Tomb Raider Remastered Is Perfect – Only If You Have Played The OG

Tomb Raider Remastered is exactly what the fans wanted.

Tomb Raiders Feature image

Tomb Raider has been one of my favorite franchises for as long as I can recall. As a teen, I was obsessed with video games and loved the movies equally. Even with clunky graphics, there was just something about exploring abandoned temples and fighting mysterious creatures that made Tomb Raider my absolute favorite.

The most recent titles in this series show a significant improvement in both graphics and gameplay, but there is something about the first few installments of Tomb Raider that really makes the experience of exploring as Lara Croft more worthwhile.

Key Takeaways

  • Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is a beautiful nostalgic experience, especially for long-time fans.
  • With a few improvements, the gameplay experience stays loyal to the original, making it worth trying out.
  • Despite a few bugs and issues, Tomb Raider I-III Remastered does a fantastical job of portraying the adventures of Lara Croft in a refreshing way while preserving originality.

Taking A Look At The Tomb Raider I-III Remastered

For the sake of nostalgia, I knew that I had to try out the Tomb Raider I, II, III remastered series as soon as it came out. One thing I like about remasters is that they keep the integrity of the originals. As a long-time fan of Tomb Raider, the remastered version was definitely a great nostalgic experience.

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered
Source: TheRadBrad, YouTube

I expected my fellow Lara Croft enthusiasts to share the same opinion but was surprised. While most shared my sentiment that it was a decent remaster, many expected more.

I feel like people were looking forward to more of a remake than a remaster. But speaking as a Tomb Raider fan, I feel that this was exactly what the fan base needed. 

Reasons Why It Is A Perfect Remaster

It’s surprising how people get confused between the terms remastered and remake. Remastered is supposed to incorporate the original elements and just enhance a few of them. At the same time, the remake focuses on constructing the game as completely new with modern graphics and controls.

Tomb Raiders Graphic
Source: TheRadBrad, YouTube

This brings me to my point that you will only be able to truly enjoy the Tomb Raider I-III Remastered if you have played the original. So, these games are not meant to feel new; the focus is to revive nostalgia with some polished features.

Gameplay And Controls

Now, I would like to shift the focus to the gameplay Tomb Raider Remastered offers. Even back then, in the early 2000s, when I first tried out these games, I found the controls to be extremely wonky and the combat lackluster.

I loved Lara Croft, but honestly, I’ve played better shooters even in that time.

Source: TheRadBrad, YouTube

It does run flawlessly on today’s systems, but I wish that there were at least some improvements in the gameplay and controls. Then again, you can’t really blame the developers, as they cannot mess around when it comes to remastered versions, so while you will definitely see some audio-visual improvements, don’t expect any upgraded controls.

But then again, I guess it is, but it also makes the experience all the more original.

Features New And Old

Besides the refreshing upgrade in graphics, there have been a lot of additional features added that make the experience even better.

Source: TheRadBrad, YouTube

A great job Aspyr did was to unify the best elements of these games using features from both the PC and console versions. If you remember, on the console version, you had to save by collecting a save crystal. On the PC version, you were able to save manually at any time you wanted. 

This is what you get to experience in the remastered version, and it makes the gameplay much easier. However, I did find some issues, especially that the whole atmosphere was way too dark, making it difficult to explore the levels. You do get to use two control systems, the tank and modern.

old Feature
Source: GameRiot, Youtube

You must get familiar with these controls, as both can be quite tricky at times. Modern controls are best for battle situations, but if you want to navigate through more precision-required areas, you will have to switch to tank controls. The makeover mode does make the camera feel a bit less wonky, but then again, there is a serious collision problem that needs to be tackled.

Including me, many players are not satisfied with the modern controls and expected a better control system.

A Flawed Masterpiece

I might sound biased by claiming Tomb Raider is a masterpiece despite all the buggy controls and several issues. The only way you can truly enjoy it is if you have played the original version.

Tomb Raiders Masterpiece
Source: TheRadBrad, YouTube

So, if I see it from a newcomer’s perspective, they will find Tomb Raider, for the most part, flawed and definitely not a masterpiece. This is why I would never recommend the remastered version to anyone not familiar with the polygonal world of Lara Croft.

This faithful remaster managed to stay loyal to the original while incorporating some modern features that really made me praise the developers. Aspyr and Saber Interactive definitely set a standard when it comes to remasters, and I hope we get to see more from them in the near future. 

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