hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Tomb Raider Trilogy

Review: Tomb Raider Trilogy

2:00 PM on 04.04.2011 // Jim Sterling

The Tomb Raider series has become a rather inscrutable collage of mountains and breasts in my mind. Its multiple sequels and franchise "reboots" have turned the franchise into a vague soup where I find it increasingly difficult to tell the games apart. 

When Tomb Raider Trilogy was announced, they could have picked any three games and it wouldn't have made much difference. In fact, it took some mental dredging to remember which ones these were, and breathe a sight of relief that the "really crap one with Angel in the name" wasn't being included. 

So, let it be known that Tomb Raider Trilogy is a trilogy of Tomb Raider titles. How's that for insight?

Tomb Raider Trilogy (PlayStation 3)
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Buzz Monkey Software
Publisher: Square Enix

Released: March 22, 2011
MSRP: $39.99

Tomb Raider Trilogy combines the three main games from Lara Croft's "second generation" of titles -- Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld. As with previous entries into Sony's Classics HD line, the games have been touched up with new visual enhancements to take advantage of the high definition era, while the gameplay remains intact.

Interestingly, one of these games did not really need visual enhancement, as it was released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2008, leaving only Legend and Anniversary as games with anything "new" to show. It has to be said that both titles do indeed look quite pretty on an HDTV, with an excellent job done on making everything look smooth and shiny. 

The sound mix is a little off, and you'll likely want to turn down the background music due to its tendency to drown out dialog. I also had an instance where the game crashed on me while playing Legend, and earning Trophies can cause the game to significantly stutter for a few moments. In addition, the game freezes between levels while an "updating profile" message flashes, which just strikes me as unnecessary. 

It's worth noting that, in the cases of Legend and Anniversary, these titles are showing their age. Quite sad considering neither game is especially "old" by conventional standards. Even for its time, the environmental puzzling is slow and plodding compared to Ubisoft's Prince of Persia, which has always boasted a more satisfying sense of fluidity to the climbing and platforming. In the modern era, these games not only have to compete with Prince of Persia, but the visually stunning, ambitious Uncharted series, to which these humble titles just cannot compare. 

The combat, also, is dated and fails to hold up to modern scrutiny. Lara runs around in circles, firing wildly at enemies who stand there and take it, "helped" by a dodge roll that doesn't actually dodge anything. The combat feels sloppy in this day and age, which is continued through to the rather awful boss fights, some of which don't actually work as intended due to sluggish controls and an ineffectual targeting system. 

I played Legend to completion and took Anniversary out for a graphical test drive, and I don't want to say that they're bad, exactly. Both titles are decent wastes of time that spin a fun little story and throw in a few taxing puzzles now and again. They will occasionally frustrate with dodgy physics, trial-and-error platforming and absurd boss fights, but both games are still playable despite their noticeable flaws. 

As far as Underworld goes, most fans will already have played this one comparatively recently. This presents a problem, since it's actually the best game on the disc and stands as the title that really justifies the asking price. It's a faster, more fluid, tighter game than Legend, but it was already in HD and can be purchased on its own for $15 at Amazon. 

Ultimately, this leads to Trilogy being a hard sell. It would be worth buying for Underworld alone, but if you're not a Tomb Raider fan, you can buy it on its own for cheaper, and if you are a fan, you likely already own it. Furthermore, only a fan could really love Legend and Anniversary for what they are.

Ultimately, we have two potential audiences for this collection -- those who already own a third of it, and those who shouldn't bother playing two thirds of it. 

What makes this difficult to review is that the collection is actually quite good, despite my finding it difficult to recommend. All three titles are at the very least playable and plenty capable of providing fun now and again. Not to mention, the graphical upgrades are very pleasant indeed, and there are a number of silly-but-welcome extras thrown in, including a PS3 theme and Home avatar clothing. For a fan, there's a lot going for the collection, except for the inherent pointlessness of owning Underworld a second time. 

Of course, if you're a dyed-in-the-wool Tomb Raider fan, it's not going to matter. You've likely already bought the trilogy and you quite possibly love it. Even if you already own Underworld, its inclusion on a disc with two other full games for the reduced MSRP of $39.99 is a very nice deal that cannot be dismissed offhand. With that in mind, one can only conclude that this is a good little compilation of mostly dated titles that fans will dig, despite it being difficult to recommend to a wide range of people, at least as a full purchase.

Reaching that conclusion was more frustrating than fighting that awful bloody water snake in Legend. I do not say that lightly.  



The Tomb Raider Trilogy - Reviewed by Jim Sterling
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Freezing my ass off at a Penn State football game. Half of the hicks at this stadium probably didn't graduate high school, yet they're rooting for a college football team. I wish I was on my warm den playing MGS V.
AvtrSpirit avatarAvtrSpirit
Gosh darn it, she's done it again! That Sapphire's a talented minx. [youtube][/youtube]
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Is renting games still a thing in America? I know there's only one UK company still doing rentals. And does it make you less tolerant of games? I definitely gave games less of a chance when I knew I could sling them back in the envelope and get a new one.
Termadoyle avatarTermadoyle
Probably the most awesome soundtrack in an indie game. And the game isn't so bad either. win/win situation tbqh.
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
The Tomb Raider Trilogy

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -