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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe gets a new character and motorcycle in free update

Nintendo has released version 1.6 of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and it's added the first new character to grace the game since its original release. Once you download the update you'll be able to play as Link from Breath of the Wild, and you'll also be able to ride a brand new motorbike themed around the model found in the game's DLC.

Link first appeared in Mario Kart 8 via a piece of paid downloadable content released for the Wii U version of the game, but was included as standard when the game made its way to the Nintendo Switch in this excellent port.

However, this new version of Link swaps his traditional green tunic for the blue ‘Champion’s Tunic’ he wore in his most recent solo adventure. He also appears to have switched his standard Master Sword for a Guardian Sword from the new game.¬†Other than that, the two racers appear to be identical.

You’ll also get access to Link’s ‘Master Cycle Zero’, a motorbike that was added to Breath of the Wild via its second piece of downloadable content. In traditional Mario Kart fashion, you can mix and match this motorcycles parts with any others that are already in the game.

Continuous support?

Nintendo has only ever released a single Mario Kart game on each of its consoles, and this means you have to be prepared to wait a long time between new entries in the series.

Downloadable content could be an ideal way of filling the gaps between games, but Nintendo hasn’t given any signs that it’s considering releasing more substantial updates for the Switch entry in the series.

Previous updates for the game have been limited to bug fixes and balance tweaks, although version 1.5 did add the ability to use the Nintendo Labo Toy-Con Motorbike to play.

That’s a shame, because the foundations of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are rock solid, and we’d happily continue to play it for as long as Nintendo is prepared to add new tracks and characters.

We’ve got no idea if there’ll ever even be a version 1.7 of the game, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that this isn’t the end of Nintendo’s ongoing support for the game.

Which characters would you like to see added to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Let us know @TrustedReviews.