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Square Enix reveals footage of its cancelled Tomb Raider horror game, Ascension

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman


The publisher has released three videos of the game, showing very early prototype gameplay, concept art and branding tests accompanied by “early exploratory voiceover” work.

As previously revealed in Square Enix’s digital book Tomb Raider: The Final Hours, Ascension was one of the original plans for what would eventually become the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot.

The early footage, shows a much darker and more horror-themed game than the 2013 reboot, with Lara facing a series of grotesque monsters.

According to the book, inspiration for the game included “the emotionally rich role-playing game Ico, the survival horror of Resident Evil and the towering mythical creatures of Shadow of the Colossus”.

The footage shows Lara on horseback at one point, and the game was also supposed to have Lara accompanying a young girl around, much like in Ico.

Other footage included shows some of the game’s initial concept art, as well as early box art designs along with test voiceovers.

“You think you know me,” the voiceover says. “Think you’ve seen me before. The Brit princess, rich girl with a pretty face, shiny guns and a flair for gymnastics. I think you’ve got me mixed up with someone else.

“I’m not perfect. I’m not bulletproof. I struggle. I bleed. I get cold. I get lost. I have doubts. I know pain. I know fear.

“One day, I will become a legend. A warrior. A hero. A raider. But first, I will be a survivor. Still think you know me? Think again.”

According to the book, the plan was eventually scrapped when the development team at Crystal Dynamics began to have doubts.

During one meeting, the team asked itself whether the game would be as good as Batman: Arkham Asylum. Nobody said it would, so Ascension was abandoned in favour of a more realistic reboot, which became the 2013 Tomb Raider.
 

CamHostage

Member
They did kind of find themselves trapped a bit when the Tomb Raider name took off instead of the Lara Croft, (albeit they only started trying to brand "Starring Lara Croft" in the sequels,) there was an intention from early on that the character could have other types of adventures besides jungle hunts.



For better or worse, that never worked out (...although don't like half the Tomb Raider games not have actual raiding of a tomb?)
 
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Star-Lord

Gold Member
I would’ve loved to see Tomb Raider go down a horror route. I enjoyed the rebooted series, but it’s all over done now. We need a fresh take on it.
 

carlosrox

Banned
Can't watch this yet but the idea of a horror Tomb Raider sounds pretty hot.

One could argue the reboot had elements of horror in it though.
 

Kikorin

Member
For some reason, the flamethrower section remembered me of that weird Alone in the Dark game released on Xbox 360/PS3. It was super junky, but somehow I liked it a lot at that times.
 

Notabueno

Banned
I don't think it would have turn-out well compare to the very high quality reboot, but I like a lot what they did with Lara's postures and movement especially the backward walking.
 

TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
Yeah, criticizing porcelain skin or weird facial animation is one thing, but the model is a straight up looker. Implying THAT isn't a good looking woman is trying a BIT too hard to fit into the anti-woke crowd.
 

Swift_Star

Member
Meh. The developers had played too much Dark Souls. This looks completely out of touch with the series. They really need to go back to the first game and understand what makes it great.
Have you even read the thread? This is an old 2013 footage of a cancelled reboot lmao.
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
Have you even read the thread? This is an old 2013 footage of a cancelled reboot lmao.
Older, 2009
I remember reading about the new Tomb Raider and this is actually what they described
But we ended up with Tomb Raider 2013.
I always wondered why the description was completely off.
 
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During one meeting, the team asked itself whether the game would be as good as Batman: Arkham Asylum. Nobody said it would, so Ascension was abandoned in favour of a more realistic reboot, which became the 2013 Tomb Raider.

I mean the game did have perfectly logical reasons for it's cancellation but I chuckle at the implication that they thought the 2013 Tomb Raider was on the same tier as the Batman Arkham games.

Anyway, kudos to Square for putting this content up! Now, uh, if only they did the same for the canned content from Squaresoft's SNES days....
 

killatopak

Member
Probably reused those death animation in the reboot.

Those were gruesome and would fit in a horror game like this one.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
How did I know I'd be seeing people say this sounds better than the actual games. No way. This ain't it at all lol. They went with the smarter direction. This isn't the direction to take Tomb Raider at all. Elements of this can be in a game, sure, but no way should it be this big an influence.
 

Larxia

Member
I was super excited for this game back then, the promise of an open world horror game with survival mechanics, mixed with the usual tomb raider stuff.

But everytime we saw more footage of the game, the survival part got toned down more and more, until it eventually became the uncharted clone we know, where only the intro of the game kind of makes you believe there is still some survival element, but no.

I guess the project might seem weird today for people who are already familiar with the current version of the reboot, but back then, we were a lot to be interested into the surviving / dark island project idea, which made the final product very disapointing if you had been following the development for a while.
 

Black_Stride

do not tempt fate do not contrain Wonder Woman's thighs do not do not
Probably reused those death animation in the reboot.

Those were gruesome and would fit in a horror game like this one.
This prototype evolved into Tomb Raider 2013.
Not uncommon for games to start as one thing and then transform into another during development.
It looks like the game in this prototype stage didnt have an identity yet so they streamlined it and cut out what wasnt needed.

Probably something like 200 - 500,000 dollars of work just in these videos.
Game development is such a weird beast.

Anyone NOT shocked this prototype has a passing resemblance to God of War '18 in some sections?
Even the "ogre" executions look like something that would fit in God of War '18.
Thats that Cory Balrog magic.
 
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Probably reused those death animation in the reboot.

Those were gruesome and would fit in a horror game like this one.

That one where you need to avoid obstacles while floating downriver and you can mess up and get Lara's head impaled on that stick. Then for a moment she's aimlessly grasping to remove the object before blacking out

While definitely cool the level of violence in that game super excessive lmao
 
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This looks really interesting. I wouldn’t mind if the next installment went in a direction like this. Looks more imaginative and unique imo.
 

Soosa

Member
Broken and ugly... How?
maybe "different" would be better wording from him, but beauty is a personal thing.

IMO Laras face got way less attractive when they ported it from pc to ps4 back then. Like from almost perfect feminine woman to something.. less?

Made her face bit wider and less hot, in my eyes. And not all of us are really that observative, some people wont even notice these things, small or even big changes. So maybe it is not so obvious to all, how her face changed. I still like these reboots, real problem is that they have too much of shooting. Lara kills more people than rambo :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I also dislike Aloys face with passion, I just find out her really really ugly and weird looking, and usually I like to make weird characters. Maybe bit same with lare, while new version werent ugly, it were downgrade from the perfect girl she was on PC version.

Tomb raider horror game would be epic.

I remember when I got the first one for ps1, the mummy area were so scary that I almost pooped my pants and had to run to the toiled as kid :messenger_beaming:
 

Swift_Star

Member
maybe "different" would be better wording from him, but beauty is a personal thing.

IMO Laras face got way less attractive when they ported it from pc to ps4 back then. Like from almost perfect feminine woman to something.. less?

Made her face bit wider and less hot, in my eyes. And not all of us are really that observative, some people wont even notice these things, small or even big changes. So maybe it is not so obvious to all, how her face changed. I still like these reboots, real problem is that they have too much of shooting. Lara kills more people than rambo :messenger_tears_of_joy:

I also dislike Aloys face with passion, I just find out her really really ugly and weird looking, and usually I like to make weird characters. Maybe bit same with lare, while new version werent ugly, it were downgrade from the perfect girl she was on PC version.

Tomb raider horror game would be epic.

I remember when I got the first one for ps1, the mummy area were so scary that I almost pooped my pants and had to run to the toiled as kid :messenger_beaming:
Game characters don't need to be attractive to everyone. Lara is fine and most of you wouldn't be able to get on with women like her
 
I would've played this. The scene where she's riding the horse to escape the creatures looked fun. The deaths from the 2013 game definitely came from Ascension.
 

Vaelka

Member
That first video:




PAIN SUFFERING ANGERY ANGST POOR ME.

I do find the mentions of being so '' realistic '' because she bleeds and '' gets cold '' to be pretty funny tho considering what a tank she is ingame and how unrealistic it is.
Tbh even stuff like jumping into a freezing river and then just getting out and being fine kinda takes me out of it completely when they're setting that expectation of '' realism ''.
If you jump into a freezing river and then get out and just keep going you'll be dead as fuck xD...
 

Punished Miku

Gold Member
You don't like women, period.
How in the world are you arriving at this conclusion? Even a palm reader needs to see your hand. Here you're reading their mind without even knowing what they look like or where they are. That's phenomenal talent. Your skills are wasted here.
 
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Astral Dog

Member
I think they did a good job with the 2013 reboot but this looks much more interesting, i wish they would go more fantasy next game specially with the enemy design since Tomb Raider combat is actually fun unlike other third person shooter action adventures
 
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