Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft is easily one of the most iconic females in the gaming industry. And although she started out as a rather inappropriate icon, she eventually matured into something more befitting a modern female lead. But despite the advancements in the game’s series and lore, the original Tomb Raider game still holds a special place in fans’ hearts. And now you can relive those experiences, or live them for the first time, right on your web browser, thanks to the open source OpenLara project.
Fans of the classic TR will argue that this isn’t just yet another homage to and old game. Just like the original Mega Man games were notorious for their difficulty, the first Tomb Raider was hailed for its complexity and depth of adventuring, elements that may have been lost in the transition to more modern and more cinematic styles.
OpenLara is hardly the first nor the only attempt at recreating the classic Tomb Raider game engine. Tomb Raider modder XProger himself credits a pre-existing and still active OpenTomb effort. But, as is the case with open source projects, that’s never going to stop anyone from doing their own thing.
In addition to re-implementing TR1’s game engine in open source, OpenLara also introduces support for more modern versions of OpenGL. That happens to also include WebGL, which is probably the project’s biggest strength. Yes, you can play the original Tomb Raider right inside your browser! Even better, since it’s a modern, unofficial implementation, you aren’t stuck with the 30 fps rate. Wait, there’s something even better. Yo can actually play Tomb Raider in a browser on your smartphone, complete with touch controls!
Of course, just because you can probably doesn’t mean you should. The original Tomb Raider was enough of a pain to play on the PC. Fiddly touch-based controls will probably make you want to tear out your hair. The game isn’t the full one either but just a small part of it. It might eventually be possible to play the whole game in the browser, provided you legally have access to the original files.