Hands-on with Shadow of the Tomb Raider's Challenging Co-Op DLC

Just in case you couldn’t get enough of the (mis)adventures of Lara Croft, we recently got a chance to check out the newest DLC offerings for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

“The Forge” is the first installment of Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s series of monthly content release post-launch that plans to add even more Tomb Raiding than you can handle.

Each of the new challenge tombs are treated as side missions that can be played solo or with a buddy online, and provide more background information on some supporting characters and the world at large. These additional missions also add new gear and new skills for Lara Croft to save the day.

Each new Tomb can be completed on your own, but you're encouraged to enlist help to fully see what the stage has to offer since playing in co-op opens up new areas to explore. The Forge itself is a precariously built spire in a lava-filled cave. As I ascended the The Forge, the game forced my partner and I split up in order to to get to top of an ancient tower using the a system of pendulums and well-timed natural gas explosions with a shot from your trusty flame arrows. Much like in the main game's normal challenge tombs, half of the fun is figuring out the gimmick of each tomb.

Since coordination is key to success, each player has the ability to ping points of interest of the level if you’re not on voice chat. You can even go as far as pinging specific switches and levers to push in a set order. This is especially helpful when in areas where the two players are split. My partner was able to highlight a timed door for me to run through once he pulled a switch and I only had moments to get through if I wanted that sweet, sweet treasure. The reward itself in this case was a Grenadier Skill, Brocken outfit and crazy powerful Umbrage 3-80.

Once you clear the tomb, you can give some of the other modes a try, such as Score and Time Attack. Score Attack is all about collecting orbs with chaining together combo chains for crazy high scores on the leaderboards while Time Attack is all about completing the stage as fast as possible. Both are fun modes that offer two vastly different ways to run through each tomb providing some replay value.

The Forge will be free for folks who own the $24.99 Season Pass, and can be purchased as  standalone DLC for $4.99 on November 13th for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Serious adventurers should note that Season Pass holders will have access to exclusive challenge tomb that takes place once you complete the story.

Credit: Square Enix

Jorge Jiminez is a reporter, game critic, and writer from New Jersey with more than 10 years of experience. He writes primarily for PCGamer, although his work has appeared on other sites, including Tom's Guide, DualShockers, WCCFTech, and more. He specializes in reviewing games and gaming hardware, and greatly enjoys Pop-Tarts.