Rise of the Tomb Raider ‘Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch’ Review – Enter the Wicked Vale

Rise of the Tomb Raider was one of the best games of 2015. That is a genuine fact. Rarely do I play a game to 100% completion but with RotTR I couldn’t possibly help myself. Everything from the traversal to the combat to the collectibles, the story and Camilla Luddington’s silky smooth voice kept me glued to my seat. Now we have a chance to dive into our first new area, the Wicked Vale in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s new DLC, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch.

Baba Yaga takes Lara a little deeper into the supernatural as she rescues a native named Nadia and then aids her on her quest to find her grandfather. Her grandfather has journeyed to the Wicked Vale in search of the famed Baba Yaga, a terrible witch who took the life of his beloved wife, Serafima. An exciting premise, no doubt about that, but the follow through is just a little too short-lived.


“The battle with Baba Yaga alone is worthy of the price of admission.”

The extra content will take you around two hours to complete, maybe three to four if you’re a collectible junkie like me. While the content that takes place in the Wicked Vale is a really great addition a large chunk of the story has you wandering around the Soviet Installation so you kind of feel like you’re being ripped off a bit. Focusing on the Vale though, it’s a very well put together area that most fans will like. The final boss battle is absolutely fantastic as you traverse upwards in a tower like arena that will definitely challenge you.

The short story included is decent enough even though I figured out most of the story before it was told to me, so perhaps a bit predictable. There are new enemies as well but apart from looking scary they act just like every other soldier you’ve faced so far in the game. After all is said and done you are left with a new outfit and weapon that more than make the journey worthwhile.The Dreamstinger bow changes your regular poison arrows into purple clouds that confuse and bewilder the enemy. It makes for fun times when you shoot it off into a group of Trinity pawns.

Baba Yaga Screen

The environment itself is mostly fare that you’ve seen already but the puzzles are a treat. Not so much that they were challenging to figure out but a bit of a trick to put altogether. Attempting to collect all the documents is a job in itself as a couple of them require some tricky footwork, if not fleet footwork, to accomplish. Collecting them all is worth it though as you learn more about Nadia’s grandparents as well as glimpse into the minds of the people the witch snares in her tricks.

Fans of the game will certainly enjoy this offering, especially if they get it part of the Season Pass they already purchased. I’d venture a guess that most people who really loved the game purchased the Season Pass without blinking. However, if you’re purchasing it as standalone DLC it seems a bit steep at $9.99. All things being considered, Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch is a welcome addition to Rise of the Tomb Raider even if it runs a little shorter than most people might like. The battle with Baba Yaga alone is worthy of the price of admission.

*** Played on Xbox One with self purchased Season Pass ***

The Good

  • Killer boss battle
  • Great new weapon and outfit
  • Challenging environment

The Bad

  • A bit short
  • Too much takes place in Soviet Installation
  • Pricey without Season Pass