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Tomb Raider Remaster Fixes The Worst Thing About The Original Trilogy

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered will feature some spiffy quality-of-life updates, including the ability to turn on modern controls and health bars for bosses. However, the folks behind the updated collection are being careful to preserve the original games and let fans turn off most of the new tweaks and enhanced visuals.

The Week In Games: Reignited Rivalries And More New Releases

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First announced back in September during a Nintendo Direct, the remastered Tomb Raider trilogy has been MIA since then. The collection combines the first three ‘90s-era Tomb Raider games starring iconic adventurer Lara Croft. After its surprise announcement, showing off new and improved visuals, we didn’t hear or see much about the collection for the rest of 2023. But now, a few weeks before release, developer Aspyr has provided a blog post filled with new details about Tomb Raider I-III Remastered.

In a January 16 post on the official PlayStation Blog, Aspyr’s director of product Chris Bashaar explained that the studio worked closely with longtime series stewards Crystal Dynamics to find what it believes is the perfect balance of “preservation and modernization.” So what does that actually mean? For starters, you’ll be able to switch at any time between the updated visuals and the original graphics.

Another nice visual change: Aspyr has swapped out all the 2D sprite-based items in the games with new 3D models. Bashaar says this tweak gives “a little more umph to item pick-ups.”

Modernizing the classic Tomb Raider adventures

It’s not just visual changes that have been made to the first three Tomb Raider games. In an effort to make these older entries more approachable to modern players, there is now a control option that uses the right stick to move the camera and feels more like how most third-person action games feel in 2024. A separate tweet confirmed that the game will also feature a camera lock-on system, too. However, if you prefer the tank controls of the original games, you can go into the options and turn that old system back on.

Another interesting change is that bosses now sport health bars. This is useful as many of the bigger enemies in the first three games could feel like damage sponges and it was hard to know how much progress you were making during the fight.

Additional improvements include more than 200 trophies (or achievements on Xbox) spread across the three games in the trilogy. It seems these trophies won’t just be awarded for standard stuff like finishing a level or beating the game. An example teased in the post says you’ll get a trophy for locking the creepy butler in the mansion’s freezer, a famous tradition among Tomb Raider fans.

Finally, Asypr has added a full photo mode to all three games, letting you take in-game screenshots during any level or moment. You can even toggle the classic or modern visuals while in photo mode, too.

All and all, this blog post has got me very excited to revisit these games with a new coat of paint and some modern quality-of-life tweaks.

I’m especially happy to see the controls being tinkered with and modernized as that’s always been my biggest stumbling block when going back to these classic adventures. But I’m also happy that the old-school tank controls are still in the remastered trilogy. That lets everyone play how they want and that’s always nice.

Tomb Raider I-III Remastered launches on February 14 on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Meanwhile, Crystal Dynamics is working with Amazon Games on the next “biggest” entry in the series.

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