Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered

Posted:  Feb 13, 2024
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
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Review

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered was given to us by Aspyr for review. Thank you!

Tomb Raider has been around for a long time and has influenced tons of incredible games that have been released now. One of my personal favorites, Uncharted, has been clearly influenced by the classic Tomb Raider games, and it made me want to go back and play them again. Sadly, the original releases are a bit dated and do have trouble playing well on newer devices, like the Steam Deck. Now, we finally have the chance to play them again as the Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered Trilogy is here, and it hits nostalgia hard.

The new remaster contains the first three games in the Tomb Raider series, which were released in 1996-1998, with fresh new visuals to bring it into the modern age. We also have all the expansions released for each game, the ability to go back and forth between the newer and older aesthetic with the press of a button, an updated control scheme (found in control settings), a Photo Mode, tons of new achievements, and some new UI elements. All of these enhance the original games, which are faithfully restored by the developers.

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Now, because the games are still very faithful to their originals, it can feel a little bit dated, especially with the older control scheme. But, once you get used to it, the games are extremely enjoyable. In each of these games, you play as Lara Croft, who is on some journey that will take her across the world. Whether it is to recover artifacts or face world-ending mysteries, you will traverse unique areas, jump and climb obstacles, shoot enemies, and solve puzzles.

For the most part, I enjoyed progressing through each of the levels of Tomb Raider 1-3. There's something extremely satisfying about figuring out how to get through a puzzle and complete the level. For instance, in the first area of Tomb Raider 3, I was swept away by the current and stuck underwater. I tried to get back multiple times, but no matter what I tried, I ran out of air. So, after looking at my inventory, I decided to try using a flair to illuminate the depths, and it worked! Then, as I was scanning the area, the corner of my eye caught a slightly displaced rock and leaves, which covered the path out! The games don't hold your hand, and I love it.

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The combat in the game is passable and can be enjoyable at times. Once you take out your guns, you will be auto-locked onto enemies and be able to shoot. Your pistols have unlimited ammo, while you can pick up ammo for other weapons like the Grenade Launcher and Shotgun. The system isn't terrible by any means, especially with the new control scheme, and the boss battles were nice breaks from the constant platforming.

While the original or "Tank" controls work fine, I ended up preferring the modern controls due to so many games nowadays using them. It made moving around so much nicer, and I don't think I could go back. With that change, I found that these classics, which still feels like the original games, hold up well in the modern era.

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered - Steam Deck Performance

For those hoping to play the remastered trilogy on the go, I have some very good news for you! Without making any changes, Tomb Raider 1, 2, and 3 all play perfectly on the Steam Deck. You can expect a 6W - 8W battery drain in each game, giving us over 7.5 hours on the OLED Deck and 6 hours on the LCD.

And yes, the cutscenes are letter box and will look weird on the Steam Deck, but this is close to

I also noticed if you play with the retro filter on, your drain will go down even further to 5.5W - 6.5W, which can actually add 2 hours on OLED to your battery and 1 hour on the LCD.

Accessibility

There aren't a lot of settings to choose from when it comes to accessibility, but there are still some changes we can make. We can change sound options, turn on/off subtitles, adjust deadzone, toggle vibration, and change hotkeys. We can also change the control scheme to either the original "Tank" controls or the modern ones.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, so your entire screen will be covered, and it has controller and cloud save support. There's no option for HDR.

Conclusion

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered are definitive versions of the games, improving on the original both visually and mechanically. It's hard to deny the increase in visual fidelity just by looking at the game, but paired with the new control scheme, achievements, and other new secrets to discover, you can't help but admire the work the developers put in, even if it does feel a bit dated at times. On the Steam Deck, you won't have any trouble running the game as it works flawlessly out of the box with a dramatically low battery drain. This is an easy Best on Deck game and an awesome one to play wherever you go!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered is an excellent way to experience the classic series, and it's incredible on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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