The Tomb Raider reboot that might have been: horse-riding and hot pants

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“Confidential: For Internal Use Only”, warns the Crystal Dynamics video you’re about to watch. But we’re all friends here, aren’t we? And friends don’t let friends miss the chance to see what the wonderful Tomb Raider reboot might have been – a Team Ico-esque traversal through a island world infested by giants and demons. With a child companion. On horseback. Yup.

Details of early concept work emerged via Geoff Keighley’s Final Hours wotsit, and soon spilled onto games culture megahub NeoGAF. The new Tomb Raider was originally subtitled Ascension, it seems, and featured a flamethrower alongside the signature bow. The creature designs, meanwhile, betray a leaning toward twisted high fantasy – one titan looks like Chinese opera magnified, and it looks like Warhammer 40k Chaos god of decadence Slaanesh had a hand in some of the demonic designs.

The accompanying video sees a more traditionally-dressed Lara than we’ve come to expect leap from one rocky outcrop to the next. A child companion clings to her back. In a later, Bondian scene, she rides a horse along a sandy beach.

Tomb Raider turned out good. Real good. But would you have liked to see this one made too?

Thanks, PC Gamer.

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