When you think of retro gaming you must realize it is a subjective term. What is “retro” to me, being born in 1976, may be different to someone who was born in 2002. For me, the original Tomb Raider is retro. I remember seeing the first screen shots of Core Design’s new 3D adventure, starring a girl, and thinking this was going to be hell to play. I ended up buying my first PlayStation before Tomb Raider released (there were just more PSOne games I was interested in at the time than Saturn — though I got one of those, too, a year later or so). When I picked up my copy of Tomb Raider from Electronics Boutique, I could not wait to get home and play it. This was one of the few times I regretted living over an hour and a half from the nearest EB. It was worth the wait though. Now, a portion of the original Tomb Raider is playable in your browser (more is being worked on). Isn’t technology wonderful?
Apparently, there is a project going on called OpenTomb where fans are recreating the game. Tomb Raider modder XProger has taken it upon himself to take that idea and recreate the first game in your browser. They are calling their version “OpenLara”, and it features both first person view and third person action (just like the original).
Right now, the OpenLara project only recreates the second level of the 1996 PlayStation game, City of Vilcabamba. There is apparently an option to load other levels via a menu system (I have not tried this bad girl very much yet).
The second level features water paths to swim through, bears to encounter, and some puzzles to complete. While not the most challenging level, it is a good start.
What is interesting about OpenLara is that the engine has unlocked frames per second, better graphics and that same old “ah crap” control system.