Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation – Second Opinion

Well, Chi may not want to get started on it, but I sure as hell do. What is with this pedophilic relationship between Lara and her mentor? Every other comment they made to each other was like creepy foreplay. The guy is ancient and she's 16! On top of that, they don't even pretend to flirt well because both voice-actors are incredibly lame. Lara's sass (yes I said sass) and sophistication are lost on me as soon as she starts speaking. Another thing is that the training stage is just an extension of the game so it uses the game's engine to have Lara do all the things she will be doing later. All the camera views and moves that are meant to accentuate Lara's anatomy are still here and look creepier with the 16-year old Lara.

The control problems Chi mentioned are indeed there and it irks me that more was not done to correct them with this sequel. Lara still moves unnaturally through the environments. Her propensity to run into walls and get lost in the environs thanks to essentially unchanged camera angles is as annoying as ever. I also agree with Chi that the return to exploring tombs was a good one. Or maybe I only appreciate it more after recent releases where Core and Eidos went crazy squeezing Lara into new, tight fitting, exploration outfits and multi-terrain vehicles.

Last Revelation, however, is the game that Eidos wanted. It's easier and more focused than previous efforts. This was key for them because they are trying to push Lara Croft further into the mainstream. I don't think this game will be the one to do it though (although little has really stopped them) with its aging game engine. The graphics are the best in the series using all the tricks that Core had at their disposal but Last Revelation is still ripe with problems. Lara still disappears into walls and picking up and using items requires a bit of hand gymnastics to line Lara up with the object. Last Revelation's angular environments are not quite photo-realistic and come with some of the tearing that seems to be synonymous with the series. It does get worse in the outdoor scenes, namely the train scenes where pop-in is so bad that I wondered why they even bothered including it or didn't work on an engine that could handle it.

Last Revelation is NOT the best game out this year but so far it is the best of the Tomb Raider series. It is keeping with Eidos' goal of being a game that will be easy enough for a newbie to get into as well as being entertaining enough for a veteran. There are some tweaks that all Tomb Raiders have been asking for since they first played Part One but overall there is nothing new here for anyone who knew who she was a year ago. My biggest problem with the game is that it has just become a game about a half-naked, unrealistically proportioned, polygonal babe who jiggles and gyrates through a series of labyrinths. If you didn't guess, the new 'prologue' did nothing for me. Rating: 8.5 out of 10