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, a Github page has been created 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 can do so here.
- And while you wait for Lara to complete her journeys in the five brand-new browser-based games in OpenTomb, you can step into her boots in virtual reality instead.
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Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.