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Oh hun, such a drama queen.

Valenka

Contributor
CRank: 10Score: 93730

User Review : Rise Of The Tomb Raider: Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch

Ups
  • Eerie, disturbing imagery fitting the theme
  • Fascinating implementation of a decades old myth
Downs
  • Obvious plot twist
  • Anticlimactic ending

It's just a bunch of hocus pocus...

The second expansion to Rise of the Tomb Raider, following Endurance Mode, has launched today and it sends us on another adventure, where Lara investigates talk of a malevolent witch straight out of Russian folktales. Lara's journey begins upon returning to the Soviet Installation base in Siberia, where her radio intercepts chatter from Trinity mercenaries in 'Bravo Team' as they attempt to track down a villager from the Geothermal Valley. It is then that Lara meets Nadia, a young woman whose grandfather has set out on a mission to kill Baba Yaga in an attempt to avenge his wife's murder at the hands of the witch. Lara pledges to help Nadia find her grandfather and kill the wicked witch once and for all.

Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch adds a unique experience to Rise of the Tomb Raider as it delivers eerie, disturbing imagery to the table--something fans have been asking for since the changes made to the 2013 reboot, with the 'Ascension' concept art and alpha development footage, where Lara would have initially squared off with demons and other malevolent entities. The expansion was advertised to add three hours of brand new gameplay and I can tell you right off the bat that that is simply not true. In the time it took me to finish Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch, I'd explored the entirety of the new hidden vale, found all of the new secrets and documents and not even an hour had passed before I reached the finale, with the total completion time clocking in at just over an hour.

I'm not really disappointed with the expansion--I found it to be utterly enjoyable and rather well done--but I'm rather perturbed by the overall misappropriation of the content. I don't want to start accusing false advertisement, but I'd like to see a playthrough that actually takes three hours or more to complete it, that doesn't involve moving at a snail's pace for the hell of it and needlessly backtracking. It does contain a tricky puzzle at the midway point that took me about ten or fifteen minutes to actually figure out and accomplish, which was one part interesting and one part frustrating, so you can shave a few minutes off of my overall completion time, if you'd like.

Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch certainly isn't as lackluster as a lot of game expansions or story add-ons these days, but it does leave a lot to be desired with an anticlimactic ending and a rather...blatant plot twist. It does add a unique twist and really inspires thought and conversation throughout, leaving players wondering if Baba Yaga really exists. It dives into Lara's fears and highlights that Lara is still haunted by a traumatic childhood event and does so in a really fascinating way. It could have easily been a longer experience, further diving into the myth of Baba Yaga, exploring the history and folklore...basically tastefully dragging it out to allow for more content. I feel as though it should have been spread generously and was instead just plopped into the game without much thinking involved. It is also a little ironic if it is played after already completing Rise of the Tomb Raider; Lara's skepticism about a myth come true is terribly ironic coming from the woman who witnessed an immortal soul of a long dead queen on the island of Yamatai and more recently, uncovering the secret to immortality in the very location that the Baba Yaga experience takes place.

Overall, I did enjoy the experience and since I already had the season pass, it wasn't really money wasted. Without the season pass, the expansion is priced at USD$10 and believe me when I tell you to wait for an Xbox Store sale. Unless the short length doesn't bother you, then go for it; you get a pretty cool outfit and weapon upon completion if that means anything to you. Personally, as much as I love Tomb Raider, it doesn't really inspire much hope for the next expansion, Cold Darkness Awakened, and I have definitely reconsidered my stance on season passes altogether. I usually never get them unless it's for a game I know I'll love, like Tomb Raider, The Witcher, Fallout, etc. but going forward, I most likely will never purchase another season pass until long after the content has been released, so that I may properly analyze it to determine whether or not it's actually worth the money. It's sad to say that about a franchise I love so much, but the gaming industry is depreciating at a rapid pace and Tomb Raider has fallen victim.

Score
10.0
Graphics
Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch carries over Rise of the Tomb Raider's gorgeous, detailed graphics in an immersive, disturbing world shrouded by the myth of an ancient evil entity.
9.8
Sound
Sound effects are wonderful, with eerie instrumentals and cues on top of the game's solid voice acting and score.
7.0
Gameplay
Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch was advertised as adding three hours of new gameplay to Rise of the Tomb Raider, but the expansion can be easily completed in under an hour. It redeems itself slightly by recycling puzzle solving elements with a unique twist and inspires strong exploration.
8.0
Fun Factor
Bringing a unique, disturbing, horror-themed narrative to Rise of the Tomb Raider works incredibly well, and it manages to provoke a good thought process in unraveling the mystery, solving new puzzles and taking on new challenges. However, the incredibly short duration leaves much to be desired.
Overall
6.0
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InMyOpinion2006d ago (Edited 2006d ago )

Sounds like a bunch of Baba Yaga to me.

Well-written review though.

I haven't played this expansion but the graphics in Rise of the Tomb Raider weren't that impressive to me. It had framerate and screen tearing issues, and pretty weak textures in many places. Some of the backgrounds were fairly underwhelming as well. Not that it looks bad but I wouldn't rate it a 10.

OldGuyStillGaming2003d ago

I had no such issues through my play through, it might not be a 10 but a solid 9 for sure

iliimaster2002d ago

lol @inmyopinion suuuuure buddy if your playstation is so much fun playing why make up crap on here?

InMyOpinion2002d ago

Ok? I love what I've played of ROTTR but I think there are better looking games out there. I'm a big Tomb raider fan, regardless of what platform they are on. I even played the excellent spinoff titles, Guardian of light, Temple of Osiris, TR Go etc.

maybelovehate2006d ago

10, 9, 7. 8 === 6? Wait, what?

Number-Nine2005d ago

Read the parentheses under "overall"

maybelovehate2005d ago

Still makes no sense haha.

Valenka2005d ago

The overall score is not an average based on the score for different categories reviewed. Sorry if that doesn't make sense to you. It's just how it is.

jb2272005d ago

I understand that...my big pet peeve is dlc that just recycles old environments and assets & that seems to be the case here for the most part...If you are creating story driven campaign dlc for an adventure game like this, I'd rather have a dev take their time & make something wholly new & special even if they charge me twice as much. DLC has been a bit underwhelming this gen for my tastes...First Light was cool but I got that for free so I can't speak on value...got the Season of Infamy dlc for Arkham Knight and at least they created new sections for that & I'd say it was maybe worth the money spent but just barely. Honestly the best sp dlc's I've ever played were from last gen, stuff like Left Behind & Infamous Festival of Blood.

This RotTR dlc looks decent but it doesn't look like it'd hit the mark much for me. Only dlc I'm looking forward to right now is Uc4s because I know that ND will take their time to make something special. 2 months is not enough dev time to create a proper worthwhile dlc, that makes me feel like you are just selling me back the assets & mechanics I've already paid for you to develop w/ a slight palette swap. Hoping that CD makes a true new section of sp content for the PS4 release, otherwise I can't justify paying full price & supporting practices I don't dig, even if the game is one of my favorite franchises from my absolute favorite genre.

slappy5082004d ago

I really liked the Bow I got from the DLC that I carry over to the main campaign (i never finished the main game when I did Baba Yaga because I bought the DLC along with the steam release), it changed up my tactics in the campaign, I like shooting those arrows into a crowdand then watching them frenzy upon each other. But yeah it was a bit short, here's hoping the next one is a bit longer

OldGuyStillGaming2003d ago

What kind of bow is it?
I haven't played the dlc but I will soon

slappy5082003d ago

I think its called the 'Dreamweaver' instead of shooting poison gas it shoots a purple gas that confuses enemies and make them kill each other!