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Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft
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Lara Croft is back with all the good (and bad) things I remember

Lara Croft is back with all the good (and bad) things I remember

76 View2024-02-20

SHOULD I PLAY TOMB RAIDER I-III REMASTERED?

You should absolutely pick this up if you’re a fan of action-adventure titles like Uncharted, feel nostalgia toward the original Tomb Raider games, or are a newcomer looking to find out how Lara Croft became such an icon. Playing Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is like stepping into a time machine. For me, it’s impossible to separate playing the game now from my memories of when it was released in 1996. Running around and busting a cap into a pack of wolves may be much less cool as an adult than it used to be, but I can’t help but smile at the series’ fresh coat of paint.

TIME PLAYED

I spent around five hours on Tomb Raider I-III Remastered, trying to focus my attention evenly between the three titles, checking out the new extras, and reliving my favorite moments.
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WHAT’S AWESOME ABOUT TOMB RAIDER I-III REMASTERED?

• The switch button. By far, my favorite thing about Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is the ability to transition between the original PlayStation graphics and the remastered version at the press of a button. Since I was able to switch between these two styles on the fly for moment-to-moment comparison, I was better able to appreciate the quality of the remaster as I explored the temples, caves, and cities of these classic titles. I could even switch between an original and modern control scheme.
• Three timeless Tomb Raider adventures. Including spin-offs, there have been over a dozen Tomb Raider games released since 1996, but this original trilogy ranks about a ten on the nostalgia meter and absolutely deserves the royal treatment it got here. Everything about these three games—from the gameplay to the more controversial elements, such as murdering wildlife—remains untouched, bringing these titles to modern gamers without losing anything from the originals. Case in point, I could still lock the butler in the freezer when in Lara’s mansion as in the original Tomb Raider II, but in the remaster he turns blue!
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• The cool photo mode. Tomb Raider I-III Remastered’s fun photo mode allowed me to take photos and manipulate them whenever I wanted. I was able to change Lara’s facial expressions, poses, and even clothes. It’s not the most significant addition, but it added an extra layer of fun to the experience.
• Witnessing progression of a series. Though I have history with these games, I never played the original Tomb Raider trilogy concurrently. Having all three titles at my fingertips really helped me appreciate the subtle nuances in how the gameplay progressed through the series. Tomb Raider is definitely more puzzle-based, the second title leans more into action, and the third game mixes the two into what I found to be the most challenging of the batch. Being able to play them all together and figure out these little revelations made Tomb Raider I-III Remastered worth it.
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WHAT SUCKS ABOUT TOMB RAIDER I-III REMASTERED?

• Harmful stereotypes and a changing attitude. Maybe it’s because I’m older or because times have changed, but playing as a wealthy aristocratic British woman who enters indigenous tombs and ruins, raids them, and shoots all manner of wildlife while doing it left a bad taste in my mouth. Moreover, these games feature some pretty offensive ethnic stereotypes that were already questionable in the mid ’90s and are just cringeworthy today. To be fair, there’s now a big disclaimer about these stereotypes before the game begins. However, it still made me realize how badly some aspects of this series have aged.
• The back-and-forth control scheme. Playing Tomb Raider I-III Remastered made me realize how terrible and awkward the original controls were. It's great that I could switch between old and new controls in the remaster, but playing with modernized controls felt clumsy at certain points, too. This meant I had to change controls at different points of the game just for ease of use instead of relying solely on one style.

PLATFORM TESTED

PlayStation 5.

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