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Tomb Raider celebrates 25th anniversary today

Ancient history.

Tomb Raider is 25 today.

The first game in the series released today in 1996 on Sega Saturn, launching the iconic series and the long-running career of Ms Lara Croft.

Since then there have been 19 games in the series. After the original trilogy and a reimagining in 2007's Tomb Raider Anniversary, a reboot in 2013 brought a gritty new take on Lara.

Back at the Square Enix Presents event in March, the publisher announced its plans to celebrate, including Lara appearing in Fortnite and the release of the Tomb Raider Definitive Survivor Trilogy.

The publisher also announced a Tomb Raider cookbook we're still waiting to review.

Also as part of the celebration, Square Enix revealed footage of Tomb Raider: Ascension, a survival-horror-like prototype from Crystal Dynamics created ahead of the 2013 reboot as they sought to reimagine the series.

It featured a sinister fantasy edge and survival elements that would eventually make their way into the final product.

Originally, though, Lara was created in Derby by developer Core. Tomb Raider stemmed from a desire to create a 3D game where the player would explore mysterious tombs. The groundbreaking game was aiming to be like a movie.

Lara herself was a "totally resourceful British woman", strong and intelligent despite being hyper-sexualised. Later her designers would leave the company, upset at the way she'd been marketed as a sex symbol.

As for what's next, Square Enix has opened a new London studio making a Tomb Raider mobile game called Tomb Raider Reloaded. It's a top-down action and puzzle game that's due out next year.

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Ed Nightingale

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