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New Rise of the Tomb Raider expansion promises 'hours' of gameplay

Get the scoop on Endurance Mode, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, and Cold Darkness Awakened.

Microsoft and Crystal Dynamics have provided a new look at Rise of the Tomb Raider's upcoming expansion, Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, and offered more details about what players can expect from it.

First, the expansion is due to arrive in "early 2016." It's included with Rise of the Tomb Raider's $30 DLC and will also presumably be able to purchase separately.

A new gameplay video for The Temple of the Witch also reveals some of the locations and enemies that players will find when journeying through its setting--a "forbidden forest" in Siberia.

"Lara enters the Wicked Vale in search of a missing man, but what she finds is a nightmare that she cannot explain," Microsoft said in its description of the expansion. "Is the witch, Baba Yaga, truly haunting the forbidden forest? Or is there more to the legend?"

The expansion will culminate in a "showdown with an ancient and mythic evil."

Overall, The Temple of the Witch boasts "hours" of gameplay, Microsoft said. Other upcoming content for Rise of the Tomb Raider will include the Cold Darkness Awakened expansion and a new Endurance mode. Crystal Dynamics will also continue to support the game with weapon skins and new outfits.

Microsoft has provided release dates (and release windows) for Rise of the Tomb Raider's other upcoming DLC packs. The company also published official descriptions for each; see them below.

  • Endurance Mode -- December 29
    • Fire takes fuel, cold kills the unprepared, food restores health, but everything must be caught, collected, or crafted. You start with nothing and must find everything. Challenge friends to your longest survival run and battle to the top of the leaderboards for the title of Ultimate Survivor. Includes a new outfit and weapon.
  • Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch -- Early 2016
    • Featuring hours of new gameplay, this adventure expands the story of the main campaign with Lara facing deadly new adversaries, exploring a new puzzle-filled tomb, and solving a decades old mystery, all culminating in a showdown with an ancient and mythic evil. Includes a new outfit, and a new bow.
  • Cold Darkness Awakened -- 2016
    • Decommissioned during the Cold War, a dormant weapons research base has been breached, unleashing a mysterious affliction into the Siberian wilds that transforms beasts and men into blood-thirsty, mindless killers. Lara must overcome increasingly dangerous waves of these infected predators while scrounging their equipment and crafting additional gear on the fly, in kill or be killed survival-combat. Fight for your life against new enemies and complete new challenges, while discovering a way to stop or perhaps even reverse this impending catastrophe. Includes a new outfit and weapon.

Rise of the Tomb Raider launched on November 10 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. According to the game's director, Microsoft and Square Enix are "very happy" with its performance, though no official sales numbers have been announced. The game comes to PlayStation 4 and PC in 2016.