Game Review: Tomb Raider I•II•III Remastered (Switch)

I’ve had a month with the titles in this remastered collection and I’m finally ready to talk about them. Especially after the chaos that is happening with their other remastered collection that just came out (Star Wars Battlefront Classic Collection). This one certainly dominates over that, so let’s get into it!

Description:

Discover Lara Croft’s Original Adventures, Lovingly Restored.

Play the Original Three Tomb Raider Adventures: For the first time ever, play the complete experience with all expansions and secret levels on modern platforms in this definitive collection.

  • Tomb Raider I + The Unfinished Business Expansion
  • Tomb Raider II + The Gold Mask Expansion
  • Tomb Raider III + The Lost Artifact Expansion

Features:

Solve Ancient Mysteries: Uncover treasures of the ancient world by solving puzzles and unraveling mysteries lost to the ravages of time. Globe-trotting Adventure: Follow Lara Croft around the world and face off against deadly foes and dangerous myths. Lovingly Restored: Experience the classics boasting upgraded graphics, with the option to switch to the original polygon look at any time.

Trailer:

Pros:

  • Feels like the 90’s, home slice! In each game, it’s all about Lara jet-setting around the world on these cool treasure hunts, hitting up some stunning exotic spots to score valuable loot and ancient artifacts. Plus, you can stumble upon hidden spots that aren’t key to the main story but can hook you up with some sweet advantages. Oh, and don’t forget the classic vibes of legendary myths tied to fancy archaeological gear like masks, idols, goblets, you name it. As for the gameplay, Aspyr was like, “Let’s keep things chill and not mess with the OG setup too much,” but they did toss in a more modern control option ’cause who needs those clunky old tank controls, right? And, Lara’s mansion is where you’ll polish your skills, doing all kinds of flips, jumps, swimming laps, and blasting baddies before you dive into the fully remastered world with its snazzy graphics and smoother controls. 

  • Visuals! The remastered versions really up the game in terms of visuals, especially when it comes to the environments. Not only does Lara get a makeover, but the graphics and textures now bring the whole world to life with all the tiny details standing out. You can easily compare the before-and-after in the review photos or switch things up in-game with just a click. The new features like the photo mode, achievements, and camera lock are cool additions, but the camera quirks, like clipping in tight spots, still hang around from the original. These remasters kind of bridge the old-school PlayStation vibes with the slickness of today’s 3D games, making for a fun replay with a fresh look. And hey, the influence of these games can be seen in big hitters like Tomb Raider and Uncharted. Plus, each game comes with bonus levels from expansions, adding more excitement to the adventure.

  • Gameplay & Longevity. For those wondering how this plays compared comparing the old school and modern controls: Well by default you have to press ‘X’ to switch your guns and ‘B’ to shoot. However, in the modern control scheme, they’ve switched it to ‘ZL’ and ‘ZR’ for easier swapping and shooting. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, so I found myself messing around with the controls back and forth in the games to see which felt better. I would actually say that it’s something where different scenarios stand to benefit more from one control scheme over the other. Your mileage may vary of course, but I recommend swapping controls if you’re in a scenario you can’t overcome.
    Aside from controls, this collection offers great value for money. You’re getting three full games and three expansions, which is no small deal. Each game will keep you busy for 10-15 hours, but remember to save your progress manually because there’s no autosave feature. It can be a bummer to lose progress after a solid run, so keep that in mind as you’re playing through them. Especially if this is your first time playing an OG Tomb Raider title, saving is like a cheat when you die a lot! 

Cons:

  • Not a Remake! It’s not a total remake from the ground up. I’m not personally bothered by this, but I’m guessing someone will be. I will say though that the improved graphics and new controls give the old games a nice facelift. If you’re into replaying the old-school PS1 Tomb Raider games with a modern twist, this remaster is a good shout. But yeah, if you were hoping for fancier cutscenes or more save points, you might feel let down. 

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is a pretty sweet upgrade to the classic games and definitely worth the $30 asking point. That makes this $10 for each game and any extra content that they come with. It’s not a total remake, as I mentioned previously. If you’re into replaying the old-school PS1 Tomb Raider games with a modern twist, this remaster is a good route to take. It’s easily the best way to dive back into the original Tomb Raider trilogy in 2024. Here’s to hoping that they make a trilogy collection for IV, V, and VI!

Purchase Links:

PlayStation

Nintendo Switch

Xbox

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