Review Tomb Raider Remastered I-III Starring Lara Croft Explained to Parents

Tomb Raider i iii Remastered Key Art Shared Screen

What parents need to know

Tomb Raider Remastered I-III Starring Lara Croft is a compilation of the first 3 Tomb Raider games starring Lara Croft.

The games included are:

  • Tomb Raider (1996)
  • Tomb Raider II (1997)
  • Tomb Raider III (1998)

The compilation offers the possibility to relive the first adventures of Lara Croft either in the original version, or in a remastered version at the graphic level.

You play as one of the most famous heroines in video games, and you travel through many environments and levels in each of the episodes, searching caverns, ruins, tombs and temples in multiple countries.

You control your character in 3 dimensions, jump, cling to ledges, run, crouch, retrieve objects, and use firearms to defeat human and animal enemies.

There are plenty of platforming and puzzle phases throughout the exploration, and you’ll be constantly lost in the labyrinthine levels.

The game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. It does not influence our opinion.


Release date: 14 February 2024
Developer: Aspyr
Publisher: Aspyr
Available on: Steam PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Available format: Physical and digital
Version tested: Nintendo Switch

Game genre: Action / Adventure / 3D Platformer
Themes covered: Exploring ruins, caverns, tombs, temples
Duration of a game: 30 hours
Text languages: English,
Voice languages: No voice

Number of local players: 1

Level of experience required

Age 3+ 7+ 12+ 16+ 18+

Our opinion

The 3 games in Tomb Raider Remastered are now over 25 years old, and it shows in their design. If at the time it was the beginnings of 3D, we were all impressed by these state-of-the-art titles, now with a plethora of games that guide you very well to the next objectives, this is harder to recommend.

You have to constantly orient yourself in 3D worlds, avoid traps, enemies and multiple dangers in 3 very punishing games.

There are also no new automatic backup systems, here you save like on a PC at the time: you enter the pause menu, you click on backup and you choose the location of the backup. The problem is that you have to do the following thing over and over again:

Pause – Down – Choose Save/Load – Choose Backup ->>>> Choose Location.

Given how often you save because of the multiple traps, it becomes laborious very quickly, especially since the default choice in this menu is to load the game. You will then sometimes mistakenly load your game and lose your progress.

However, it’s still better than the diamonds of the Playstation 1 versions that had to be collected in limited quantities, and used when it seemed appropriate.

In the current Steam PC version of the game, you can fortunately use a keyboard shortcut to save.


So there are 2 ways to play this compilation:

  • Original: playable in 30 frames per second, with strangely many hiccups when changing camera
  • Remastered: playable in 60 frames per second without any problems on all consoles and computers (even on Switch!)

You can constantly switch between the 2 versions, and this allows you to see the progress in terms of graphics made in the meantime. Hopefully, a patch will improve the original version of the games and make it more fluid.

Thankfully, Aspyr, the game’s developer and publisher, made the environments prettier, but didn’t change the level design. So they’re still very angular, rectangular and square but a little bit prettier.

The 3 games take a long time to complete because of their high difficulty, and you will have to constantly measure if you can run fast enough to avoid a wall crushing you, or if you have gained enough momentum to jump and hang on to the ledge. That’s where unlimited backups come in.

There are 2 types of controls as well:

  • Tank: which is the original way of controlling Lara in relation to her orientation in the environment. This is problematic when the camera suddenly decides to change direction.
  • Modern: which is a new way of controlling Lara in relation to the camera. The problem is that it’s missing a lot of jumps and actions as well, it’s not precise at all, and the jump takes a long press of the button to execute.

Not only are the 3 games very demanding with cameras that show the action very badly, but in addition neither of the 2 control modes is adapted to the challenges offered. This makes the 3 games very laborious, and really very unenjoyable. Any jump, move is an ordeal when they shouldn’t be.

It’s not Aspyr’s fault who did a very good job of resurrecting the whole thing, but we wonder how we could have made 3 games so dated and rooted in their time enjoyable nowadays. I believe that the 3 Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Legend and Underworld fixed the movement and camera problems years later.

It is therefore a compilation that is aimed at the curious, historians, students and nostalgic above all. It is indeed a pleasure for some to rediscover the old levels, and a good case study to study the genesis of 3D platformers.

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About Marc Shakour

Former video game programmer, columnist, teacher, competitor ... Marc has always been very familiar with the world and industry of video games. He decided to help neophytes about it, to discover new universes, worlds and fantastic creatures.

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