With all the fame and fortune in the world bestowed upon Lara Croft, things could only get better when she takes on mummies, Egyptian dogs and scorpions in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation for the PC. She seems to be getting younger every sequel as you start this game as teenage Lara. Fortunately, after the first level you become her famous adult personality as you climb, swing and gun your way through the halls of modern Egypt's tombs.
Why they didn't have more locations around the world is something to consider when factoring the length of this game. Sure, it's a long game but the variety that's needed would've been fulfilled by having different scenery like the Venice boat chase in Tomb Raider II, or the London rooftops in Tomb Raider III. But that is exactly why they didn't resort to that kind of set up because Tomb Raider is really about raiding tombs, not mansions or sunken ships. However, it would have been nice to relive locations like ancient Rome or Greece as seen in the first Tomb Raider.
The Last Revelation is the best looking sequel of them all, containing higher resolution graphics, better dynamic lighting, and a more realistic Lara Croft. And when she leaves a pool, water drops run off of her! There are many, really dark spots throughout the levels so flares come to good use here. Animation frame rate, physics, and the scripting of in-game cut-scenes are all smoother than ever before and even more cinematic. As well, there's plenty of uneven ground to traverse upon, lending to realism -- and that's what this game intends to portray.
Sounds remain the same quality as usual with the Tomb Raider series, but now there are even more effects such as reverb and other factors that may affect voices. And speaking of voices, the acting is once again superb, although there aren't too many cut-scenes that involve non-player characters talking. Most of the music stays in sync with the theme of the series yet there's even a more eerie score that certainly sets the Egyptian mythology mood.
Camera angles seem to get closer to Lara at times, which may confuse the player's sense of direction. But overall the game engine is not exactly new; it's more like an updated version of the previous engine. Controls are a little awkward since they're not exactly the same but at least you can custom configure the buttons. As with all the PC versions of the series, you can save the game at any time.
Some of the items Lara carries, such as the binoculars, don't have any use until later in the game. Two of the newest inventory features are the ability to combine items to unlock doors or disable traps, and the shotgun's option to use either single or wide shot ammunition. The wide ammo allows Lara to shoot multiple enemies at the same time! The delayed timing for switches is back with even more puzzles to solve. But there seems to be less pushing and pulling, at least in the beginning stages. The flashlight is one of the coolest gadgets you'll find!
Enemy AI is well thought out as they relentlessly follow Lara around the vicinity. Not all monsters can be killed so you'll have to figure another way to get rid of them. Some of the puzzles are very tricky and that means this game is more adventure than action. That can either be construed as good or bad depending on how much you liked or disliked the various Tomb Raider titles, as they are different from each other in many ways (without losing that Tomb Raider touch, of course).
If you're ready to help Lara save the world from darkness, then walk like an Egyptian with Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation for your PC.
Graphics: Visually stunning graphics that blow away the previous versions, with real time lighting that actually works since Lara's skin appears more realistic, not elastic!
Sound: The ambience and stereo effects in the game are astounding. And the sometimes-eerie music fits the mood perfectly. It could have utilized more voiceovers, however.
Enjoyment: Aside from setup problems I received early on, this game is outstandingly the best of the Tomb Raider series in many areas.
Replay Value: No difficulty level select, thus as with most action-adventure games, this Lara Croft adventure may be your Last Revelation -- until the next one is made, that is.
People who downloaded Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation have also downloaded:
Tomb Raider Chronicles, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider 2, Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artifact, Tomb Raider 3, Tomb Raider Gold, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend
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