Rise of the Tomb Raider is, to me, the finest Lara Croft title to date. It takes core elements that made the original series a success and renovates them with modern mechanics and visuals. It’s the perfect example of how to treat a re-boot, and it’s one of the best third-person adventures in years. Lara’s first DLC continues to emphasise quality over quantity. Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is ultimately a $9.99 fetch quest with an epic boss battle, but it’s expertly paced and thoroughly enjoyable. The mission lasts a little less than two hours, and while that may sound absurdly short to some people, less is more when it comes to Lara’s supernatural mini adventure.
Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is essentially the developers’ version of the Slavic lore set within the Tomb Raider universe. Narratively, it delivers a more realistic spin on the myth while still injecting a good dose of the supernatural. It’s a great little tale that’s well paced and blends elegantly with the game’s combat heavy structure. A new environment brings a host of new environmental puzzles, although there are no new tombs or other major gameplay additions. You’re given a set of hallucinogenic arrows that are accessible throughout the entire game, but don’t expect anything major.
"Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is a pretty solid piece of DLC content, even if the asking price is a little too steep."
Before you can fully explore the new setting, you’re sent back to one of the camps where you have to gather special ingredients for an anti-hallucinogenic concoction. This element is my biggest gripe with the DLC as it’s forcing you to spend a good chunk of time playing a fetch quest in already explored areas. Luckily, once you’re back in the new area, the DLC does a great job of throwing cool surprises your way around every corner.
The highlight of the DLC is an epic boss fight that takes up a good chunk of the playthrough. Without getting into spoiler territory, let’s just say the boss battle is multi-tiered and one of the most climactic sequences in the entire game. It’s a shame that there are no new tombs since the environmental puzzles are so brief, but maybe we’ll see more in that department with the next set of DLC.
Overall, Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch is a pretty solid piece of DLC content, even if the asking price is a little too steep. The adventure is brief, and can be wrapped up in less than two hours. Having said that, every second of those two hours is brimming with great action sequences and a cool new setting. Now how about a real, fully fleshed-out expansion next?
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: PC