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Tomb Raider Remastered I-III Starring Lara Croft Review for PlayStation 5

There are few video game characters as iconic and prolific as Lara Croft. From 19 games and several multimedia adaptations, Lara has flipped her way into the hearts and minds of gamers for generations. With that kind of legacy, it only makes sense to remaster the trilogy that started it all for modern consoles. Tomb Raider: I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft, by Aspyr Media, brings the acrobatic action and perilous puzzle-solving of the Playstation 1 to the Playstation 5, and it even includes options to play with remastered graphics and more modern controls. With three games worth of content to enjoy and multiple ways to enjoy it, Tomb Raider: I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft is certainly a tantalizing offer for both newcomers and die hard fans of the series.

To start off, this collection of remastered classics is a massive beast for anyone to undertake. With each game in the trilogy taking more than 10 hours to complete on their own, more casual players only interested in completing the story modes will find a good amount of meat to chew on, and the new saving system that allows you to save your progress whenever you want, in a level helps players create a more relaxed pace for themselves. On top of that, the collection also features the DLC for each game in the trilogy, and players can get the achievements for each of the three main games and their respective DLCs. This means that any aspiring completionists will have their hands full with over 200 trophies to hunt.

Tomb Raider Remastered I-III Starring Lara Croft Review for PlayStation 5

The games, themselves, deliver the classic action-platforming goodness Tomb Raider connoisseurs have come to enjoy. Levels are appropriately large with tons of secrets to uncover. Locations throughout the trilogy are varied, ranging from ancient temples to dark cave systems and even dinosaur-filled jungles, and each level has different puzzles that are appropriately challenging to figure out. The games shine brightest in their puzzle-solving, but their age makes itself very apparent in other parts of the game.

The collection gives the players the choice to play with either classic tank controls or a more modern control scheme. While the tank controls do work for the most part, I imagine many newcomers will find them too dated and cumbersome to figure out, so I appreciate the inclusion of modern controls. Unfortunately, switching between them feels like trading between a well-worn, nostalgic jank to a poorly-implemented jank. Platforming with modern controls is a constant battle as the jump button feels incredibly unresponsive half the time, and the distance and height the jump can clear feels inconsistent every time you do it. This is made worse by the stiff camera that you will fight almost as much as the actual enemies.

The graphics handle this balance between modern and classic much, much more effectively. The game gives you the choice between the classic polygonal textures that harken back to the PlayStation 1 and more modern textures and lighting, and it gives you the option to switch between these two graphic styles at any point with the press of a button. The fact that you can do this during loading screens and even cut-scenes impressed me the most during my time with the collection.

Despite my qualms with the controls, I cannot deny that Tomb Raider: I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft is a worthwhile collection of games. There is a lot of meat to chew on here, and the collection gives you a good variety of ways to experience this classic trilogy. It is a must have for fans of the Tomb Raider series, and I recommend it for anyone interested in the franchise or in classic third-person action platformers. Overall, I give Tomb Raider: I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft an 8/10.

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Related: Reviews by Josh Freeman

I love games and love talking about games. Some of my favorites include action games (both 2D and 3D), metroidvanias, roguelikes, shooters, and Indies.