Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered – a carefully measured, well-executed endeavour

There was a time when Tomb Raider stood as one of the most recognisable game series in the world, but decades later the original entries are largely unknown to those that didn’t grow up with them. That’s where Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered comes into play, a collection of brand-new versions of the first three titles with enhanced lighting, improved detail, high-res textures and better performance. Remastered feels both fresh and retro at the same time – and I’ve been playing it over the last week to determine how it stacks up against the original games in terms of visuals, controls and more.

Back in 2016, I created an episode of DF Retro covering the original Tomb Raider where I compared the PlayStation, Saturn and PC versions while showcasing some of the underlying technology in action, such as Sega Saturn’s unique sprite-driven 3D rendering. Since that video, the Tomb Raider scene has continued to thrive with the release of the open-source Tomb Raider engine OpenLara, not only showcasing impressive new visual feature features but also enabling the community to go wild with porting. There now exists, for instance, versions of Tomb Raider that can run on classic consoles like the Sega 32x, 3DO and Game Boy Advance.

The rebooted series itself has also gone on a hiatus of sorts, disappearing following the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider as we await a new installment. In the here and now though, we have this brand-new re-release of the first three games thanks to Aspyr and, save for a few minor issues here and there, my experience has been excellent.

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