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Square Enix Debuts Cancelled Tomb Raider Survival Horror

Creative Assemble | Square Enix

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

29th Oct 2021 23:31

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Square Enix is loading a pair of pistols and taking aim at the competition, as the Tomb Raider franchise officially turns 25. What a wild ride Lara Croft has been on, and from locking butlers in fridges at Croft Manor to two lacklustre movie franchises, you could argue she's nearly done it all.

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Ms. Croft is a jewel in the Square Enix crown, so we always knew her 25-year anniversary was going to be something of a big deal. Just like Pokemon and Resident Evil also marking this milestone in 2021, Tomb Raider is joining in on the fun. Did you know though, there was once a cancelled Tomb Raider survival horror that would've taken the series in a very different direction?

What Is The Cancelled Tomb Raider Survival Horror?

Much more than a concept that never made it past the ideas stage, Tomb Raider: Ascension even had a demo built. To celebrate Lara's birthday, Square Enix revealed a full seven minutes of footage - which is packed with ghosts and ghouls even Silent Hill would be proud of.

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Pitched of a three-way mix between Resident Evil, Shadow of the Colossus, and The Evil Within, it's clear Ascension wasn't one for the faint-hearted. The game was planned for release sometime between 2008's Tomb Raider: Underworld and Crystal Dynamics' 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. 

The video features an unrendered Lara moving around an underground cave system while pursued by a variety of nasties. Things move up a notch when she burns her way into a tomb and takes on a horde of flaming monsters.

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Other scenes include Lara jumping off a cliff while enemies tumble down after her, horseback riding, and what looks like a woman (possible Lara) carrying a baby and then being decapitated - don't ask us why. Either way, the combat and monster systems show it would've been unlike any Tomb Raider we've played before.

What Happened To The Cancelled Tomb Raider Survival Horror?

Ultimately, Ascension was shown the door in favour of another franchise reboot. In 2013, Tomb Raider was released to much fanfare and was praised for taking Lara back to basics. It's unclear whether Ascension was set to continue her complex timeline or start afresh, however, it was amalgamated into Tomb Raider

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Away from combat styles and general aesthetic, 2013's reboot interestingly contained a ceremony called "ascension". According to VGC, Square Enix’s Tomb Raider: The Final Hours book explains that Ascension was abandoned because the team was worried it wouldn't be as good as Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's a strange comparison, but the seed of doubt worked.

There are other Ascension videos proving just how close to becoming a reality this was. These days, the survival horror genre has taken a massive leap forward, meaning we're no longer confined to the likes of Silent Hill 2 and Layers of Fear. In a post-The Last of Us world, it's easy to imagine Square Enix powering forward with Tomb Raider: Ascension

This isn't the first canned Tomb Raider game we've come across, with the 10th anniversary Tomb Raider: The Anniversary Edition recently being made free online. With rumours of Microsoft circling Crystal Dynamics, we don't know where Lara goes next. Remembering that Shadow of the Tomb Raider rounded off her story for now, who's to say a survival horror is completely out of the question moving forward? Make it happen.

 

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons Glitch Strips Villagers Naked

Nintendo

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Posted 

3rd Dec 2021 23:31

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