW’s strong suit, and slogging through 45 levels of it is exactly the drag it sounds like on the tin. To each their own I suppose.

Regarding my favorite DLC, I think my all time favorites remain the ones from the Mass Effect Trilogy. I don’t think you need to play all of them, but the must-play ones, including “Lair of the Shadow Broker”, “Leviathan” and “Citadel” all contain some of my favorite gameplay moments. In fact, I’d argue that ME3 with full DLC finally makes it a worthy end to the trilogy. The real bummer is that EA refuses to release a trilogy pack with all DLC included, which is super dumb.


Austin, if you missed Witcher 3’s Heart of Stone and Blood and Wine, you’re doing it wrong. So much excellent content there.


It’s easy to just “get by” in BotW, but you can actually get very good at the combat. I’ve watched some friends limp through the game, and I’ve seen some get really hella good at it. Your experience with Trials is largely dictated by how good you’ve gotten at it.


My favorite expansion to a game ever was Civilization V: Brave New World. It made what was a good civilization game at the time into the best 4X at the time and best civ game ever. Since then, better 4X games have come out and all of its changes were added to Civilization VI, and the game design has gotten old for me, but holy crap I enjoyed it for quite a long time. But answering with a strategy game expansion feels like cheating.

My favorite sort of DLC’s aren’t ones that add more story, but change how I play the game. Things like expansions in strategy or simulation games are more adaptable to these sorts of changes, but also things like new fighters in a fighting game or 200cc in Mario Kart 8 make me change how I approach the game’s systems and my own strategies. They give me a reason to return to the game more than “the same, but more of it.”

As for story DLC, I often have the same problem as Austin in that I can’t will myself into going back to something I have already “beaten.” Um… I have been enjoying master mode in Breath of The Wild, but I haven’t gotten far enough in my new game to get to the meat of the expansions. That red loading screen though is :fire:


If you’ve read the short stories The Witcher is based on or plan to, I highly recommend the Blood and Wine DLC. I had just finished reading the stories when I got the DLC and loved seeing the stories repeated or played off of in the game. There are also some in-fiction tiny details that I adored, such as a book having first and second editions with actual differences that reflect the history of the land and tie into the overall storyline of the DLC. It also just looks and feels fantastic, in both the sense that it is good and in the sense that it is a higher level of fantasy. When I think about the moments I had the most fun in the game I’m always thinking of the scenery and quests in Blood and Wine.

I just finished the main story in BotW and look forward to dipping into the DLC soon, glad to see it’s recommended by you :grin:


I’m not going to count Witcher 3 Blood and Wine because that’s more like a sequel than a DLC. It’s also too easy an answer.

Mine is Lair of the Shadow Broker from Mass Effect 2. It expands the world, it tells an excellent, twisty story, and from a pure action gameplay standpoint it’s better than anything in the base game. It’s very linear and nonessential to understanding the Mass Effect universe, but it makes Mass Effect 2 and 3 both better games with the knowledge and experience you gain.

ME3 Citadel was good too but more disposable. Leviathan was closer to Shadow Broker in style but lacked stakes at the character level that Shadow Broker had in spades.


Ah, so the answer is to “git gud”. Noted.


I’m a big fan of audacious ideas that you don’t think you want for DLC but they fully land and make something amazing out of it. Forza Horizon 3 Hot Wheels was something no one saw coming at all. Most of the guesses for the second expansion was just a map expansion. Then I remember when Microsoft put up the trailer, it was like this gigantic wave of shock. They made the equivalent of a real life Hot Wheels set constructed around a real city, and put it in a game. And it has been just ridiculous amounts of fun because it just ramps the core gameplay of Forza Horizon up into the sort of Hot Wheels game we always wanted but they could never quite pull off (Sorry Turbo Racing and your amazing Surf Punk soundtrack)

Oh and it had a T-Rex as well.


For me it’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Missing Link.

I loved DE:HR and picked up the DLC on a sale. I was kind of disinterested in giving it a fair shot but I did love the game enough to dive into it. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually really enjoyed it as one of the more memorable parts of the overall experience.


Whew, I’m not alone in my thinking that TotS is kind of… bullshit. I think it’s awesome conceptually, but the way armor works combined with the lack of checkpoints makes it way too punishing. Punishing to the point that I think it almost entirely negates the core appeal of the mode, even.

I see one of the big draws of the challenge rooms as being “manage your weapons, use your healing items conservatively, and fight cautiously to avoid taking unnecessary damage.” The problem is that with no armor, all this preparation means nothing because stuff can kill you in 1-3 hits anyway. I spent 40 minutes painstakingly making my way through the beginner set of levels only to get killed from 1 massive (at least 17 hearts of damage) hit toward the end. FUCK that.

Note: I probably wouldn’t be nearly this upset about the mode if it was just straight up bad, but it’s maddeningly close to being amazing. And that is so much more frustrating.

*edit: I did eventually beat the first set of levels using a dragon horn defense meal (defense+++ for 30 minutes) but even then I just scraped by


I’m a little surprised no one has mentioned how good the DLC for Dark Souls was. Artorias of the Abyss is my go to example of great DLC. The new areas were pretty great, gave players a dedicated PvP area, introduced a new kind of magic, expanded on the lore in really interesting ways, and all the bosses ranged from good to great. On top of the boss fights being great for the time, I find that most have held up as the game ages, which I can’t say for the majority of the base game’s bosses.


I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m missing about the combat myself. I agree with the previous commenter that the combat in BOTW is a drag, especially at the latter parts of the game. The reviews all highlighted that combat rewards creativity and experimentation with the environment, but only in the early portions of the game. Later on, doing things like finding a boulder to roll down a hill, or exploding a campfire does so little damage to be pointless. The melee combat doesn’t really have that much depth and is tedious, headshots don’t do much damage, and the parrying is too hard (I’ve found for myself) to be able to do consistently.

Still love the explorations and the puzzles, but finding myself wanting to avoid combat where possible now


This was a good DLC. I played it as part of the director’s cut version of the game, where they re-inserted it into the main game, which I thought wasn’t the best way to play it, because it drove the plot of the main game to a halt, and ruined the pacing. I enjoyed it much more on a second playthrough, when I played it separate from the main game.


While I’m intrigued with the prospect of more confined open-world areas like the Typhlo Ruins, Eventide, and the Korok Forest, I have no idea why Nintendo felt the need to bundle both DLCs together. $20 ($30 where I live) is really too much for the parts that interest me. Also, while I enjoyed BotW’s combat systems, I found the enemy designs to be pretty uninteresting and far too few, so the lack of additions on that front is a disappointment.

As for the open thread, Bloodborne’s DLC, The Old Hunters, is easily the highlight of my favourite video game. It presents a more compact, explicit narrative that slots in nicely with the backstory of the main game, with creative areas and incredible bossfights. Also, they almost doubled the number of trick weapons, and trick weapons are always wonderful. While it’s a bit of a shame that they’re confined to a late game area, you can pick them up early if you’re inventive and I spent a fair amount of time with them in the end.

Other Souls DLC has been pretty good, too. Artorias of the Abyss is a classic, the DS2 DLCs are reasonably well done (but like the other areas of that game I have my reservations), and Dark Souls 3 was also solid with some absolutely amazing bosses marred by pretty bland stories and levels.

Mass Effect 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the Witcher 3 are a few other games where the DLC is the highlight of them.


I’m so down for the Master Trials, but dying in room 14 and being sent hours back really bloody sucks. Mind you I’ve jumped into Champions Ballad stuff and am digging it, well at least after the whole “survive with 1 quarter health” section - that spike shrine is some bullshit.

I actually can’t wait to dig into Mafia 3’s DLC. Some of that stuff looks really wild.


From Software is the undisputed champion of DLC in my eyes. Their DLC always adds so much to the main game and usually contains some of the best levels and boss fights for that game, where it feels like they really figured out how to design best for that games mechanics.

I’m playing through Bloodborne for the first time right now and the Old Hunters DLC has been absolutely awesome, (shoutout to my good friend Ludwig Horseman and his fucking incredible theme music), and it adds so much to the meaning of the themes and story of the main game that its kind of wild to me that Bloodborne didn’t launch with all this stuff. Especially since most of the coolest trick weapons (aside from my beloved Reiterpallasch) are in the DLC.

The Artorias of the Abyss DLC from DS1 is also pretty excellent, and its cool in retrospect seeing the Artorias fight as a pretty clear point where they finally nailed how great a boss fight could be in a souls game, and how much it influenced the rest of the series.

The DS2 DLCs were all of significantly more impressive quality than the main game (and I even really like DS2!), the Sunken King especially having some atmospheric and inventive level design. The Fume Knight in the Old Iron King DLC is my favorite boss from DS2 as well.

I think DS3’s Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City are my favorite though. Some of my favorite level design in the game and some wildly incredible boss fights that I will probably measure all other game bosses against in the future. Darkeater Midir is the the only time in a video game where a dragon has made me feel the level of awe and terror that one should feel when facing a dragon –he’s practically a kaiju!– and mastering that fight was probably the most mechanically and viscerally satisfying video game experience I’ve ever had. I also think the story across those two DLCs is a really fitting end to the series, and brings the series all the way back to the very foundations of its mythos both literally and thematically, in some interesting and unexpected ways that I actually found really powerful. Also, The Ringed City is such an amazing place to do co-op, in a game already filled with wonderful multiplayer that place was a real highlight where when I was summoned I never knew what I would be helping someone with, just that it was going to be a wild time.


I had a similar experience with the Dishonored 1 DLC. I wasn’t super enthused by the main game so after finishing it I felt kinda eh on going on more adventures. But not only did I enjoy it a lot more than I expected, I liked it more than the main game itself. It had great missions, a more interesting story, and some actual characterization for the main character Daud. To an extent it even sets up the sequel by introducing some of its characters, although I feel like some of it was retconned (don’t remember too well if that’s the case though) Definitely think it’s one of the best DLC’s I’ve played and anyone who liked Dishonored should give it a try.

I should get on that Zelda DLC sometime, I guess. This article actually makes me somewhat excited for it, which I never got by any of Nintendo’s promotional material. Should make for a good starting point for a second playthrough.


I usually pass on DLC when I’ve already paid $60 for the base game. I’ve usually had my fill of the game by the time I reach the end that I’d rather try out something new.