The recent Tomb Raider reboot has been met with both critical and commercial acclaim. Well deserved, it’s picking up great review scores across the board and has held the top spot in the UK All Formats Games Chart for two weeks on the trot.
But it could have been a very different game from the looks of this prototype video! Showing off early concepts for the new game (then called Tomb Raider: Ascension), Lara’s gritty new adventure could have been a lot more fantastical than it already is.
As well as featuring horse-riding and new weapons like a flamethrower, the game also looked set to feature large open-world spaces and dramatic encounters with towering giants, not unlike Shadow of the Colossus.
The video also shows off Lara carrying a young girl and leaping with her across a large chasm, suggesting a companion character may have been planned at some point.
It’s an eye-opening and revealing video, and while not all of its features look up to the top-notch standard on display in the finished product, some ideas certainly look to have been fleshed out considerably. The interactions with the young girl and accompanying animations for instance look convincing, whilst the horse riding looks to be present in a near-complete state. Also on show is a limb-targeting system, not unlike that seen in the Dead Space series.
With so many of the features seemingly close to being finished, could we now be looking at early prototypes for whatever becomes the next-gen Tomb Raider sequel? A companion character would definitely bring a new dynamic to the Tomb Raider series, and could be in keeping with the more-grounded heroism of the rebooted Lara Croft. On the flip side, now that the gritty reboot is out of the way, perhaps Crystal Dynamics are ready to ramp up the series’ more fantastical elements once again. I for one wouldn’t say no to a horse-back showdown against a towering next-gen enemy.
What do you think? Are there elements here worth salvaging for a next-gen sequel, or are you glad these moments were left on the cutting room floor? Let us know in the comments section below!
By Gerald Lynch | March 18th, 2013