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Game Over Online ~ Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

GameOver Game Reviews - Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (c) Eidos Interactive, Reviewed by - Captain Matteo

Game & Publisher Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (c) Eidos Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 233, 16MB Ram, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 78%
Date Published Monday, December 20th, 1999 at 08:44 PM


Divider Left By: Captain Matteo Divider Right

The Tomb Raider series, much like Lara Croft’s voluptuous polygonal boobies, has been shaky over the past few years. What began as an adventurous ride, has slowly degraded into a yearly, repetitive romp where things have gotten bigger, but not much better. The latest Tomb Raider adventure, entitled The Last Revelation, is right on schedule. The fourth installment in the series has arrived exactly one year after the release of the third installment, prompting me to wonder just how much they could have changed or added during the past year. To my surprise, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is a breathe of fresh air to what was a deflating franchise.

The story of this latest Tomb Raider adventure goes a little something like this:

According to Egyptian legend, Horus, son of the light, outwitted the evil God Set and imprisoned him in a secret tomb. Five thousand years later, Lara Croft discovers the lost tomb and unwittingly unleashes the evil God Set, fulfilling the ancient prophecy of his return to plunge mankind into darkness! In a race against time, Lara must use all of her wit and skill to re-imprison Set and save the world from Armageddon. Pursued at every turn by her arch-rival, the unscrupulous archaeologist Werner Von Croy, Lara embarks on a journey of discovery across Egypt, where she must overcome the most ingenious puzzles and infernal traps ever devised, and face terrifying evil from beyond the grave.

The Last Revelation opens with a training level, which is built into the game so there’s no avoiding it, where you control a 16-year old Lara Croft as her mentor, Dr. Werner Von Croy, is training her. The level certainly helps get the story underway, but it serves little purpose outside of that. A cutscene could have gotten the job done, especially when us gamers already familiar with Lara’s adventures, don’t necessarily require a tutorial level to get used to the controls. An option to select the training level, or a cutscene instead, would have been a wise choice here to begin with.

The training level focuses a great deal on tasks that involve making a number of jumps. Little or no emphasis is placed on combat, special moves, or driving vehicles. If there are any beginners playing Tomb Raider for the first time, they might find the tutorial level doesn’t prepare them very well for what’s in store. Upon completion of the tutorial level, the story begins to unfold using a series of cutscenes throughout the game. The cutscenes are incredible to say the least and really do a great job furthering the game. The game takes place solely in Egypt and although the levels vary quite a bit, tomb settings are the order of the day. There’s also a great train sequence featured in the game.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, features some of the best graphics seen in the series. The engine has been tweaked quite a bit and some of the effects are astounding to say the least. For example, atmospheric lighting is used much more effectively, particularly in the later levels. It creates a great suspenseful atmosphere as you close out the game. The textures are also a lot better than in previous Tomb Raider titles. The horrific organic environments we witnessed in the third installment of Tomb Raider are no longer present. Also out the door are the clipping problems we’ve seen throughout the series. The engine remains relatively dated in terms of technology, but that also means the game should run smoothly on a standard machine.

One of the problems that has plagued the Tomb Raider series, and most third person action / adventure titles, is the camera system used to see the action. It seems they’ve yet to figure out a way around this, as The Last Revelation still bears the same shoddy camera work. One point that should be mentioned is that Lara now turns transparent when players use the look key. Aside from that, the remaining camera characteristics are the same as previous Tomb Raider adventures. You’ll find it difficult at times to see above, below, or directly ahead of Lara.

The puzzle element has always been an issue with Tomb Raider fans as well. Too many of them, too few of them, too easy, or too hard. The Last Revelation features the standards key hunts, lever hunts, and inventory puzzles, but they’ve also thrown in quite a few challenging puzzles as well. As with previous Tomb Raider games, when Lara walks into a room and her view fixes on something, you get a hint as to the solution of a puzzle. Another gripe I had with the game is that I found myself backtracking far too much while looking for keys or levels to advance to the next stage, particular in the middle of the game. It became frustrating at times and certainly put a dent in the fun factor. The Last Revelation also offers Lara the chance the ride a pair of vehicles, including a motorcycle and a jeep. Operating the vehicles is simple and surprisingly fun. A nice addition that hopefully we’ll see used again in the next Tomb Raider adventure.

The Last Revelation starts and finishes strong. If you can manage to last through the exceedingly dull and repetitive middle sequences in the game, you’ll be well rewarded come the climax. The Last Revelation is by far the best in the Tomb Raider series. It doesn’t quite offer the impact that the original had, but that’s a given. What it does have is a great story, some excellent puzzles, smooth visuals, and a level of detail unseen in previous Tomb Raider adventures.

 

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Rating
78%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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