BeefRaider XR: Become Lara Croft In Tomb Raider On Quest

I’ve been a fan of VR for a very long time but I never thought, back when I was sitting on my couch in the late ’90s playing the original Tomb Raider, that one day I would explore those ruins again in full VR.

Now, 28 years after initial release, a talented team of VR modders has made it happen.

Overview of BeefRaider XR

Over the years Simon Brown (aka Dr. Beef as he’s known to many in the VR community) has found a whole team of supporters looking to bring classic games into VR. Collectively known as Team Beef, they’ve brought us some amazing full VR ports of time-honored classic PC games, and these mods have allowed fans of those classics to relive their memories in immersive new ways.

The latest mod Team Beef has been working on, BeefRaider XR, was recently released early to backers and, once again, is a full VR conversion of the original classic release of Tomb Raider from 1996 taking the iconic 3rd person platformer and turning it into a full first-person VR experience with 6 degrees of freedom, allowing players to step into the boots of Lara Croft in VR.

Look and Feel  

The overall look and feel in the BeefRaider XR mod is a departure from the original game in the fact that it’s now presented in full 3d and seen from a first-person perspective. Folks who play this mod should know up front that they are still going to get the original 1996 assets after transferring the needed game files over and, because of that, they shouldn’t expect this to look any better than it has in the past. 

Yes, the Tomb Raider series recently saw a remaster of the original 3 games and, while you can even get the needed gameplay files from this new release, you still won’t get the updated graphics that come with the remaster, at least not at the time of this writing.  

Gameplay  

The gameplay mechanics of the BeefRaider XR mod are a significant change from the 1996 classic. Instead of viewing the world from that old familiar 3rd person perspective, this time players are now in full control and experience everything through their own eyes as if they were Lara herself. This change in perspective adds a whole new way to see into Lara’s raiding, as well as the obvious extra immersion.

When it comes to controlling Lara, being that Tomb Raider was never meant to be played from a first-person perspective, the platforming elements can take quite a lot of getting used to. Even after practice, it still might feel a bit rough around the edges in some spots. Some other Team Beef mods allow switching between first and third person views, and that will help considerably here too. Team Beef is working on precisely this and that will go a long way toward smoothing out some of the awkward platforming sequences.

The movement controls, however, are something that seem to be a bit more difficult to translate from the classic and are still held back by some limitations left over from the original game. This is mitigated nicely by Team Beef’s work extending control to 6DoF, and it is likely to be ironed out prior to a full release.  

Another Winner From Team Beef

The BeefRaider XR mod is a game-changing way to experience one of the most treasured third-person platformers of all time. It takes the classic Tomb Raider game and transforms it into a fully immersive VR experience, offering a level of immersion that makes this old gem truly shine.

Even in this very early state the mod already offers an impressive level of polish. It’s a testament to the potential of VR modding and a shining example of how fan-made mods can breathe new life into classic games. If you’re a fan of Tomb Raider or VR gaming in general, BeefRaider XR mod is a must-play.

You can find out more about Team Beef’s work on their Patreon page and their ports are available in public on SideQuestVR.

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