Rise of the Tomb Raider - Baba Yaga : The Temple of The Witch

Following the release of the long awaited Tomb Raider sequel comes a teaser trailer that rocked fans at the Game Awards show last December. 

During Microsoft's Xbox pre-show along with the developers at Crystal Dynamics, came the first trailer of upcoming DLC. We are greeted with an eerie opening and ominous music that immediately hinted at horror-focused DLC for the acclaimed franchise that is Tomb Raider. It came to me as no surprise seeing that past games had their own share of spooky moments, so it's great to finally see that they have decided to go forward and focus on it. 

Details and Analysis

As explained in the description in the video, we find ourselves in the deep wilds of Siberia in search of a missing man. A part of the wild that no one dare to enter, reports of unusual occurrences and long list of missing persons report only support the theory that something about that place is not of this world. Lara finds herself amidst the mystery of the forests and will have to use all her skills and knowledge to survive the haunting.

Baba Yaga comes from Slavic folklore and is described to be an old(er) woman and sometimes even a trio of sisters, who dwells in the forests helping or hindering those who she or they come across. Typically described to be a frail, haggard old woman with distinctions that vary depending on what area of the world you hear it from. She is in basic a witch of the forest and a being not of this world whose purpose is unclear. 

It is uncertain what the name means as the language and translation of the word has been lost to time. The word Baba seems to be the clearest to scholars as it in basic terms mean grandmother or older woman and is a word still used in modern Russian and Bulgarian dialect. The term Yaga is the part that has escaped experts to this day, as the word does not have a obvious direct translation or is a word that does not make sense to the lore. What some have hypothesized is it maybe from the proto-slavic word ǫ̃žь (Ou-zsh?) meaning serpent or snake. The other theory came from various Slavic languages; Croatian and Serbian in their respect meaning horror, chill or shudder. Either way, scary old woman works for me.


It seems very interesting and a satisfying change to the Tomb Raider franchise, we hope to see more developments on this DLC release as the time crawls closer to release of EARLY 2016. As the Rise of the Tomb Raider is already an absolutely beautiful game, it will be a treat to see how the developers use their cinematic lighting technique and tailor it to the new setting. 

For the latest news on Rise of the Tomb Raider, check out Crystal Dynamics website or follow them on twitter!

What are your thoughts on this trailer? Are you as excited as I am to see what becomes of Lara? Let me know in the comments below! 


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Jason Tsang




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