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Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation Review

This article is part of a series of articles where other writers took a look at the whole Tomb Raider series. If you want to read the other articles, you can do this in the hub article: [Link] 

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Review

Despite Tomb Raider 3 being rather enjoyable, you can't deny that it barely evolved since the second instalment. If I was the age that I am now, when these games were initially released- I personally feel that I would be slightly disappointed in Tomb Raider 3. I mean, how else can they improve on such an iconic series? To make it fresh and exciting but without losing what we loved about the games? 

Roll on 1999, when the fourth instalment of the game was released; Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. Was it innovative? I would say yes with a but! Tomb Raider 4 managed to be somewhat refreshing whilst also struggling to avoid stagnation, which is definitely a contradictory achievement that’s for sure. It used the same grid layout, and the formula itself hadn’t really changed, however things had been noticeably upscaled. 

For starters, the inventory system had a major facelift, and you now have the ability to combine weapons and certain objects. Not to mention that Lara herself also had a facelift of sorts. She is still donning her iconic brown shorts and green vest top, which is a noticeable lower cut with more flesh on show- which I didn’t think was possible. This was more likely more fan service to keep male audiences eyes fixated on Lara, as you traverse back and forth through tedious parts of this game.

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation introduces the audience to a new voice actress, Jonelle Elliot, replacing the beloved Judith Gibbons and Lara’s broad upper class femme fatale accent, and replaces it with something more snidey and darker; which I will admit works for the overall tone of this game. 

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Unlike the previous three instalments you’ll also notice that her mansion is no longer a playable practice hub, and instead you’re thrown into the first level, the Tombs of Cambodia. Unfortunately this acts as your unskippable tutorial stage, where you’re not only forced with learning moves you already know, but have to listen to Lara’s mentor, Werner Von Croy flirt with a young Lara Croft. Like, dude, she’s 16! 

Although Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation is personally my favourite game, I will admit that the forced tutorial level is very tedious as Lara pretty much controls the same, with only two new moves being introduced; the rope swing and the vertical pole shimmy. 

The plot sees Lara exploring Egypt, attempting to seal the evil God Set (pronounced Set), back into his Tom, after she unknowingly releases him. It then becomes a race against time as he sets out to fulfil his prophecy of plunging mankind into complete darkness and disarray. Jeez, well done Lara, didn’t that trip with Werner not teach you anything?! 

Unlike the other games, Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation introduces unique level designs that stand out for its intricate and challenging layouts that demand both strategic thinking and precise execution. Each level is a masterclass in environmental storytelling, blending ancient Egyptian aesthetics with complex puzzles and hidden secrets. 

The interconnected maps encourage exploration and reward keen observation, while the atmospheric settings heighten the sense of adventure. From claustrophobic tombs to expansive ruins, the design balances difficulty and engagement, keeping players on their toes. 

Not to mention the graphics and sound design truly immersed the player into the environment, where your surroundings are drenched in cobwebs and only a few torches eat away at the darkness that fully engulfs you. At times, you can even hear unexplained sounds in the distance or crumbling of structures which truly impacts your nerves, and makes you wish you stayed at home with Winston! 

That statement runs true, when you encounter some of the enemies throughout this game. A mixture of low level and high threat, Lara can sometimes take out enemies with her trusty handguns, whilst some can’t be put down so easily and either require the help of the environment around you, or some explosive ammunition that can be attached to a crossbow. Some are even immortal, so it;s best to scream and avoid them as much as you can! 

Tomb Raider: The Last Revelations still follows the same formula as the previous games, but it’s just given a coat of paint, with the changes made being subtle but not impactful enough to bring the series out of the repetitive slump that it was experiencing at the time. This of course, resulted in only 5 million copies being sold, which isn't too bad, but considering that this is the fourth best selling Tomb Raider game out of the PSone era, it’s not fantastic either! 

With solid gameplay, matched with locations oozing with creepy atmosphere, Tomb Raider The Last Revelation marks a return to Lara’s original Tomb Raider roots, which was missing when she took off to places like India and London in Tomb Raider 3. Despite its flaws, and tedious backtracking, I highly recommend this game if you loved the original Tomb Raider, and love Egyptology!  

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