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New free DLC reveals Tomb Raider's dirty little secret

PowerWash simulator is no stranger to exotic locations, but this latest addition takes the cake. In a free, upcoming DLC, PowerWash enthusiasts will now be able to clean Croft Manor – a fondly remembered location from the classic Tomb Raider series. 

Square Enix Collective and FuturLab have teamed up in an unexpected move to bring the Tomb Raider Special Pack to PowerWash Simulator. Releasing January 31, the DLC is free and will allow you to return to a version of Croft Manor reminiscent of the PS1 days. The DLC lands the same day that PowerWash Simulator is set to release on PS5 and PS4 and is a celebration of the game’s debut on Sony’s consoles. 

As you might imagine, the old manse has received quite a face-lift since the early Tomb Raider games. FuturLab has rendered the estate with modern graphics, so say goodbye to those old blocky polygons of Tomb Raider’s past. However, Croft Manor has become absolutely filthy over the past few years. That’s where you come in, armed with your blue suit and powerwasher at the ready.

Cleaning house

Croft Manor isn’t just any building; it has a special place in Tomb Raider’s history. As early as Tomb Raider 2, the manor became a fully explorable location full of easter eggs and environmental storytelling. 

Whether you played Tomb Raider 2 on a PS1 or a school PC, you could explore the treasure trove in the basement, the manor ballroom, the training grounds, the kitchen, and Lara’s bedroom. It was early days, but the immersive 3D environment did a great deal to flesh out and contextualize Lara’s story and her place within the wider narrative.

Croft Manor is also famously full of easter eggs, many of which involve Lara’s long-suffering butler, Winston. In Tomb Raider 2, players could trick him into venturing into the basement freezer, before locking him in. In Tomb Raider 3, the poor soul volunteered to be target practice in Lara’s gun range. Though we don’t know if Winston will feature in the DLC, 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. 

Lara Croft's mansion pre-powerwashing

(Image credit: Square Enix)

It’s a treat to return to this classic locale, albeit in a very different way. This unexpected but not unwelcome DLC got me thinking about all the other ways in which new perspectives might be able to breathe life into classic video game locations.

What if Peach’s castle from Mario 64 was featured in a skating game? Imagine all the sick tricks you could pull with the help of the hub world’s ingenious verticality. What if the underground base from XCOM was turned from an anti-alien base into a rave room for a dance game? Think of all the cool, futuristic lighting.

A DLC where you can clean Croft Manor with a powerwasher is pretty left-of-field, but it reminds me of how cool it can be to enjoy a beloved setpiece in an entirely different way. It allows for an experience that, in addition to offering balmy nostalgia, also offers something genuinely new and exciting for players

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