Tomb Raider II: The Dagger of Xian is a fan-made Tomb Raider II-based game that is available as a free playable demo right now.
Core Design released the first Tomb Raider game in 1996 for the PC, Sega Saturn and the original Playstation, and a sequel one year later called Tomb Raider II.
Tomb Raider II introduced new weapons, move and vehicles to the game, and became one of the best selling games of its time.
While you can still play the classic Tomb Raider games, they are not really shining examples of games that aged well visually-wise.
That's where the fan-made Tomb Raider II: The Dagger of Xian comes into play. It is not a remake of Tomb Raider II, but based on the game. It can best be described as a standalone expansion for Tomb Raider II that uses the Unreal Engine 4 for its visuals.
You will notice right away that the development team that is led by lead developer Nicobass have done a great job at getting a lot out of Unreal Engine. The intro looks impressive, and the visuals of the game have improved significantly as well.
While visuals have improved, you still find bits and pieces of the classic game under the hood and in animations, for instance when you run around with Lara.
Tomb Raider II: The Dagger of Xian is available as a demo right now, and it seems to even have the blessings of the current rights holder Crystal Dynamics.
The minimum requirements according to the download page are at least a 64-bit version of Windows 7, a DirectX 11 compatible video card, at least 4 Gigabytes of computer memory, and 6 Gigabytes of free disk space.
The game is provided as a RAR archive which means that you do need a program to unpack the archive before you can play it.
As far as controls are concerned: use movement keys to run, and Left-Alt to walk, C to dive down or climb down, and Space to dive up, climb up and jump, E to interact with objects, F to use a flare. The commands are displayed while you play the game.
Game play features the classic Tomb Raider gameplay. Since the demo begins in a Cave level and takes you across the Chinese Wall, you get a lot of jumping, searching, and even a bit of shooting (but the focus is clearly on jumping and finding the right path to continue the game).
Check out the embedded YouTube video if you don't know if the game is for you. Remember that this is just a demo to showcase the work that has been completed thus far.
Now You: Tomb Raider, or something else. Which classic game was your favorite?
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