Crystal Dynamics has shared a look at Tomb Raider Ascension, a survival horror inspired idea that the team had for Tomb Raider before eventually settling on the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot.

The development footage was released as part of the Tomb Raider 25th anniversary celebrations. It shows around seven minutes of footage and looked to be a much darker version of the series, although some elements were clearly kept on for the reboot.

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The footage shows Lara wandering around caves with a torch and being attacked by weird centipedes-like creatures, witches, and large monsters. Monsters are nothing new to the Tomb Raider series, but the survival horror focus is pretty clear here. Open-world elements are also shown, with Lara shown riding a horse through a large field and being given objective markers as if she's in an explorable area.

One section of the trailer shows Lara being chased by a massive monster that wouldn't look too out of place in Shadow of the Colossus. It's not stated what sort of monsters they are, but concept art shows something being ritually summoned, similarly to what happens in the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot.

There are a lot of elements that were clearly kept on for the reboot, such as the concept art showing the game taking place on one island, the much darker tone than previous Tomb Raider games (no, Angel of Darkness doesn't count). Lara is also seen with her climbing axe in some of the concept art and a focus on light and darkness, things that absolutely carried over to future games.

Even some of the combat and movement is very similar to later entries, although a section of the video shows a much bouncier and acrobatic Lara that's more reminiscent of the Legends saga.


Regarding Ascension, Crystal Dynamics said, "check out footage from Tomb Raider: Ascension, which took Tomb Raider deep into survival horror territory during the exploratory phases of what would eventually become the 2013 reboot. It was through Ascension that the team homed in on telling an origin story through the lens of survival."

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