Tomb Raider was Initially Going to be a Horror Game: Square Enix Releases Footage from Cancelled Survival-Horror Lara Croft Game

Lara Croft, in a decidedly spooky more spooky game.


Lara Croft, for the better part of 25 years, has been a true icon in not just the gaming industry, but in entertainment as a whole – and the Tomb Raider franchise has had longevity the likes of which are rarely ever seen. The classic SEGA and PlayStation games have continued to be bona-fide classics while the modern Tomb Raider games such as the 2013 reboot and its subsequent sequels have garnered a ton of praise as well.

The franchise has found life in the modern era by adopting many of modern action-adventure AAA tropes in the 2013 reboot, but it looks like the original plans were dramatically different. Square Enix recently released a 7-minute footage, as part of its 25h Anniversary, of Tomb Raider: Ascension, a horror-survival game.

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Tomb Raider: Acension, the cancelled Lara Croft survival-horror game

The footage shows Lara traversing a bunch of decidedly horrific set of locations featuring all kinds of monstrosities and what seems like a semi-open world, akin to what players had in the 2013 game. The tone seems to be drastically much darker, and geared towards a horror-survival experience rather than the gritty action-adventure experience the 2013 reboot ultimately turned into.

The footage is seemingly from an early build of the game, but it does feature a ton of cool ideas that could potentially be explored in a future title. Tomb Raider does have the potentially to lend itself to horror-survival experience, and perhaps some day in the future, Square Enix might revisit this particular well. Square Enix released a couple of more videos detailing Early Concept Art as well as Branding.

The concept art gives players a better look at the monsters that Lara would have been battling against in Tomb Raider: Ascension and the inspirations behind their designs. The 2013 reboot was praised across the board, and players generally embraced the change in tone with open arms – but perhaps the story could have been quite different if Square Enix instead elected to go down the horror-route.