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The Lara Croft Collection - An isometric co-op adventure packed with double the fun in Lara Croft's Nintendo Switch debut - Game Review

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All views are that of the author and are not influenced by any copies of games provided by publishers for review purposes.

About the Game
Lara Croft makes her long-awaited Nintendo Switch debut in The Lara Croft Collection, a compilation of two isometric action-adventure games: the Guardian of Light and the Temple of Osiris. The games, originally released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2010 and 2014 respectively, feature fast-paced arcade combat, platforming puzzles and 2-to-4 player co-op on the Switch.

The Lara Croft Collection marks the first game in the Tomb Raider franchise since Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released in 2018, but both Nintendo Switch games tell their own stories. In Lara Croft & the Guardian of Light, Lara teams up with Totec, the Mayan god of war, to stop an evil spirit from destroying the world. In Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Lara teams up with Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic, to stop Set, the god of chaos, from enslaving humanity. Players are not required to know of any previous Croft games to enjoy this collection, though it can be rewarding from a storytelling perspective.


Both games contain a healthy mix of platforming, puzzles, and combat. As you navigate Lara through both games, players pick up new weapons and skills that help defeat different types of enemies, all of which is controlled by pointing the right joystick towards a target and holding down ZR to shoot. It's as smooth as combat on a handheld console can get, all while giving the game a fact-paced, arcade-like combat feel. It's a welcome change after the more cinematic, grand sweeping adventures we've seen with the latest Tomb Raider trilogy, but it certainly can be off-putting to jump into the top-down/isometry of The Lara Croft Collection if you're expecting an Uncharted style game.

Some of the puzzles in the Guardian of Light can be slightly time-consuming if you're a casual franchise fan and not accustomed to this era of Croft games, but they still add up hours of endless fun. The Temple of Osiris, however, feels like a slight letdown when it comes to its puzzle design. More often than not, the second game relies on jumping on platforms, grappling a hook or reflecting light onto mirrors, which doesn't feel like it's trying anything new. The end result is a little more time spent on fighting off enemies so you can complete puzzles.

A large chunk of The Lara Croft Collection is dedicated to getting from one place to another, more often than not tombs which is a return to the series' roots in a lot of ways, and it's more fun doing so with friends. The 2-4 co-op mode is a welcome and inventive surprise to these editions as it brings multiple new characters to the games, each with their own set of abilities. Perhaps the most puzzling element of this collection is the lack of online multiplayer; it didn't completely leave me disappointed as couch co-op feels right at home for the Switch even if the Temple of Osiris with 4 players can get pretty chaotic, but it left me wishing for online support just a bit.


The visuals in the Lara Croft Collection are charming, which is more than you need in a top-down Nintendo Switch collection. It doesn't feel like either game is missing the graphics-intense beauty of the more recent games, partly because the modernized gameplay more than makes up for it but also because there's still enough to love and appreciate about the visual design here.

The environments are meticulously detailed and well-designed in both games, though certainly moreso in the Guardian of Light, with cel-shaded graphics and intricate lighting. The character models do leave something to be desired, but it's smooth enough for a console with graphical limitations like the Switch. The overall feel and look of both games is still a huge upgrade over the originals, enough to call this collection a "really good port".


There is excellent sound design in the Lara Croft Collection. From sweeping atmospheric music as you venture through tombs and complete challenges to crisp and clear sound effects all throughout both games, the Guardian of Light and the Temple of Osiris are nothing but truly immersive experiences. The voice acting is simiarly impressive as Camilla Luddington, who also voiced Lara in the recent Tomb Raider games, returns to bring the character to life on the Nintendo Switch. Some of the witty dialogue adds a realistic and relatable touch to the ports and made the cutscenes even more enjoyable.


Whereas the Guardian of Light runs smoothly and performs almost excellent, it's the Temple of Osiris that has a few performance hiccups here and there, both in handheld and docked modes. Setting aside the fact that the game crashed a few seconds after first loading it (not an experience everyone will have for sure), there are multiple framerate drops throughout the Temple. It's certainly more graphics-heavy than the first game with better action sequences and generally more things on screen, but a couple of stutters in big boss battles are definitely unmissable. None of these things are game-breaking per se and the collection still performs well enough to call this a pleasant and solid package.


As expected, the Lara Croft Collection comes with pretty basic accessibility settings. On-screen subtitles, tutorials and combat difficulty can all be toggled in the settings of both games, but adjusting the display callibration for brightness and contrast feels like an extra step in the right direction for the collection's accessibility. Controller configuration allows for X and Y-axis invertion, which is a nice plus as well.

Sadly, I found the text on both maps to be significantly small though not unreadable when playing in handheld. There were no settings, as far as we could tell, to increase text size and that left me with a couple of squints here and there--if you end up using the map at all.

Lara Croft's debut on the Nintendo Switch provides hours of endless fun with two Tomb Raider adventures jam-packed with inventive platforming puzzles, fast-paced arcade combat and 2-4 player co-op. The isometric viewpoint and stylized gameplay of Guardian of Light and Temple of Osiris might not please casual players of the series, but there is definitely something for everyone in this unique, rewarding collection.

Gameplay/Story: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10
Sound: 8/10
Performance: 7/10

Overall: 8/10

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