The Tomb Raider franchise is no stranger to unusual collaborations but who could have seen this one coming? On January 18, Square Enix and the official Tomb Raider social media channels announced the result of their latest collaboration: a Croft Manor-themed expansion pack for PowerWash Simulator!
Your mission: To clean every last nook and cranny of Croft Manor and restore it to its former glory for one of Ms Croft’s fundraising events. You can take on the Herculean task yourself or enlist the help of some friends via online co-op.
“While Lara Croft may spend her days crawling through muddy rainforests, and delving into dusty tombs, it’s nice to come back to a nice clean home. Unfortunately, Croft Manor and its grounds have seen better days.
The mansion is covered in dirt. The obstacle course is a mucky mess. Even the vehicles are coated in thick layers of oil and gunk. The illustrious Lady Croft employs your services to bring the estate back to pristine condition.
It’s a big job for your budding Power Washing business, and one you’ll be richly rewarded for. Not just with cash, but Lara may also regale you with tales of past adventures – and as the legendary treasure-hunter knows, knowledge is worth far more than any currency.”
So, what can gamers expect? Well, the new Croft Manor expansion pack will include a brand new standalone story and not one, but five levels set within the grounds of the illustrious Croft family estate: Croft Manor itself, the obstacle course, the Croft Manor maze, Lara Croft’s collection of vehicles, and the treasure room. I’m not sure high-pressure water jets are really the ideal way to clean ancient, irreplaceable artefacts, but I digress.
Judging from the trailer, there’s bound to be a lot of fun Easter eggs to look out for and cheeky nods to previous Tomb Raider games. Among them are a taxidermied T-Rex, the Amulet of Horus from The Last Revelation, the Periapt Shards from Angel of Darkness, and Lara Croft’s quad bike from Tomb Raider III. And I can’t be the only one who’s wondering if Winston is still chilling out in that walk-in freezer, right?
The timing of this collaboration has caused a stir in fandom circles. Is this expansion pack just a fun collaboration between two companies or is it a sign of the franchise’s future? Is it just a love letter to the Tomb Raider games of yesteryear or is this the first step towards the “unified timeline” that Crystal Dynamics teased back in January 2021?
The next Tomb Raider game will probably be revealed later this year but for now, you can poke around Croft Manor and give it a good scrub by treating yourself to a copy of PowerWash Simulator. This “first-person soaker” game is available for all current platforms and the Croft Manor expansion will be available as a free download from January 31st.
So, what do you think of this latest collaboration? Will you be taking on the challenge of cleaning up Croft Manor? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!
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