Canceled Tomb Raider Game Had Terrifying, Silent Hill-Style Enemies

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Canceled Tomb Raider Game Had Terrifying, Silent Hill-Style Enemies

Crystal Dynamics has released an early development video of a cancelled game featuring Silent Hill-style opponents in honour of Tomb Raider’s 25th anniversary.

Tomb Raider Ascension, a cancelled survival horror game with terrifying Silent Hill-style adversaries, was recently shown in an early gameplay video by developer Crystal Dynamics. Crystal Dynamics revealed only a few elements regarding Tomb Raider Ascension during the Geoff Keighley-produced “Final Hours of Tomb Raider” documentary series in 2012.

At its core, Ascension was a Resident Evil-inspired survival horror game that would pit Lara Croft against hideous and ghostly foes on a mystery island. Crystal Dynamics appears to have taken inspiration from the PlayStation 2 classic Ico since a young girl would have accompanied Lara on her journey through the island. However, the Ascension prototype did not make the final cut, prompting the company to work on the Tomb Raider reboot, released in 2013. That reinterpretation of the iconic action-adventure franchise generated two sequels, Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 2018 (the latter directed by Deus Ex developer Eidos-Montréal).

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Crystal Dynamics released seven minutes of gameplay footage from Tomb Raider Ascension during its early stages of development earlier this week. Lara utilising a torch, squeezing through narrow passageways, and traversing open environments are similar to Tomb Raider 2013. However, there’s a lot about this prototype model that reminds me of Konami’s Silent Hill series. Lara’s encounters with terrifying creatures provide a few examples, particularly the faceless horror of colossal proportions that she flees from around the four-minute mark. This image also shows some unfinished horseback riding elements that were never included in the relaunched series of games.

The Ascension video is an intriguing look at what could’ve been, but perhaps the best way to see what could’ve been is to watch it. Has Crystal Dynamics given up on the survival horror project? With hunting and scavenging elements that pushed players to control Lara’s advancement as the journey progressed, Tomb Raider (2013) remained focused on survivor-based qualities. These mechanics, in particular, influenced gear upgrades, which were crucial for navigating the game’s dangerous centre locations.

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Crystal Dynamics suggested that future Tomb Raider games aim to connect the reboot and original series histories at the start of the 25th Anniversary celebration. It’s unclear how the company expects to pull off such a feat, but it sounds like Lara Croft’s next series of escapes will be even more thrilling than her previous ones.

Source: Tomb Raider/YouTube