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Tomb Raider I-III Remastered: Review – Reimagining of Nostalgic Adventures

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Tomb Raider I-III Remastered Review

Tomb Raider is one of the most beloved action-adventure game franchises, especially since the last decade as many of the new genre lovers found out about an extremely charming Archaeologist named Lara Croft on the release of Tomb Raider (2013). However, the real fans of the franchise know this character from the ’90s as the very first Tomb Raider game came out in 1996 and it was completely different than any other game at that point.

Anybody who has played the initial Tomb Raider games knows how hard they were back in the day due to complex platforming, puzzle solving, and many other factors just to get past a stage. It was nothing like recent titles from the series and while I was imagining the latest title from the Tomb Raider series, they announced Remastered for Tomb Raider 1, 2, and 3. Luckily, I have played the original games, so I knew what were they like and how difficult they would be to complete again but since it is remastered from them, I was hoping for some leisure in the difficulty which was there but not so much and it just reimagines the nostalgic experiences in my brain while playing the Remastered.

Story

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered offers the original story for all of the games to let the players experience the beginning adventures of Lara Croft. The story of Tomb Raider 1 revolves around Lara Croft finding an ancient artifact called the Scion of Atlantis. Lara is hired by a businesswoman Jacqueline Natla who brings her to a lost tomb of Qualopec, located in the mountains of Peru.

The story of Tomb Raider 2 revolves around the mythical Dagger of Xian which was used by the Emperor of China, Dragon Emperor in ancient times. It is believed that the dagger has the power to transform its wearer into a Dragon by plunging the dagger into its heart. After the war, the dagger was restored to its original resting place which is inside the Great Wall of China by Tibetan Monks. Now, a dangerous cult goes by the name of Fiamma Nera is after the Dagger of Xian, and Lara Croft races against times to retrieve the dagger before the cult does to save the world from destruction.

The story of Tomb Raider 3 revolves around recovering the four pieces of meteorite that are scattered across the world. The timeline of this story is right after the story of Tomb Raider 2 and this title offers the most locations including India, South Pacific Islands, Nevada, London, and Antarctica.

Gameplay

The Remastered Trilogy of Tomb Raider is filled with exciting stories but the one thing that remains almost identical in all three games is their gameplay. The gameplay of Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is almost close to the original games but some quality-of-life improvements make your playtime a bit relaxing. Improvements like controlling the camera with the Right Stick/Mouse will make somewhat of your experience polite but the camera angle will abruptly switch to head view whenever you go against the wall to either interact with a handle or pick up an item from the ground.

It is because the Remastered version of Tomb Raider I-III still pursues the old Tank control scheme. Even though the game set it to Modern Controls by default, a lot of movement for Lara Croft would still feel like you are using Tank Controls. Things like input are not going through in time making the character fall from the ledge and requiring you to redo all of the platforming. It does sound like a flaw in modern gaming but in reality, the old and original Tomb Raider games were meant to be difficult.

Apart from these major baffling factors that you would experience, the actual gameplay of the game is amazing. The game directly throws you into a mythical world where you would get to perform platforming, solve puzzles, use the iconic dual pistols to defeat the threats and uncover mysteries. Platforming requires precise jumping and it is very different than modern-day games. To reach the farther platforms, it will require jumping while running which often misses the input if not done right.

The puzzle-solving in these games will make you scratch your head almost every time as there isn’t any type of hinting involved in all of the three games. Every time you interact with a lever, a camera angle will show you the opened path but nothing more. You need to remember from which angle the path opened to find your way to the opened door to proceed ahead. Not only that but sometimes the puzzles will be mixed with platforming allowing you to open a path to make your way to it before the times run out.

For the weapons, you will mostly use the Dual Pistols with unlimited ammo. However, there is a Shotgun in the games which you can use from time to time to take out the tougher enemies and bosses. Using the weapons will always require you to hold the aim trigger to equip the weapons in the hand and then push the fire trigger to shoot. It can be a bit frustrating at the start but you will get used to it after using the weapons for some time. In addition to combat, dodging plays a crucial role through which you can neglect enemy attacks. Furthermore, you can also combine dodging with jumping to do a backflip which comes in handy during combat.

A few more aspects that you should know about the gameplay are to use the Walk frequently whenever you need to adjust your character on a small platform or while interacting with a grapple to cross the gap. Another great factor or you can call that a tip is to frequently save your game as there is no auto-saving in the game. You must save your progress as soon as you can otherwise, it can cost you a lot of time if you fail through your run.

Apart from the main storyline of each game, the game also allows you to visit Lara Croft’s house and unravel the mysteries within her manor. The house is filled with various activities and challenges that you can pursue as you wish.

Sound and Visuals

As the gameplay of Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is almost the same as the original games, the most noticeable improved aspects of the game are the sounds and visuals. They are greatly improved than the original games and all the sound designs of the stages greatly enhance the experience.

All the reimagining of the stages and the world created in the remastered version looks amazing along with the character animation. Unlike the original game, you will be able to witness the hand and face gestures of the characters which adds a minute detail for appreciation in a two decades old game.

Verdict – Score 8/10

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is a great reimagining of the starting adventures of Lara Croft and it beautifully portrays all the landscapes of the world’s locations. From the mountains of Peru to the Great Wall of China, it offers players to experience the classic adventure. However, all three of these games are equally hard as they were back in the 90s and if you are someone who played the original and want to experience them with better visuals and textures, then I would recommend you grab it without any second thought.

On the other hand, for the players who never played the initial Tomb Raider games and wish to try it, then I would give them a warning that these aren’t like the recent Tomb Raider games that came out and require a lot of patience and understanding for each stage to progress ahead.

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is now available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows.

Playing video games since a kid, Max Payne was the first game I ever played. I adore the soundtracks and worlds created in gaming. Passionate about writing gaming guides across all genres for all platforms. Confident in my publications in order to help other gamers across the world. I love video games in general and they are close to my heart.

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