SYSTEM
PSX

PRICE
$39.99

DEVELOPER
Core

PUBLISHER
Eidos

RELEASE
11/99

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Review

By: John Doe


Lara returns once again to the console that made her a star. Banking on the "everyone loves Lara Croft" school of thinking, Core has once again rushed out another installment a scant 12 months after her last adventure and 24 months since her one before that. Although gamers are generally impatient, it isn't great when you wait a long time for a sequel like Resident Evil (although that series is starting to get flogged too, don't kid yourself) or Super Mario and you find it was well worth the wait because the game is amazing? I love those kind of games too. However, it's impossible to do anything exciting and new in the development times Core sets for themselves. Don't believe me? Play The Last Revelation and you'll know I speak the truth. This game is for super die hard fans only, and sadly I'm no longer one of them.


Highs:
Lows:

Lara Croft is an easy target for reviewers. We scoff at tired ideas rehashed only for the cash grab and I defy anyone to say that four games in four years isn't one. The Last Revelation is essentially the same game with a few new moves thrown in to give the appearance of fresh and exciting. In fact the new moves like swinging are so frustrating in a 3D environment thanks to horrific camera angles that the game would have been infinitely better without it. Go figure.

At the start of this game, you'll play as a young Lara Croft in a level that defies all of the laws of common sense. Basically it is a long and drawn out practice level, that is not skippable; you have no choice but to finish this mundane exercise so that you can finally begin the "real" adventure in Egypt. In earlier games you could visit Lara's mansion and practice her moves around her home, which worked wonderfully for novices. To force TR veterans to play through this level is ridiculous. The only thing you will gain from this level is that the swinging sucks and the scorpions are really f'n annoying but you would have found that out later anyway. Swinging, alligators, scorpions...Pitfall anyone?

The PlayStation version of The Last Revelation, although not as pretty as the PC or Dreamcast, is certainly the nicest looking TR so far on the aging PSX. Lara veterans comfortable with the control setup will be right at home with the game, even with the new moves.

If you like TR for the puzzles, then you'll love this one. Yes, those "find the switch, open the door, move the block, watch out for the spikes" puzzles are back and as numerous and as controller biting frustrating as before. I'm beginning to the think that the 3D camera is really just another aspect to the puzzles because it's a bitch to set up the right angles for jumps, especially to those ropes! Once you get on the ropes, just try jumping off at the right time. Can't do it, can you?

The enemies are generally environment based this time, which means you'll be defending yourself against wolves, scorpions, rabid chipmunks etc. You still get a lot of mean fire power to dish out justice and you'll still need to find medipacks and those hidden delicious secrets that nobody gives a crap about anymore. Does the phrase "Been there, done that," come to mind?

The music is still scenario based, which means that when you are in danger the music kicks in to high gear and you get frightened for a few moments. That's the one aspect of the game that doesn't really need an overhaul. The voice acting is very good as well, although the evil ones are always a little over the top, aren't they?

Every Tomb Raider game has lost my interest halfway through the adventure and this one actually set a new record. I was bored right after the training level started and that continued on until the end, making this game a chore to play. That's never a good sign. On a high note, I enjoyed this game loads over Tomb Raider 3, but that's really not saying much. For my money, the Tomb Raider series peaked at #2, which is a damn fine game and should be played by absolutely everyone who calls themselves a gamer. As for this installment, take it or leave it. In a related note, it has come to our attention that TR5 is in the works for a fall release, probably to try and cash in on the new found popularity that the TR name will receive from the release of the movie. Ugghhh. It just doesn't stop, does it? With Eidos releasing such kick ass and innovative games lately - Omikron, Urban Chaos (PC Version), Fear Effect and Soul Reaver to name a few - it's time to tell Core Design and Lara Croft to take a well deserved vacation.

OVERALL
5.5

GRAPHICS
7.0

CONTROL
5.5

MUSIC/FX
7.0

FRUSTRATION
8.0

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