Many gamers have embarked on the latest Tomb Raider adventure, centered on rebooting the iconic Lara Croft, and while a few hiccups prevent the game from masterpiece status, our time with the title so far has been extremely encouraging. At the time of this writing, we’re nearing completion on our in-depth Tomb Raider review – and, like many players, are already eager to spend more time adventuring with Ms. Croft on Yamatai.

Despite reports to the contrary, fans have remained hopeful that Square Enix would announce plans for further story-based adventures on the island – especially after Microsoft touted “Xbox 360 Timed-Exclusive” DLC for the Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, today’s announcement confirms that the ‘Timed-Exclusive” DLC is little more than three new multiplayer maps – a major letdown considering the multiplayer in Tomb Raider is the least compelling element of the game package.

According to the official Tomb Raider blog, the “Caves and Cliffs” DLC Package will be available to Xbox 360 users on March 19th at a price of 400 MSP. At this time, there is no set release date for PC and PS3 players.

Here’s the full breakdown of what players will receive in the add-on:

Scavenger Caverns
An extensive subterranean network of caves used by the island’s scavengers as an underground prison.

Cliff Shantytown
This scavenger settlement was built high up on the island cliffs. Its many layers hide some of the deadliest traps on the island.

The Burning Village
A raging fire has embraced an abandoned Japanese village, the burning buildings offer multiple ways to escape or engage your enemies.

In addition to the descriptions, Square Enix has also released a pair of images for the DLC – providing players with a sneak peek at Scavenger Caverns and Cliff Shantytown (click to enlarge):

Tomb Raider DLC Scavenger Cavern

Tomb Raider DLC Cliff Shantytown

The Tomb Raider multiplayer adds replay value to the game package but, much like other tacked-on competitive online offerings seen in Dead Space 2 or BioShock 2, for example, there’s nothing particularly memorable about it. As a result, the DLC announcement actually casts light on the worst part of the game – in service of promoting add-on content that few people will actually be ready for a mere two weeks after launch. In general, it’s hard to imagine that PC and PS3 players will be too upset about Xbox 360 players getting first dibs on the “Caves and Cliffs” map pack.

Still, Tomb Raider delivers a worthy amount of gameplay – considering the quality of the story. The game contains a complete narrative – one that should please gamers who regularly complain about story-based content that gets “held back” to be milked post-release as DLC instead of included as part of the core story. Completing the title allows players to scavenge for missing items and complete any unfinished challenges, but, aside from traversing the island, there’s not a lot for non-multiplayer fans to do once the story wraps-up. As mentioned, leading up to the game’s release, fans remained hopeful for an announcement of further story content – even if only in the form of more relics and documents to find or challenges to finish.

Tomb Raider (2013) Multiplayer Achievements

Given the size of the island, it’s a missed opportunity and it wouldn’t be hard for Crystal Dynamics to eventually include a side-mission story branch that takes Lara back through Yamatai throwing new foes and action set pieces in her way. That said, at this point, there’s absolutely no reason to expect much non-multiplayer DLC is in the pipeline – with the exception of a few new “tomb” locations (given that GameStop offered the Lost Adventurer Challenge Tomb as a pre-order bonus).

Normally we’d recommend that single player gamers try to tackle achievement and trophy objectives instead; though, in the case of Tomb Raider, half of the in-game challenges are obtainable only in multiplayer. Fingers crossed for a better post-launch DLC program in the inevitable Tomb Raider sequel and check back soon for our in-depth Tomb Raider review.

If you’re still on the fence about the game, check out the Tomb Raider “Day One trailer below:

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick.

Tomb Raider is available now for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Source: Square Enix