The Tomb Raider franchise has had its ups and downs since the first game was released almost twenty-five years ago.
But the one constant has been its great community; whether you like the second game or the sixth, they've been able to be encouraging and enthusiastic enough to unearth some real gems.
Which is why on New Years Eve, a build from CORE Design's last project on Tomb Raider, a cancelled 10th Anniversary Edition, was released by one of their passionate fans.
But what is it, and is it playable or just a folder full of unreadable files?
What is it?
We need to go back to 2003 first; 'Angel of Darkness', CORE Design's final entry to the series that they created, was released to average acclaim and an unfinished state, only showcasing a fraction of its potential.
The company knew that they wanted to celebrate the franchise, and after seeing what CAPCOM did with the Resident Evil 1 Remake for GameCube back in 2002, they decided to do their own for the first Tomb Raider game.
Building off the engine from their previous game, 'Free Running' for the PSP, it was meant to be a remake that would also feature music from the original composer, Nathan McCree, alongside other developers such as Gavin Rummery.
However, it wasn't meant to be, with Crystal Dynamics taking over the IP soon after, and beginning development on what would become 'Tomb Raider Legend'.
Is it Playable?
At first glance there's a few files to download to get it working, but thanks to a helpful guide by Ash Kaprielov, owner of the Tomb of Ash site, it can be easily set up in a half hour.
Of course, this is where the community has come in, and made it even easier to play, with other aspects such as sound and even a second player, taking control of Lara's sister/cousin, 'Melissa'. It's mainly thanks to Nakamichi, Tiernan, Gh0stblade and XProger from the community who have been able to look at the files and get it working for everyone.
It's been great to see fans of the series try out this build, and publish their own screenshots on Twitter, such as this one below.
It's interesting to wonder what could have been back in 2006, especially if the original voice of Lara, Shelley Blond came back to voice new audio for the remake.
However, it's only a matter of time before even more fixes are brought to this build, and there could even be efforts to complete parts of the game.
It's an encouraging time for the Tomb Raider community as a whole. With the franchise reaching its 25th anniversary this year, and no sign as yet from Crystal as to their plans for it, you can rely on the fans to start it off in style.
For more articles like this, take a look at our Retro page.