the forge

Our hands-on preview of Shadow of the Tomb Raider's new DLC, The Forge

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Nov 13, 2018, 2:30 PM EST

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released earlier this fall, and in it, fans got to play once again as Lara Croft. Developers Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal haven’t stopped at Lara’s adventures in South America, however. Today, November 13, the first of seven monthly DLC releases will be available. This one is called The Forge, and SYFY FANGRRLS had a chance to check it out at a hands-on preview event. 

You can play The Forge alone or in co-op mode. We played the challenge tomb part in co-op mode with Edios associate producer Jonathan Dahan, who explained that each of the DLC releases will give us a look at some backstory in the game. In this one, players follow the further story of Abby, who we met in the village back in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The objective is to solve the mystery of Abby's character and discover the village's true origins.

In co-op mode, you must work together to solve the puzzle of the tower in the middle of a cave. Now, you can try to do this yourself, and you may even succeed, but Dahan told us that you can’t actually do the end part of the puzzle if your partner disappears. If you try it solo, there are a few things you won’t be able to see, so it’s worth trying it both ways. The entire DLC gives you an extra side mission, a new weapon, a new outfit, and a new skill. You can preview more behind-the-scenes info in the video below. 

The puzzle will feel familiar to players who have already tackled Shadow of the Tomb Raider's main story mode, but we were told that the developers wanted to take their time here in ways that they couldn’t during the first narrative. The challenge tomb here has a tower with seven levels. Co-op teams must work together to move the rotating platforms up to the top of the tower, using arrows and timing, and pulling down ladders. The platforms lock every two levels, so you’ll have moments to rest and regroup. We played next to each other, so we could see both screens, but each player will see themselves individually as Lara. The developers also added arrows to show you where each lever is located, so you don’t necessarily have to try to explain that step you want your partner to do over a headset. Pro tip: Make sure you have a bunch of fire arrows ready to go before you start so you don’t have to keep crafting them on the fly like we did. 

Dahan told us that they’ve been working on the DLC for some time, getting ideas from the main narrative about parts of the story that they and fans would like to see more of. They started this back in July, and as of now are pretty far into the second DLC release. The third DLC is partially done as they wait from more feedback from players to determine what eventually gets released.

You do get a pretty cool prize for completing The Forge. If you solve the tower puzzle, you’ll get the “Grenadier" ability to craft grenades, something that will really help you out when dealing with multiple enemies. 

Developed by Eidos Montréal in conjunction with Crystal Dynamics, Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released on September 14 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC/Steam. Are you guys excited for the upcoming release of The Forge? Have you been playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @SYFYFangrrls.

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