Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC Mystery Continues

For the past several months on the internet, there’s been a mystery going on that would be worthy of investigation by Lara Croft herself; just what is going on with that final DLC slot in ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider?’ When the game was released a little over a year ago, the promotional text that accompanied it promised seven subsequent tombs would be released to accompany the original game. Square Enix have made good on their promise.

Very rarely have video games published DLC as rapidly as Square Enix has with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The game was released – to rave reviews, we should add – in September 2018. The normal process for releasing DLC is to wait at least a few months, and allow players to complete the game before enticing them to spend new money on fresh content. Square Enix – perhaps feeling that there wasn’t quite enough content at the point of launch to keep players engaged for the long term – decided to hit the ground running with additional content.

The first new tomb was made available for download within a month of the game’s launch. After that point, one more tomb was released each month. This was great news for fans of Lara and her adventures, because they never had to wait long for new content to appear. There was a downside, though – once we reached April, all seven additional tombs had been made available, and therefore there was nothing else for players to look forward to. The game had already been supplied with all the content it was ever going to get. Or had it?

At the same time as launching the final piece of DLC in April, an eighth slot appeared below the space for the seventh tomb in the DLC menu. All it said was ‘Coming Soon’ – and that’s all it’s said ever since. Understandably, this created a lot of excitement among players. Dedicated Tomb Raider forums have threads which run hundreds of pages long, and they’re all full of speculation about what the final piece of DLC might contain. The only issue is that April was six months ago – and we don’t seem to be any closer to getting news about the content.

While Square Enix has been silent about their new video game content, Lara has been busy turning up elsewhere. We recently got confirmation that there’s a brand new Tomb Raider movie in development. Alicia Vikander will be reprising her role, and we’ll likely see it hit the screens in 2021. There’s also a brand new Tomb Raider board game planned for people who enjoy their gaming offline as well as online.

Even if you do all your gaming online, there’s still another place Lara Croft has put in an appearance this year. The Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs mobile slots game was released earlier this year, and has gone down well in gaming circles. It isn’t Lara’s first venture into the world of UK slots casino, but it’s been several years, and she looks good for the upgrade. While that’s all well and good for mobile slots enthusiasts, it’s a little frustrating that gamblers have got to see fresh digital Tomb Raider content before any information has been made available about the mysterious 8th DLC slot.

Square Enix has been adding to the frustration by simply failing to respond to any comments about what the slot’s there for. They’ve been asked for comment by numerous gaming websites and magazines, and they’ve said nothing. Check the responses to any tweet sent out by the official Square Enix Twitter account, and you’ll find responses from Tomb Raider fans wondering what the story is. They’re simply not interested in replying at the present time.

There could be numerous reasons for this. The most embarrassing would be that there was simply a coding error when the final piece of DLC was released, and Square Enix is having a hard time owning up to it. That would be embarrassing and irritating. At least if we knew that was the case, though, we could accept it as a fact and give up on all the speculation.

The second possibility – and one which has gained a lot of traction on the forums – is that Square Enix has something spectacular planned for Christmas – over one year after the game’s launch in September. Let’s not forget that this is almost certainly the last Tomb Raider game that will be released for the current generation of consoles. There are new PlayStation and Xbox consoles – along with some brand new competitors – scheduled for release within the next twelve months. It doesn’t make commercial sense for most publishers to focus on developing major new games for hardware which will soon be old hat, and so it will likely be at least a year or two before we even get a hint of a new Tomb Raider title. It would, therefore, make sense for Square Enix to try to make as much money from Shadow of the Tomb Raider as possible. Prompting fresh interest in the game by releasing more content on its first birthday would be a good way to go about it.

While it’s tempting to believe the Christmas theory, we’re not convinced that the developer would have the time to put further content together. Their focus for much of the past year has been on putting together the highly-anticipated Avengers: A-Day game for Marvel. Unless there was an eighth tomb designed at the same time as the rest of the DLC, and Square Enix are simply holding back on it, it’s hard to imagine that they’d devote valuable development time on an old game when they have more profitable exercises to attend to.

Will we ever find out what the real story is? Has Square Enix made a mistake, or do they have something special up their sleeves? Why are they refusing to acknowledge anybody who asks them questions about it? Short of sending Lara to their head office with all of her specialist investigative tools, we don’t know how to get the answers. All we can do is sit and watch, and cross our fingers that they’ve got the perfect Christmas present ready and waiting for Lara’s millions of fans all around the world.

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