The first story-driven DLC for Rise of the Tomb Raider makes use of an ancient lore, and comes with new puzzles to solve and bonus items that players receive at the end.
It felt good to play as Lara Croft again even though I was able to finish the new content for Rise of the Tomb Raider in about an hour and a few minutes.
I was excited for the DLC when it was announced. The trailer looked creepy, and it seemed the developers had added a supernatural element to Rise of the Tomb Raider – Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch. In order to play the new content you have to travel to the Soviet Installation, an area from Rise of the Tomb Raider, and find Nadia. She’ll then ask for your help to find her grandfather who went to the Wicked Vale to kill Baba Yaga.
Immediately the scary factor kicks in and Lara ends up seeing a lot of weird stuff due to flower pollen that causes hallucinations. I was expecting the game to fully dive into the supernatural genre, but it didn’t. Hallucination causing pollen made me remember similar levels from the Batman: Arkham game series. Having said that, Lara’s trip through the creepy forest, where she kept seeing her deceased father, was a nice little nod towards the bond they share.
After escaping an attack from Baba Yaga’s cabin (which moves around on two chicken legs and shoots fireballs) Lara goes on a mission to stop the flower pollen from being made into a weapon. The puzzles aren’t too tough to figure out, but they are fun. I would’ve preferred if the new content made players explore more of the new area instead of making them go around collecting resources found inside the Soviet Installation.
The final boss battle was enjoyable. It takes place while Lara is high due to the pollen, and that made for a cool fight. A lot of weird stuff was happening, and because Lara wasn’t completely in her senses, it looked even weirder.
The reveal about Baba Yaga’s true identity wasn’t shocking at all. I figured out who it was the moment Nadia mentioned her lost grandfather. The developers could’ve done a lot better with the mystery behind Baba Yaga. Hopefully, we will get future DLCs that really go into the paranormal aspect of Lara’s world. I need to see some actual ghosts, monsters, and ancient mythical beings in this game.
Players get two items once they complete the new mission. There’s a bow called the Dreamstinger which you can use to equip arrows and makes enemies hallucinate. The other item is Lara’s new outfit which looks amazing. It is called the Wraithskin, and makes our protagonist look more boss than she already is in the sequel to the rebooted series. You can also come back to the Wicked Vale to collect all documents, etc. lying around. Trying to complete everything can increase the gameplay time to near three hours.
If you don’t mind a short DLC, with a new area to explore, and a new villain to fight, then you should definitely play Rise of the Tomb Raider – Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch. If not then you can always wait for a future, hopefully better, DLC.
Have you played Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch? What did you think of it? Did you like the two new items? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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