Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Pillar (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 25.01.2019 2

Review for Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Pillar on PlayStation 4

The Forge didn't exactly kick off Shadow of the Tomb Raider's monthly download contents in the best possible manner, with a mission that was short and uninteresting. Does The Pillar rectify that disappointment and start to show signs that the season pass is worth the money?

Speaking to new NPC Q'orianka in the hidden city of Paititi's Skull Cave, Lara learns of the Shield of the Age Maker, which supposedly proves that Urunatu is the rightful ruler to lead Paititi forward. Since this DLC plays out as if the final mission of the game has not yet been completed, main antagonist Dominguez is also keen to get his hands on this artefact. Lara ventures to the Path of Hurucan to retrieve it before his lackies do.

Things start out pretty positively when compared to the last DLC. There is no messing about with fetch quests this time, and it's straight into the ruins and challenges themselves once you make it to the path's location. The Pillar is immediately a better puzzle, as Lara does battle against the wind elements, utilising rope pulls on barriers to block strong gusts from blowing her off of thin platforms. A bit of wall climbing and rope swinging is required as she makes it to where the shield is supposed to be located.

Screenshot for Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Pillar on PlayStation 4

After reaching the summit, it turns out Dominguez's forces have taken it further into the tomb itself. This sets up the idea that an actual tomb challenge awaits Lara after having made it across the treacherous pitfalls and cliffs prior. Not so. Turns out that was the tomb challenge. Oh.

The redeeming factor at this point is that there is a little bit of combat and some chances to use the camouflage mechanic that was underused in the main adventure. Given the cramped and enclosed areas dealt here, though, the chance to silently take everyone down is somewhat limited. One wrong move, and most of the enemies are onto you, rendering stealth moot, and Lara just proceeding to mow them all down. Since it's a one-shot situation (unless you die), it feels like a waste to not be able to put the range of stealth tactics to use in a mission you've paid for.

No co-op this time, although that's no big deal. Like the last DLC quest, Lara is rewarded with some new gear: a costume, a bow, and a skill that allows her to use Survival Instincts while traversing tree canopies and when hiding along concealment walls.

Screenshot for Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Pillar on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Despite starting stronger than the previous DLC, getting right into the puzzling and platforming action, The Pillar doesn't really feel like a Challenge Tomb. It's more like a challenge leading up to a tomb, which is followed by some minor combat areas. Perhaps these additional missions really are going to be much smaller than many would have anticipated.

Developer

Eidos Montreal

Publisher

Square Enix

Genre

Action Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's odd... do you think a slightly different team worked on the DLC? All of these so far just sound like afterthoughts rather than something the main team would be proud to call it's own.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Hard to say. From what I've gathered, the producers and tombs director are all the same. After checking a dev diary vid from before the DLC came out, they were open in saying these are all about one hour long, so the seven DLCs will make about seven hours total. I mean, $30 for that isn't exactly great imo. It's not like SotTR was a particularly great game, so I guess you could say the DLC so far is about right in terms of quality. For me, it was best in its tombs, but it's not like those lasted an hour each. When you put a DLC pack together tho, I expect more than an hour of content, and not some half-arsed bit of story with side characters I don't care about, fetch quests, and simple tombs.

I just finished Horizon: Zero Dawn and its expansion Frozen Wilds this month. The expansion was $20 at launch - $10 less than what SotTR's season pass is - and it had a full-on story campaign, huge new area to explore, many side quests, appealing characters, lots of puzzling, platforming, and battling. And it lasted at least 10 hours. I still haven't done everything in that expansion yet. It's a huge contrast to SotTR's DLC offerings. I'd much prefer a far bigger expansion half a year down the line with properly developed story and battles instead of piecemeal bits of boredom a month or two after game launch. But looks like they worked out this is what would bring in more money - all for less effort.

So on that note, I now know not to expect anything great from the remaining TR DLCs, since they're just gonna be simple tombs with thrown-in story/useless side character that lasts an hour at best.

( Edited 30.01.2019 20:38 by Azuardo )

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