The Lara Croft Collection review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Feral Interactive
Developer: Feral Interactive
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-4
Online: No

Here’s the key thing to know about The Lara Croft Collection: nine years ago, my colleague Dustin reviewed Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. (He liked it.) Re-reading his review now, I’m struck by the fact that pretty much every word he wrote about the game then could still be applied to the two games – Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light – that are included in this collection and making their Switch debut.

Mind you, this is because the games here are exactly the same as they were a decade ago. There are no extra bells and whistles here, nor does The Lara Croft Collection feature updated visuals. In fact, in one important way – the lack of online multiplayer – this is actually a downgrade.

In other words, your interest in and enjoyment of The Lara Croft Collection will depend on how much you enjoyed the games the first time around – or, alternatively, if you missed out on them a decade ago and you’re finally getting a chance to play them now.

The good news, obviously, is that both of these games were pretty good, so anyone either revisiting the games or experiencing them for the first time will be in for a treat. While it takes a little getting used to the fact that this is no normal Tomb Raider game, with its isometric point-of-view and its co-op option and its focus on high scores, it still doesn’t take long for it to become clear that even with the different style, this is still Tomb Raider at heart. These are two decent-sized adventures, and with all the magic and monsters and, of course, treasure, it captures the Tomb Raider spirit.

The downside is that even though The Lara Croft Collection includes the multiplayer option of the original, there’s no online option to play that way: it’s local multiplayer or nothing. While that means it’s great if you have someone nearby who wants to do some couch co-op tomb raiding, it also means that if you don’t, then you’re out of luck. While both games in The Lara Croft Collection can be played solo, there are definitely parts – like when you’re facing down swarms of enemies – where you can tell it would be easier if you had someone helping you out.

This also speaks to the one other issue I had with the games: aiming your shots can be a little finicky. Whether you have a spear, or a staff, or Lara’s trusty guns, it’s not always guaranteed your shots will go exactly where you want them – which in turn goes back to fact the gameplay is definitely better suited to having a friend there watching your back.

Still, the bottom line is that both Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light are good games, regardless of whether you’re playing solo or (locally) with a friend. They were a breath of fresh air for the series when they first released a decade ago, and The Lara Croft Collection is a great opportunity to discover them, whether it’s anew or for the first time.

Feral Interactive provided us with a Lara Croft Collection Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B