There are relatively few characters that you can uphold as true icons of gaming who’ve stood the test of time to remain legendary. You could include the likes of Crash and Spyro in that mix, as well as Kratos, Ryu, Link, Mario, Pac-Man, Pikachu, and maybe even Master Chief. Still, perhaps the most iconic and discussed of the lot is Lara Croft.
Surging to fame as the British archaeologist who goes exploring ancient sites and discovering that mythical tales aren’t always reserved to the history books, the Tomb Raider series made Lara Croft one of the biggest names in gaming. Now, her first three games are being given the long-overdue remaster treatment, and we don’t have to wait long for them to arrive.
Remastered for a new generation of Tomb Raiders
One of the problems and huge benefits of the video games industry’s rise to prominence has been how rapidly it has developed its technology. While it means that we went from the clunky cartridges of the Nintendo 64 to the hybrid home console Nintendo Switch in just over 20 years, it does mean that many beloved games were quickly left behind and made inaccessible by all who didn’t keep their old consoles and games in pristine condition.
Luckily, retro gamers and those who appreciate the high-quality creations of the past have Aspyr. Having successfully reanimated several classic Star Wars games like Knights of the Old Republic, Racer, and Republic Commando, they’ve now teamed up with Crystal Dynamics to bring back the first three Tomb Raider games. The three will arrive in a single bundle and include all of their add-ons for Steam, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation gamers.
Importantly, Aspyr rarely makes significant tweaks to the original game. For the most part, they make options to create controls that are compliant with modern systems, update the graphics to suit modern screens, and refine areas that always needed patching. While the improvements can be toggled on and off, one of the biggest enhancements made to the Tomb Raider I-III Remastered bundle is certainly the graphics.
An icon with a lot going on right now
The first Tomb Raider came out in 1996, and the most recent mainline installment, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, was released in 2018, but there’s plenty going on in the world of Lara Croft. Ever the popular and iconic figure, one of her most recent outings came in the form of Lara Croft: Tomb of the Sun. Now among the most popular slot game titles, it’s the sequel to Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs.
Again drawing from the prequel trilogy version of Lara, it was released in June of this year to set her off on an Aztec adventure – like the Peru zone of the first game. Next up for Lara could be another mainline adventure in the core video game series or even a delve into the world of anime. Netflix has been working on a Tomb Raider animated series for quite some time, and even has Hayley Atwell on board to voice Lara.
Fingers were crossed for a big release date announcement or just a first look at the anime at Netflix’s inaugural DROP 01 virtual event. As for the games being made by Crystal Dynamics, another trilogy is very much in development, and the website was altered in August 2023, spurring excitement for a potential upcoming announcement.
Lara Croft remains a hugely popular character even beyond video gaming, and there’s a good chance that the remastered trilogy will be snapped up by gamers who didn’t even experience them when they were originally released.