The Lara Croft Collection is a proper treat on Switch

The Lara Croft Collection on Switch: A Unique and Playful Entry Point to the Tomb Raider Series

The Lara Croft Collection has recently arrived on the Nintendo Switch, featuring the top-down arcade games Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft & The Temple of Osiris. In this article, we will delve into these fascinating and playful additions to the Tomb Raider franchise.

An Arcadey Twist on the Tomb Raider Series

Chris: Hello! I thought it might be a good opportunity to talk Tomb Raider with you, since it’s a series we both love, and these games that have just come out are a weirdly interesting entry point to them.

Victoria: I think you pretty much nailed it. These games really do have that arcade feel to them, and are quite different from the other, as you say, more cinematic, Tomb Raider entries.

Victoria mentions that these spin-off games have a charming arcade feel to them, which sets them apart from the cinematic main entries in the Tomb Raider series. She also adds that these games may be more accessible and less intimidating for newcomers to the franchise.

Victoria: Actually, I am casually saying all this as though it is hypothetical, but I have been playing through these games with my husband. They are his first Tomb Raider experience and he is really enjoying them… The puzzles and the platforming have surprised him in a positive way, and he finds the twin-stick combat appealing as well.

Chris: Just to give people a sense of these games, they’re top-down/isometric affairs in which you move through dungeons blasting enemies and solving simple puzzles.

Chris provides a brief description of the gameplay mechanics in these top-down Tomb Raider games, emphasizing the isometric perspective, dungeon exploration, combat, and puzzle-solving elements.

Flexibility in the Tomb Raider Series

Victoria: Well, not to be too hard on the reboot trilogy, but I think it helps that in Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris you are actually in tombs and raiding them. Some of the more recent games lost sight of that a bit.

Victoria agrees that the recent Tomb Raider games started to focus more on action and combat, sometimes neglecting the aspect of tomb raiding that made the series unique. She appreciates how the spin-off games bring the series back to its roots by incorporating actual tomb raiding into the gameplay.

Chris: I’m not sure Tomb Raider has ever been quite what people think it is. In the early days, a lot of people were drawn in by advertising that didn’t really capture that these were quiet, cerebral games a lot of the time… But here, you get a slice of the game that feels very close to what a lot of people think Lara Croft is – fast action in crumbling ruins.

Chris reflects on how the perception of Tomb Raider may differ from the reality of the gameplay experience. He acknowledges that the spin-off games capture the public’s image of Lara Croft as an action-oriented explorer in ancient ruins.

An Unparalleled Riff on Public Perception

Victoria: You know, now you mention it, I am not sure there is [another series that has managed to riff off the public’s perception]… other games have tried, but I don’t think they have ever really had much staying power.

Victoria agrees with Chris that there are few other series that have successfully played with public perception in the same way the Tomb Raider games have, creating spin-offs that deviate from the main series while maintaining the essence of the character.

Victoria: I realise now, as I am writing all this, that one thing I especially enjoy about these Lara Croft spin-offs is that they can be played in co-op. This is not typical of the series.

Victoria appreciates the co-op feature in the Lara Croft spin-off games, highlighting that it sets them apart from the rest of the series and adds a unique multiplayer aspect.