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Tomb Raider studio reveals previously unseen footage of the cancelled Tomb Raider Ascension

Tomb Raider Ascension
Ben Borthwick Updated on by

Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have offered a behind the scenes glimpse of the cancelled Tomb Raider Ascension.

The videos are a part of the studio’s year-long celebrations of Tomb Raider 25th birthday. The backstory goes that, as the California-based studio settled on a new direction following Tomb Raider Underworld, the team toyed with several concepts. One of these included a more survival horror-esque take on Lara Croft’s origin story.

Offering a look at what could have been, the footage shows concept art and even gameplay prototypes. Some recognisable aspects and features would make their way into what ended up the 2013 reboot, such as Lara’s bow.  Conversely, the footage also shows some distinctly more supernatural enemies, with elongated features and wraith-like hair.  The final video offers a look at some of the potential logos and box-art for the game.

As per Video Games Chronicle, the cancelled project was previously revealed in digital book Tomb Raider: The Final Hours. The book revealed that some of the project’s inspirations included Ico, Resident Evil and Shadow of the Colossus. The studio apparently changed course, however, after asking itself if Tomb Raider Ascension was as good as Batman: Arkham Asylum. It did not, and the horror aspects were dialled back in favour of what became the actual Tomb Raider 2013 reboot.

Fast forward to present day, and the Survivor trilogy is all wrapped up following Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 2018. As for what’s next for Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics are remaining tight-lipped for now. Back in January, the studio said  it was to unify the Survivor and Original timelines, but we’ve not heard much more since then.


For now, check out the Tomb Raider Ascension videos for yourself down below.

Tomb Raider

on Android, iOS, PC, PlayStation, PlayStation 3, SEGA Saturn, Xbox 360

Lara Croft gets an origins story.

Release Date:

October 25, 1996