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The dirty little secret of Tomb Raider is revealed by new free DLC

The PowerWash simulator has visited some pretty far-flung places before, but this new one takes the cake. Fans of the original Tomb Raider games will be pleased to learn that Croft Manor, a cherished setting from the series’ early days, will soon be available for cleaning in a forthcoming free piece of downloadable content for the PowerWash.

The Tomb Raider Special Pack for PowerWash Simulator is the result of an unexpected collaboration between Square Enix Collective and FuturLab. The free downloadable content (DLC) will launch on January 31 and take you back to a PS1-era version of Croft Manor. In honour of PowerWash Simulator’s launch on the PS5 and PS4, a free downloadable content pack has been released today.

You can imagine that there has been a significant renovation of the mansion since the original Tomb Raider games. FuturLab has re-created the mansion in state-of-the-art visuals, so you can put away your old-school polygonal models for good. The problem is that Croft Manor has gotten very dirty over the past few years. Here’s where you come in, in your blue suit and ready to use power washer.

Tidying up

Croft Manor is more than just a house; it plays an important role in the lore of Tomb Raider. In Tomb Raider 2, the manor was made fully explorable, complete with easter eggs and environmental storytelling.

Playing Tomb Raider 2 on a Playstation 1 or a school computer gave you access to the manor’s ballroom, Lara’s bedroom, the training grounds, the kitchen, and the bathroom. While still in its infancy, the 3D setting already did a fantastic job of establishing Lara’s character and setting in the context of the larger story.

Easter eggs abound in Lara Croft’s beloved butler Winston’s quarters at Croft Manor. Players could lure him into the basement freezer and then trap him there in Tomb Raider 2. This unfortunate soul volunteered to be Lara’s target practise in Tomb Raider 3. FuturLab has promised in a blog post that there will be plenty of “secrets hidden in the dirt” for fans to find on their cleaning adventures, though it is unclear whether or not Winston will appear in the downloadable content.

Enjoying a new take on a classic setting is a treat. This extra content, while unexpected, was certainly appreciated, and it made me wonder what other ways there might be to add fresh life to well-known settings in games.

Imagine that the castle of Princess Peach from Mario 64 appeared in a skating video game. Just think of all the sick stunts you could pull with the hub world’s ingenious verticality. Imagine the anti-alien base from XCOM was transformed into a dance game’s rave. Just imagine all the cool, cutting-edge lighting we’d have.

A DLC that allows you to powerwash Croft Manor is pretty out there, but it’s a great reminder of how fun it is to experience a familiar setting in a new light. It makes possible an adventure that provides players with both comforting memories and fresh thrills.