What exactly do you get in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Blood Ties and Lara’s Nightmare expansions?

What exactly do you get in Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Blood Ties and Lara’s Nightmare expansions?
Tom Orry Updated on by

Video Gamer is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices subject to change. Learn more

 Rise of the Tomb Raider released on Xbox One a year ago, but is now available for PS4 owners to experience. It’s a brilliant game that I’d wholeheartedly recommend to everyone, and it feels just as good now as it did 12 months ago. What’s more, it comes with bonus content built for this release (also available to Xbox One and PC owners as DLC). But what is it, and is it any good?

Blood Ties and Lara’s Nightmare are both set inside Croft Manor, Lara’s family home. The building has long since fallen into disrepair, so certain sections have been locked off due to being unsafe. The rest of the expansive home varies from in need of repair (the lobby has a hole in the roof) to near perfection (the study), but that’s somewhat beside the point; Lara is here to find a secret hidden somewhere on the estate.

If you felt Rise of the Tomb Raider was missing a mystery-based story sequence that features no combat, Blood Ties may well be for you. As Lara discovers items and clues around the manor, she gains access to new areas, in the end leading her to the BIG SECRET. The whole story might take you about 90 minutes if you take your time, and perhaps a little longer if you try to find every collectible. It’s neat if not all that exciting.

If that sounds a little sedate, Lara’s Nightmare is the polar opposite. Stuck inside the house, Lara must fight off seemingly endless waves of infected enemies (they’re essentially zombies with varying attacks, weapons, and defences). The lights are all off and it’s actually pretty scary and intense, especially as ammo is scarce.

Before too long you’ll realise that in order to fight off the monsters you must take down a number of floating demonic masks. Do this three times and a big boss mask will appear in the central lobby of the house, handily spawning more monsters to thwart your attack.

There’s something intrinsically unsettling about a large, deserted mansion (just ask Capcom), and Lara’s Nightmare plays on that beautifully. The mode isn’t particularly in-depth, meaning there’s no base defence style building or boarding up doors (Call of Duty Zombies this is not), but the relentless combat as you run through the building can be exhilarating stuff.

All in all, Blood Ties and Lara’s Nightmare add three or more hours of fun to Rise of the Tomb Raider. Blood Ties is a little light on the series’ traditional gameplay, but offers a lot of backstory for fans, while Lara’s Nightmare is about as action-packed as Tomb Raider can get.

Tom and Colm discuss what’s new in Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4.