Square Enix has released footage of its cancelled Tomb Raider horror game called Ascension, as part of the franchise’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
Ascension originally served as one of the plans for what would become the gritty 2013 Tomb Raider reboot. However, it was during this time that “the team homed in on telling an origin story through the lens of survival.”
The released clips are presented in a seven-minute video on the Tomb Raider YouTube channel and give a taste of what the ‘reboot’ could have been. The description reads that the footage “took Tomb Raider deep into survival horror territory during the exploratory phases of what would eventually become the 2013 reboot.”
Unlike the 2013 Tomb Raider game, which does deal with a story-driven survival arc, Ascension is classic survival horror where Lara is pitted against a swarm of repulsive monsters in the dark. The video includes separate clips highlighting different areas of what would have been Ascension.
The first has classic Tomb Raider tropes littered throughout as Lara navigates tall cave walls, underground bodies of water, and narrow spaces to fit through, plus she packs a wide inventory of weapons.
The next clip takes Lara outside in a spooky-looking forest area where there are objectives displayed in the top right-hand corner. Here, you can again see the classic Tomb Raider elements with artefacts and shrines being involved.
The third clip shows off the horror aspects the best with Lara sporting a flamethrower and making her way through a dark building, whilst combatting zombie-like creatures. The fourth clip shows off Lara’s stealthy combat when fighting these creatures melee style, which also shows some kill moves.
The following clips feature Lara on horseback riding through the forest area and being chased down by a huge ominous boss-like monster, a prototype cutscene, some close-ups of the monsters, plus other combat footage. A survival horror game would certainly have been an intriguing spin on the franchise.
Elsewhere in Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics have hinted at a new addition to the franchise.