The first and (I think) only story driven dlc for Rise of the Tomb Raider is now available. Is it worth your time and money? I’ve spent my time and money to find out.
The expansion can be started either during the main storyline or once it’s completed though I feel you’d be better served taking it on during the story for reasons I’ll mention later.
This new mini adventure is started by visiting the Soviet Installation where you’ll discover soldiers hunting a native in the area. Once they are dealt with using Lara’s murder skills simply find the native and then it can begin proper. You’ll be tasked with heading into a new area called the Wicked Vale and tracking down your new friends grandfather who has ventured there to slay the evil witch Baba Yaga. Needless to say, you’ll use your violent tomb raiding skills to solve the mystery of the ancient witch and net yourself some sweet new gear.
Entering the Wicked Vale, the first disappointment struck me. The area just feels like everywhere else you’ve explored but with added scarecrows for set dressing. This feeling of seen it all before is only amplified when you realise most of the bad guys are just spooky reskins of bad guys/creatures you’ve already faced, depending on how far in the main game you are. However, at the same time, when a game is as good as Rise then it’s not a deal breaker but it is disappointing and worse of all it also asks you to back track to areas featured in the base game.
In other areas it’s business as usual too, another challenge to complete, various trinkets to collect, puzzles to solve and ledges to scramble round. This is of course still all fun to do. The expansion does feature a rather fun, if a little drawn out, boss fight at the end utilising both your platforming and shooter skills to win the day.
The expansion is touted as being 3 hours long and this is about right but only if you hunt down all the collectables and fully explore the areas. At £7.99 it is a little short lived and you’ll likely be wanting more. Once completed you’ll be awarded a new costume and bow with the ability to frenzy enemies. If like me though you get these rewards after completing the main game then their impact is rather lessened.
Overall it’s a perfectly playable add on but I’d like to have seen them try and implement a few new ideas to help it feel fresh. This coupled with its rather short length means I’d only recommend it for those who just can’t get enough Tomb Raiding. Though you probably already have the season pass anyway.