A never-before-seen Tomb Raider title has been discovered in the depths of the internet, and it's apparently the original remake of the game that was meant for the PlayStation Portable.
It's downloadable through the Internet Archive, and the instructions are relatively simple if you want to give it a whirl. It's believed that this project is the remake of the original Tomb Raider, developed by Core Design, titled "Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary." At the time, Eidos was relying on Tomb Raider as a crutch to support its continued expansion and lofty goals. Conversely, Core Design were struggling to buoy themselves, and rumours abounded that the developer would be closed by Eidos to cut costs. The team leapt at the opportunity to remake the original Tomb Raider using its own engine, seeing it as a lifeline, but Eidos was apparently "lukewarm."
Suddenly, Eidos had been snapped up by SCi Entertainment, and this new kid on the block was much more enthusiastic about the remake. Yet, SCi Entertainment planned to restructure its operations, and Core Design was on the chopping block. "We were making the Tomb Raider remake, and [Crystal Dynamics] suddenly put forward their own demo [for Legends]," explained programmer Gavin Rummery. "It was a basic demo, using a bit of the beginning of the opening scene of Legends running on PSP. I didn't think it was a big deal. I thought, come on, look how much we've got! We've nearly finished on this!"
However, SCi Entertainment eventually passed over the remake by Core Design, and instead ran with a cross-platform remake from Crystal Dynamics, which became Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Though it's a tragic end for the project, especially as the game was almost at the finish line, this announcement that Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary might live again is uplifting news for fans and the former Core Design developers alike. Moreover, it is thought that this game's models and textures were re-skinned to transform into an Indiana Jones game before it was ultimately cancelled. I suppose tombs and treasure are relatively the same irrespective of whoever works out the puzzles and bags them.
As shown in the video, there are missing textures, but the game looks very good overall. Lara, in her classic garb, sprints and clambers and swims across levels in Peru and Greece, and there's even a section of Croft Manor available to explore. I like the Tomb Raider games, but I started with the 2013 reboot, and these snippets have got me wanting to try the older games. The fans who uncovered the project also mentioned that they tried to contact Crystal Dynamics to host and publish the assets, but they hadn't replied. Fortunately, as the files are on the Internet Archive, they should be safe and sound for gamers and digital historians to enjoy and peruse.
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