When they weren’t able to lay their hands on Square Enix’s original source code for Tomb Raider, a group of hobbyist developers decided to embark on an ambitious project to recreate the early Lara Croft games from scratch.
The result is OpenTomb, a browser-based open-source recreation of the original Tomb Raider engine and, after four years, the first playable level is complete, and you can give it a go yourself on Windows, Mac or Linux PCs.
Dubbed ‘OpenLara’, the level contains the second area of the first game, and lets you control Lara Croft and switch between first-person and third-person viewpoints.
And it’s even been reported that the frame rate is higher than the original, thanks to the brand-new web-friendly code.
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Lara in the OpenTomb
The developers have built the new game engine from scratch, as opposed to cloning the original. "The older [an] engine gets, [the] less chance it'll become compatible with further systems; but in [the] case of OpenTomb, you can port it to any platform you wish," explains the OpenTomb FAQ.
Although OpenTomb can run entirely in a browser and doesn’t require any installation, by the development team to explain everything about the project, and what's required to play the game. And being open source, other developers can contribute to the build as well.
No timeline has been set for when the first game will be completed, but for now, those who want to play the OpenLara level .