Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation
After Tomb Raider 3, Core Design finally decided to update Tomb Raiders graphics engine, and a damn fine job they did too, because even though the game is over a year old now, it's still looking great. TR:TLR sees everyone's favourite polygon travel to Egypt on another heroic quest to stop the forces of evil. After the somewhat over-long TR3, this offering feels more compact, and has a far greater emphasis on adventure elements than any of the previous games, without sacrificing anything in the action department. The engine overhaul has also addressed the problem of the suspect camera angles from which the previous games suffered, so there's no more guess work involved when you move Lara around tight corners. Enemies are varied and intelligent, and the puzzles are clever but rarely infuriating, making this one of the most enjoyable and playable action/adventures around. So go on, treat yourself. After all, it's less than a tenner.
Unless you're a big Lara fan, the kind that buys the special edition Lucozades, beer mats, watches, beach towels and other endless merchandise, the kind that trembles with uncontained anticipation over every new release and would happily play the first three from dusk till dawn, you have by now stifled a yawn and thought to yourself: "A new Tomb Raided Well big friggin' deal." You see, besides being a huge seller starring one of the most marketable characters in popular culture, the series has earned itself a reputation for rehashing its original success and not adding anything new bar a couple of wetsuits and vehicles here and there. The consensus is that, while the first game was an innovative masterpiece of its time, the series has stood still, oblivious to the exciting new developments going on around it. Well, butter my buttocks and eat me for breakfast if Lara hasn't got tired of staring at her own arse, taken a long hard look at where games are heading, straightened her boobs and said: "I can do that." For once there have been some major changes. And nobody could be more surprised than us. So put your scepticism to one side and we'll tell you all about it.
We Re Going Back To Our Roots Man
The Last Revelation is being sold as a "getting back to roots" for the series, a recreation of the feel people had playing the first game. Before you start whinging about how all they've been doing so far is recreating Tomb Raider I anyway, let us say that is most definitely a step forward.
Not a gigantic unholstering-pistols-midair-and-shooting-every-other-game-in-the-head double somersault forward, but a move in the right direction, nevertheless.
In a recent Supertest, we mentioned that the way for the series to progress was to "take it down the Half-Life route. Not go first-person, but use the engine and the dynamics more. More NPCs that are interesting to talk to. More story elements". And, to a certain extent, that is exactly what Core have done.
Traditionally, the plot has been an excuse for Lara to travel halfway round the globe, kill some endangered species and hang on to some ledges.
This time, the story is absolutely central to the game. For once, the outrageous acrobatics are just a way to advance from one part of the unfolding narrative to the next and, as a result, it is less a collection of independent levels and more a continuously flowing tale. You could say that Lara has moved on from commercials to full-length films.
Raiders Of The Lost Tomb
The comparison to movies isn't gratuitous. If it hasn't already gone unnoticed how Tomb Raider has sipped from the Indiana Jones! stream of inspiration, this time it sinks its teeth in and sucks the very life out of the unshaven, whip-toting big screen adventurer. Consider the following storyline: The action begins in a 1984 flashback in Cambodia, where a young Lara Croft is being taught the adventuring trade by eminent Austrian archaeologist Werner Von Cray. At the end of this training level you're forced to flee for your life, leaving Von Croy for dead. Cut to the present day, swapping Asian jungle for Egyptian desert and flat chest for pyramidal voluptuosity.
Lara, hired by an unknown source and helped by a guide, searches for a tomb, takes an amulet and unwittingly releases the spirit of the evil Egyptian god Seth. It transpires that Von Croy didn't he's intent on getting the amulet and, to top it all, hates Lara's flat and muscular guts for what happened all those years ago.
She learns from another archaeologist, the fat and friendly Jean-Yves, how she can banish Seth from this world and sets out on a quest through Egypt, fighting Von Cray's minions and Seth's dark forces. The flabbergasting thing is that this isn't the point where you start playing the game, it isn't a background that's been explained to you through a painstakingly long FMV. You have lived through the flashback and trained with d Von Croy. You have found your way into Seth's tomb and foolishly freed him, you have spoken to Jean-Yves and solved some basic puzzles on his advice. It's like playing through your very own Indiana Jones flick. Mythical objects, supernatural happenings, puzzles involving ancient texts, artefacts and tricks of light, Tuareg enemies, they're all eerily familiar and enjoyable. All that's missing are the fat Nazis and snogging a beautiful but squeamish blonde (now that's a Tomb Raider game people would pay good money for.)
Let's not get carried away. This is still a Tomb dertitle, it's still a platform game at heart and it isn't about to revolutionise the industry. But we'll discuss its shortcomings later, right after we've pointed our stubby little fingers at all the things that made us go: "Cor, golly and bleedin' hell!" (Which doesn't mean Lara "reveals" anything in The Last Revelation not seen outside unauthorised over-18s' websites).
As you'd expect, the A lady in khaki shorts has been given yet another facelift and general make-over, and so have the settings and the enemies. The latter fall into three categories: animals (scorpions, crocodiles), humans (turban-masked henchmen, SAS soldiers) and supernatural beings (skeletons, animated statues, Egyptian gods). All have been given such an AI boost, they'll be challenging you to a game of chess with one hand and beating you over the head with a large stick with the other.
The skeletons take cover if you start shooting at them from above, crocodiles chase you in and out of the water, armed soldiers shoot you from a each other to cancel one another out (like the fire and ice wraiths).
Put your hand in a crack or shatter a vase hoping to find something useful and you could end up with a screen full of beetles. We're talking thousands of the disgusting little buggers, moving in a wave of crawling black legs and fluttering antennas, intent on smothering you unless you have a burning torch handy. Get stung by a scorpion and the screen undulates, making jumping around difficult and mildly nauseating.
I Sphinx Therefore I Am
There is a much stronger puzzle element in The Last Revelation than ever before, to the point where a couple of levels almost play like a 3D adventure. You have to read interact with them. The puzzles themselves are easy enough and amply hinted at, so the average punter will be able to crack them without making their brains hurt too much, but those wanting more of a challenge should remind themselves that they're lucky to get any sort of mental contest at all. At least there is some imagination at work. Where else would you get the chance to play an ancient Egyptian board game against a god on a board the size of a room? Igr The new v inventory system A casts another twist in favour ot the more complex, thoughtful approach to leaping from one platform to another. Most of the items and weapons you collect now have a Combine option, for example, you can stick the lasersight to your revolver for some sniping, the flashlight to your binoculars for peeking into dark recesses of the tombs or try mixing objects to solve puzzles. Some weapons have different types of ammo, and you need to figure out which to use in every given situation.
Sniping works both ways, once the Egyptian army gets involved, adding an element of stealth to the action as you move in the shadows, picking off snipers hidden in alcoves. And if that isn't enough, you can use a crossbow in first-person mode.
Which brings us back to that Supertest comment about taking things down the Half-Life route. There are plenty of scripted moments that carry the action through, like when the camera swings away from you to focus on an oncoming jeep full of none-too-neighbourly soldiers or an enormous snake-like monster coming out of the ground to vomit a plague of locusts on you. Or how you walk into a room just in time to witness a guard being taken into the jaws of a six-foot scorpion, which you have to kill without harming the guy in order to get a key. And the influence of action-packed films doesn't stop at Indy. You'll probably notice Stargate, The Fifth Element, The Mummy, James Bond and Disney's Aladdin creeping in at the back of your mind. There's even a small recreation of the warehouse in Reservoir Dogs, complete with moribund cop (well, SAS soldier actually).
The FMVs, camera angles, the quickfire cut-scenes, scripted elements, the way friendly characters and enemies act and the familiar archaeological puzzle-solving all give the game an incredibly cinematic feel. But, of course, that's the problem: it's a him you're watching, not acting in. A film you participate in, but which stars mega celebrity Lara Croft. You don't feel personally involved and you're not the main character. In spite of all the efforts to give Lara a history, we've all seen her die so many times, so matter-of-factly, that her fate isn't all that important to us.
What Are The Scores Lara Jones?
Like we've already said, despite all the improvements, The Last Revelation is still a platform game. You may not die as annoyingly often as in the past few efforts, but it's still a case of move Lara over here, hop to that ledge up there and backflip into an underground stream. There's a lot more to it than that, but you can't escape the essence of the game. It is still constrained by the limitations of having to develop a PlayStation game alongside a PC one (even if the PC version looks much better, has bump mapping, more cockroaches and a couple of extra features).
When you're used to the freedom of playing action games with a mouse, having to resort to a gamepad or keyboard feels incredibly limiting. Besides, Core can only go so far before having to bow to the pressures of the mass market and avoiding many drastic changes. So, if The Last Revelation is the best title in the series, why does it get the lowest score?
The original Tomb Raider was ground-breaking enough to warrant a massive Classic score, but I would argue that, in retrospect, neither TRII nor III deserve that status. It's not that they're bad games, it's just that they don't provide the amazing experience a Classic award warrants. And, frankly, neither does The Last Revelation. It would have to go far beyond a platform adventure and become something that defied categories; it would have to draw us into the story to the point where we'd forget we were playing a game. By its very nature, Tomb Raider can't do either of those things. If you enjoyed any of the other titles, The Last Revelation will blow your socks clean off. Just don't expect any miraculous changes if you never liked it in the first place.
Sweet Little Sixteen
Girl, you'll be a woman soon... In the meantime, everyone grins inanely
With no boring mansion, no aseptic gym and no homy octogenarian butler, The Last Revelations training level is an integral part of the game. Set in Cambodia, Lara is guided by Von Cray, who teaches you all the moves (including new ones like shimmying round comers and swinging from ropes). A 16-year-old Lara must then prove her worth by beating him In a race through an ancient obstacle coursa A timer gives the more competitive among you the chance to brag to friends about how fast you made it to the end.
More interestingly, though, apart from the obvious kinkiness of seeing the artificial sex icon as a young girl, we learn about Lara's background and history, adding a surprising depth to such a two-dimensional character (in terms of personality). Not to mention setting up the story extremely well.
A little maths tells us that if Lara was 16 in 1984, she must be 31 by now, which is almost old enough to be the mother of some of her greatest fans. The Freudian possibilities are startling. And we intend to explore them soon.
Walkthrough - Part Two
This month we bring you the second, and final, part of our epic Tomb Raider The Last Revelation walkthrough. This game is so absolutely huge that we have developed a unique telegram style (that's short, sharp and to the point) of showing you how to get Lara to shimmy, twist, turn, crawl, jump, climb, shoot and kill her way to the end of the game.
City Of The Dead
Shoot bloke. Nick Revolver. Ride along street. Turn right at archway. Get oft bike, enter building. Move corpse. Head to bike, go through archway, turn left at junction. Get off, climb up ledge into building. Crawl through hole, pull switch, head back to bike.
Drive up hump in middle of street, aiming for barriers. Smash 'em, crash through floor. Drive bike to corridor end, break wall. Get off, enter alcove. Drop into water, follow tunnel. Slide down slope to corpse. Nick laser sight, combine with Revolver. Look for wall crack, shimmy along until hole in wall. Climb in, look into pillar. Snipe pendulum. Run up pink steps, dive in water. Follow current. Climb out, follow passage back to corpse. Now water is frozen -cross and pull switch. Go back to pendulum room, into new door. Climb ledges. Don't drop - hang off ledge, shimmy to right. Leap across street, hang off lever to open gate. Blat blokey, retrieve bike. Head through gate, follow street. Drive up stairs, jump ramp. Follow tunnel. Pull switch on ledge at end. Drive bike up steep slope, emerge in stairway. Opposite is new passage. Enter on foot. Leap across street, enter door. Snipe barrel to destroy guns. Running jump across street to reach switch. Pull it. Retrieve bike, go through open gate. Voila!
Chambers Of Tulun
Follow street. Jump ravine. Stop at step. Get off bike, enter big south building. Get goodies from corners. Exit, drop bike at level start. Climb back into building through small opening. Run through, nip around corner to trigger Big Dude. Run to room with small opening in south building. Climb blocks, leap to ledge over archway. Leap to crack in west wall, shimmy right. Jump to ladder, shimmy around corners to ledge. Pull lever on roof to trap Big Dude. Leap to ledge, west of rope. Swing on rope to south exit. Drop down hole onto bike. Leap ravine, back to where Big Dude appeared. Yank on wheel to open gate. Peg it through before gitface breaks free... easy, huh?
Talk to soldier. Follow street, run past beast. Climb step in green-lit area, climb low bit in north wall. Pull lever II. Climb southwest ledge, pull lever llll. Drop down, pull levers I then III. Drop down south hole. Use crowbar as lever. Enter other hole, pull switch. Climb up, into new door. Running jump to rope, swing to south wall ledge. Running jump to left onto awning, then jump to next ledge. Leap to next roof, then climbable wall. Shimmy around corner, zigzag across street until you reach orange-lit alcove. Climb in. Follow tunnel. Running jump across pit to right to reach jeep. Get nitro, leap over pit towards taxi. Run back to level start, leaping over fireballs. Talk to Aziz, return to Chambers of Tulun. Whew.
Chambers Of Tulun
Go get bike, avoiding Big Dude again. Ride up ramp near where you left it to enter Trenches.
Enter tunnel behind tree. Follow street, killing blokey along the way. Crawl around back of gun to gap in crates. Stand up, snipe tank on gun back to blow it up. Climb crates, jump to gap in north wall. At gap in left wall, crawl in. Kneecap bloke past end of tunnel, crawl through steam. Climb up, snipe back of gun and blokey. Go back out. At crawlspace on right, avoid steam, get code key. Come out, leap to crack, shimmy to end, around corner. Drop down, kill bad men. Crowbar engine. Combine pipe with nitro. Go back to bike, fit nitro. Head back to Chambers of Tulun.
Chambers Of Tulun
Ride to ravine. Nitro up big ramp into hole. Enter door, kill bad blokey. Slide down slope, enter northern tunnel. Get torch back to big room. Run down slope by entrance. Open door at end. Kill blokey, light torch. Back to big room. Run up slope to door. Hold torch under sprinkler. Enter door,pull lever. Run back to torch room. Climb crate, running jump to ledge. Drop down. Shoot crates, shoot gate lock. Check hole. Fetch bike, back to Trenches again.
Go up green-lit stairs, climb east block. Grab trapdoor handle in ceiling. Climb in, follow tunnel. Blast stone in crack, shimmy around corners to ledge. Leap to bars, Tarzan across street. Kill bad dude, unlock door with Roof Key. Running jump over street to ledge. Shimmy left. Follow corridor. Snipe red button. Back to bike. Head west, nitro up right-hand stairs, keeping left to make jump. Get off bike, climb east wall to exit level.
Drop to floor. Get detonator. Grab handle from table. Go behind car, get jack body. Combine for car jack. Push red button, follow corridor. Climb ladder. Jump to monkey bars, swing right. Nip into crawlspace to south. Use jack on south wall to open trapdoor. Climb onto roof. Push box behind lightning into alcove. Shove tunneled machine into lightning. Cross bridge, running jump to ladder. Shimmy around corners, drop to ledge. Enter tunnel, descend holes. Enter crate room. Go down ramp to find mine codes. Go to crates in southeast corner and let bull charge you, leaping aside at last minute. Follow tunnel to end level.
Nip back up ladder near where you left bike to bazaar area. Exit garage through east door. Follow street to north, exit by minefield. Combine detonator with codes, use detonator. Booooom! Push red button, retrieve bike. Drive around corner to exit.
Nitro, angling slightly right over pit. Save first! Speed back past Halitosis Boy before he burns you up. Go find Aziz.
Free Jean. Head south to stairs in next room. Pull lever, grab torch. Light it. Burn rope back below. Drop into floor hole in first room, follow tunnel. In big cave, jump to left ledge, then ledge beyond steps. Hang above small pool, drop and grab crack in wall. Shimmy along until another crack is below you. Drop and grab. Repeat until you reach corridor. Crawl through, drop into water, follow to next crawlspace. Drop to slopey bit. Quickly... Backflip! Jump forward! Grab! Hang from north wall. Shimmy to alcove, running jump across room to south ledge. Climb steps, push lever. Drop down hole, descend stairs. In big room, push pedestals onto circles corresponding to direction printed on top. Exit west. Follow tunnel, climb up, enter water. Swim south. Pull lever in ceiling. Go back, take north tunnel. Follow corridor back to compass room. Head east. Kill baddies, pull lever. Back to compass room, go through north door, into water. Exit west. Pull lever. Swim through north exit. Leave water. Follow tunnel, yank chain to open door. Head through, follow tunnels to crawlspace. Drop into next room, avoiding Crusaders. Climb ramp. Stand by barricade, wait for Crusaders to attack, then leap aside. Head through, climb up and follow path past torches to escape.
Run forward. Kill baddies, get key. Use key on lock. Running jump from ledges to pull both levers. Go through new door.
Slide down to platform in north pit. Jump to ledge. Leap to northeast ramp, clamber up. Cross next pit in similar way. Kill bloke, enter door. Yank bookshelf out of the way to reveal airvent. Crawl through, kill bloke, bash switch. Shoot crates for blade.
Cross pits again, towards Sphinx front, crossing further pits in same way as before. Head for tombstone between legs. Cross huge pit carefully. Kill ninjas, shoot crates to get handle. Combine with blade for shovel. Use platform to hop over leg to tombstone. Dig in front of tombstone to open exit to next level... mwahaha...
Run toward bull. Lure it into open room, pull lever to trap it. Repeat with the other. Get paper from skeleton. Read. Spell out AIO on slabs on wall. Go through west gate. Leap pits. Be careful of concealed one down slope. Check alcoves with binoculars. Now go back to buttons. Spell out AQI -northwest gate opens. Enter, leap pit. Take north crawlspace, turning left twice for Matt Stone. Take south crawlspace, turning left, right, left to find switch. Pull it, go back to stone buttons. Spell QIA. Enter southwest gate. Leap pit. Kill crocs. Pull switch on west wall to open gate. Check four holes in walls to open grate. Get stone, head for buttons. Spell IQA. Go to east door, jump pit. Press right switch on north wall, then right switch on east wall for stone. Back to tablets. Spell QAI. Enter southeast door. Jump pit to flat platform on right, shimmy around corner to left. Jump into water. At junctions, go south, east, south until switch room. Pull switch. Head back north, west, up, up. Get air. Jump back in. This time go south, west, up. Pull switch. Head back east, up, up. Breathe... Go east, south, south, west, up. Pull switch. Go back west, up, east, up, up. Breathe.
Go north then east. Pull switch. Head back down then up. Last one... East then up. Yank lever, get stone. Head back west, up, up. Exit. Back to coloured alcove room. Put stones in slots. Go through gate, swing across pit.
In next room, grab Scripture on left, hop back and somersault sideways to get next one. Roll, get next one. Repeat manoeuvre to get last one, quickly! Run out. Walk straight across next big room to avoid losing legs. Then swing across chasm to victory.
Climb up southeast ledge. Hang from trapdoor. Head out. Kill giant scorpions with grenades. Running jump diagonally left across north ravine. Leap across pit in front of pyramid and head east. Jump to south stone that faces big building. Slide, jump halfway down. Leap to safe ground. Enter building. Try and kill scorpion before guard dies - this way you get Armoury Key as well as pyramid keys. Head out west. Hang from ledge to right of ravine, shimmy left around corner until you can't go further. Drop down. Climb pyramid using less-sloped blocks. On longer stable section, running jump to west, slide down to reach easy route up. Climb up, running jump to entrance when you see it. Unlock pyramid, enter.
Inside Menkaure's Pyramid
Avoid blades, head downstairs, snipe star in ceiling on way. Jump in coffin. Swing over pit. Take right fork, swing over, pull switch. Head back to other fork. Swingy-swingy. Climb up, kill guard. Pry key off wall. Head upstairs, enter passage. Hang from trapdoor. Climb out, kill scorpions. Take east path. Push button in alcove. Climb east pyramid. Climb down ladder inside top. Follow passage, leap pit. Grapple across next one. Jump over side of next two to avoid blades. Pull chain. Go back to passage on south wall. Swing across. Go through gate. Slide down slope, jump at last minute. Climb out into Sphinx Complex.
The Sphinx Complex
Platform hop over ravine to right of sphinx, heading south towards steel doors. Use guard keys on lock, pass through. Great, huh?
Check behind truck to north for petrol can. Take east passage. Enter north door, open trapdoor. Follow tunnel. Take east passage, shoot gems in lion mouths. Get small waterskin, head back to junction, take south tunnel. Climb out. Leap ravine to south. Shoot barricade, enter door and trapdoor. Deal with lion heads as before. Climb out. Open door, shoot barrier. At ravine, leap northwest twice. Enter trapdoor. Go west, get torch. Go east, shoot lion heads. Fill waterskin from pool. Put water in left plate, petrol in middle, sand in right. Burn petrol with torch. Go west, get key. Enter other door, shoot lion heads. Take west tunnel for exit. Cross ravine by running jump northeast, running jump and grab south. Enter door and trapdoor. Follow tunnel out. Shoot barricade, enter door and trapdoor. Head east. Shoot lion heads. Use crowbar on right socket. Chase monkey to ledge - he'll open door. Get key from side room, enter other door, follow corridor to exit.
Climb out of tunnel. Kill baddie. Leap southwest over pit. Enter building, pass through doors. Ignore trapdoor, open next door. Leap ravine to pyramid. Slide down west. Leap west. Climb up next few blocks. Jump east when you can't go further. Watch out for boulders. Despite trying to kill you, these point out useful routes. Jump east twice, climb one. Jump east three times, slide down. Zigzag over pit. Now carefully follow climbable blocks up pyramid. When there's nowhere else to go, running jump west and slide to safe platform. Continue upwards. Your aim is to slide off the southwest corner to safety. Good luck!
Khufu's Queens Pyramids
Kill nasties. Get goodies from rooms - you need Armoury Key tor one gate. At chasm, jump to pillar on left. Running jump to northwest. Avoid scorpion, leap across chasm. Jump south to next block. Climb up. Running jump north, DON'T press Action. Standing jump northwest. Running jump over chasm. Running jump north. Push rubble west to end of path. Enter pyramid. Open trapdoor, climb down. Turn right at all intersections. Kill Guardian, get last key. Head back north, east, north, west, north at junctions. Climb up. Leap chasm. Hop north again. Climb pyramid diagonally northeast. Use key on lock, enter.
Inside Great Pyramid
Stay left to leap pit. Head up east tunnel. Go between ramps. Jump as each trap reaches midpoint.
Get torch from coffin, light torches. Pull switch in west alcove. Exit this area, climb the ramps. Put Shaft Keys in slots. Pull switch. Kill baddies. Head back to first corridor. Standing jump first pit. Running jump next. Standing jump again. Drop to ledge below, leap to gate. Climb carefully down shaft into corridor. Enter to begin final stage.
Temple Of Horus
Get big waterskin. Fill, combine with small. Pour large into vase on scales. Climb down pits, avoiding blades. Empty both skins. Fill large one. Combine with small. Empty small. Combine large with small again. Fill large. Combine with small. Pour large into vase. Descend as before. Empty skins again. Fill small. Combine with large. Pour small into vase. Climb down shaft. Shimmy to ledge when you can. Leap north into water. Climb onto island. Use Scriptures on pedestals. Aaaiee! Scary Horus! Jump into water.
Find Amulet then head up west slope. Pull switch. Climb northeast slope. Puli switch. Go back to first slope. Leap east to solid ground. Work your way up the room using ledges. Running jump to left of stalactite. Leap to crawlspace, crawl through. Follow ledges. Jump to climbable wall. Shimmy into light (this protects you from Slide down slope, leap to next Horus) and climb up. Head through ledge. Running jump next two. gate. Avoid block traps as earlier. Run away! Finish die game! Cheer! Stay at side to avoid falling pillars. Weep at pitiful ending...
Processor: PC compatible, P-100
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Screenshots
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