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The Tomb Raider remasters are one of the best video games information of 2023 – Reader’s Function Specific Occasions

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Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered – old-fashioned Lara (Image: Aspyr)

A reader may be very excited to study concerning the upcoming Tomb Raider remasters and explains why they’re so different than the modern games.

I thought it was a pretty good Nintendo Direct on Thursday. Lots of games, some actual surprises, and a good pace that never dragged – much better than the usual bore fest that was the PlayStation State of Play. But there was one thing that stood out to me above everything in the Direct and that was the announcement of Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered.

As far as I know, this came out of the blue and I’m (not) ashamed to say I may have whooped in excitement when I saw it. Tomb Raider was my way into video games. I doubt it was the first one I played but whatever was first I’ve long since forgotten and it’s Tomb Raider I remember as the beginning of my love affair with games, and it’s Lara Croft who is my personification of the hobby – not Mario or Sonic.

I’m not some kind of crazy person with a shrine to Lara in my basement but I do have very fond memories of the original games and have been various shades of disappointed with all the modern ones. They’re quite good games but they’re not great and they’re almost nothing like Tomb Raider. More like if you explained what the games were like to someone else and they tried to recreate them without ever having played them themselves.

For me, there are two key problems with modern Tomb Raider games: the gameplay has changed to something almost unrecognisable and so has Lara. I’ll tackle the second point first as it’s a little more straightforward but in the original games Lara was a super confident and snarky adventurer. She was purposefully supposed to be a James Bond style character, larger than life and able to do anything she wanted.

In the modern games they’ve tried to give her a bit more depth, but it’s hard to say what she’s really turned into now. She’s a lot less sure of herself but she’s also a killing machine that seems to have no remorse for anything she does, either in terms of killing hundreds of people or stealing treasure. She’s also not funny or witty and never seems to be enjoying herself, which is a constant downer.

I don’t how far you can really go taking a character like Lara Croft seriously – did we ever get into the inner workings of Indiana Jones’ mind? Did we ever want to? I’d say not but repeated developers keep trying.

The gameplay issue is more a of a problem because I do recognise it’s all to do with fashions in gaming and what is acceptable in a big budget game nowadays. The problem is that the platforming and climbing was the original game, not the endless murder and stealth kills. It wasn’t Uncharted style platforming where you’re just jumping between coloured platforms, you had to look very carefully at your surrounds and work out the path to where you were going.

There were also proper block-pushing puzzles that were not easy and also needed real thought, which is not the sort of thing you see nowadays outside of a Zelda game. Here I will say the modern games got close. They were all optional but there were some good puzzle and platform sections in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, that were interesting and hard, but I can’t imagine anyone making them the focus of a new game.

And that’s why I’m so excited by the remasters. The chance to play the originals again with better controls and graphics, and enjoy Tomb Raider as it is used to be. I hope the new game they’re working on – which the remasters are presumably to promote – turns out well, but there’s no way it’ll be like the Tomb Raider I used to love.

People are always down on remasters, and sometimes they can be cash grabs, but this one is the best news I’ve heard in ages and I cannot wait till next February when it’s out [on all formats – GC].

By reader Sideways

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