Review by Braben
"Hmph, it is hard to admit but, well, it`s quite good..."
Core Designs` mine gold and Prince of Persia rip off is back, but do not worry, this time everything has changed, and believe it or not, for good. Probably the main reason why I liked this game is that the difficulty is not longer extreme, or what is the same, this time IT IS possible to beat the game without cheating or using a FAQ every five two steps, but it is undeniable that everything else has also improved, this time there is a somehow well made and everything.
The good thing about the story is that it makes sense, the other Tomb Raiders had a story for no reason, in this game we follow the story of the game all the time if something happens there is a reason why that is happening.
Graphically the improvement is big, but only in certain parts, our main heroine looks a lot more polished, less blocky, and with better textures, just like the scenarios, this time are ten times more solid, then graphical effect such as water, shadows, or the fire that comes out from our torches are perfectly made, sometimes even impressive I would say. The enemies, while still not all that well made (specially because they lack animations), are way better than before, not as blocky (yet they are still definitely blocky) and stupid, this time they try to chase you jumping over platforms and everything, and the FMV have also improved, the characters look terrible (during the video sequences I mean), but there is a couple of pretty cool sequences. Ugly effects such as enemies getting stuck everywhere, some terribly looking sprites during some parts, and ugly and annoying camera angles where everything gets messed up are still there sometimes, but not nearly as much as before. The overall look of the game is a lot better than in the previous games that is for sure, and if the game doesn`t look better that is only because there is not too much variety in terms of scenarios, something that I am going to try to explain alter.
The music was what I hated the most about the game, and the reason is that it is simply marvelous, yes you have read well, marvelous, astonishing. What is the problem then?, simple, the same problem 95% PC game have, the lack of music. You are only going to hear music during the intro and when you find out something important like a treasure, a secret door, or things like that, and the worst part is that the music only lasts for about five seconds, then, silence until you make another discovery. It is something very VERY sad because unlike the previous games, here those little tunes are totally awesome, they are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard, and this is not even a Japanese game.
The objective is still the same one as before, but as I said before this time everything makes a lot more sense and it is done they way it should be, there is still nothing really new, but what is important is that the big problems have been solved.
The reason why The Last Revelation succeeds is that the huge problem that made the previous games simply unplayable has been practically solved, not entirely, that is why I say practically, but they are solved enough to make this one a ``video game`` and not the most infamous Chinese torture. The stages are no longer impossible labyrinths with ultra hard puzzles and annoying enemies, this time they are nicely structured places where most of the time is clear what is the next thing to do. The puzzles follow the same structure than before, finding items that need to be place correctly in certain places, but this time they are a lot more easier and enjoyable, as well as much more impressive in some parts, as they mostly activate weird mechanisms to open paths.
Tomb Raider The Last Revelation is not as varied as the previous games (not that the previous games were exactly varied, only that each stage was completely different from the previous one), the entire game takes place in the same places, tombs, pyramids, and excavations, sometimes you will enter a city but even the cities look just a like the extension of the tomb are have been stuck five minutes ago, but with all this is still a quite interesting title, in fact I have to admit that I found this game to be quite atmospheric, and that is because of the above mentioned well structured scenarios, this time if you are inside a tomb, then that place actually looks like a tomb, and not a complete mess that makes you think you are inside a Tim Burton movie.
The weapons and items have not changed, which is a pity, we have those two pistols with unlimited ammo, Uzis, Shotguns, etc, and the same items. Our character`s movements are also the same, as well as the cameras, so they work exactly the way they worked before, only that as this time the game is well made, at least they work, something that can be easily seen in the combats for example, they are no longer an annoyance.
There is nothing new as you can see, the same weapons, similar enemies and places, the same movements, but this time all of that is well done. The only constructive complaint I have is the length, the game is too long, and you will probably get tired before finishing it.
As a result:
In any case, if you re looking for a really good 3D adventure game for the PC Indiana Jones and The Infernal Machine is way better, this is a good game but when compared to that game this is not a match, The Infernal Machine is so much varied, fun, and good looking in general that they simply can`t be compared, however, that doesn`t make this one worse, it is the best Tomb Raider game out there and a fun and interesting 3D title.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/16/04
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