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Square Enix gives away 2 Tomb Raider games on Steam and asks us to 'stay home and play'

Lara Croft from Tomb Raider
(Image credit: Crystal Dynamics)

In a bid to keep gamers home and self-isolating as the coronavirus pandemic continues, Square Enix has made its 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider free on Steam.

Though the freebie comes as part of a Stay Home and Play campaign, the game will remain in the libraries of those who make good of the offer forever. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is also available for free, too.

To snag your copies and help keep yourself entertained as we all play our part and stay home, the games are available from now until 11:59PM PDT on Monday, March 23rd (which is 7am UK on Tuesday, March 24th). At the time of writing, there's sadly no such offer for the console or Stadia versions yet.

"We’re warmed by stories of communities banding together to support those in need during uncertain times, and by honoring directives intended to protect the most vulnerable among us," Square Enix explained in a blog post (thanks, Eurogamer). 

"Gamers are part of a global community. We regularly rally together online to return balance to fantasy kingdoms, recruit crew to save the universe from sci-fi threats, and indulge in healthy competition through high-octane action games. For others, shifting to both online work and play is unfamiliar territory.

"With this in mind, we’re offering a gift to our community," the company continued. "Starting right now through Monday, March 23 at 11:59PM PDT, we’re releasing both Tomb Raider (2013) and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris for free on Steam."

"Even if you've never been a huge fan of Lara Croft's fortune-hunting adventures, Tomb Raider is sure to impress," we wrote in the GamesRadar+ Tomb Raider review. "Its expert sense of pacing, captivating setting, and dark tone create a truly memorable experience that's further enhanced by an immense level of detail. Lara Croft, the old Lara Croft, is dead. In place of a dolled-up gunslinger is a do-what-it-takes survivor--and I hope she hasn't had her fill of adventuring just yet."

As we summarised last week, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a string of high-profile cancellations, postponements, and changes related to the alarming spread of the coronavirus. Most notably, E3 2020 has been cancelled, Pokemon Go implemented changes to encourage social distancing, and Disney postponed seven live-action productions. EA has confirmed its halting all live esports events, too, and is also recommending its staff work from home, as is Rockstar amongst many others.

On a more positive note, Nvidia is giving PC gamers a chance to make a real difference by using their hardware's power to access the Folding@home application, which lets you donate unused computing power to help with research into the coronavirus.

Looking for something else to get stuck into? Here are the best PC games right now.

Part of GR+'s news crew, Vikki is a (jumpy) survival horror survivalist with a penchant for sci-fi, shooters, thrillers, and a strong cup of Yorkshire tea. A committed Guardian and Spartan, she's terrible at FPSs, but loves 'em all the same.