"I really donít know why I bothered with this game. I had steered pretty clear of the Tomb Raider series thus far on the PlayStation. But I was looking in the pre-owned section of my local shop and saw Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on the Dreamcast available for £3 (roughly $5). For that amount of money I thought it might be worth giving a go. I remembered that upon release this game was given high scores in many gaming magazines and lots of people said ďOh you must play it, itís a real hark b..."
I really donít know why I bothered with this game. I had steered pretty clear of the Tomb Raider series thus far on the PlayStation. But I was looking in the pre-owned section of my local shop and saw Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation on the Dreamcast available for £3 (roughly $5). For that amount of money I thought it might be worth giving a go. I remembered that upon release this game was given high scores in many gaming magazines and lots of people said ďOh you must play it, itís a real hark back to the glory days of the first gameĒ.
So I thought, ďwhy not?Ē. If you are going to play a Lara game for the first time, you may as well play what is regarded as the best in the series on a better console. Oh foolish little me. This game stunk. After playing this game not only will I never touch another Lara game with a 10-foot bargepole ever again, but I am also now entitled to laugh at anyone who claims she is a feminist icon and the sad lads who devote many erotic websites to her.
Ok, lets get the game out of the way. The game begins with Lara as a young girl (ooh saucy). In a training type level her mentor Von Croy leads you though all the commands you need to play the game. And what complicated and sucky controls they are to. Turning Lara around makes her do this strange clopping around on the spot. Jumps are difficult due to the murky and pixellated graphics and doing simple things like trying to catch and swing on a rope require stupid, counter-intuitive button presses.
Well after you have finished that level, the game starts proper as Lara hoofs it round some big pyramid, tombs and some of Egypt to find some relic or other, all leading up to an very unshocking ''shock'' ending. The game is pure evil from beginning to end. I mentioned before the ghastly controls. They have been so badly implemented on the DC controller that it makes the game almost unplayable. The graphics are appalling too. They may have looked state of the art in the psx version, but the DC is a 128-bit machine. So why were all the psx version problems still evident? Murky lighting, pixellated graphics, jerky and robotic motion, bland textures, slow down and worst of all tears and glitches that in some places could get you trapped in rooms with no way out and no option but to quite and start from the last save.
The gameplay is not made any easier by the repetitive nature of the puzzling and combat. Several puzzles involve timed runs. This is teeth grindingly frustrating as you have to push a statue onto a block and make a dash for an opening or something. Unfortunately though the camera swings around like it has drunk to much absinthe and Lara goes clippety clop off into a wall. Then it takes you 10 seconds to make her turn on the spot and your time is up. Itís just all so much FUN!
Combat consists of just blasting stuff, although you do need to have some tactics. For example the skeletons are indestructible. But if you blow their heads off you can make them stumble into a pit and be no more trouble. It a blatant rip off from many other better games, you can use a sniper rifle. Itís about the only thing thatís different from what I have seen of previous Lara outings.
It smacks as just a lazy port to squeeze every last drop of cash out of the Lara Croft franchise. But why the hell did it sell? Oh I remember, its because Lara has big breasts. Well silly me, I forget how sophisticated the modern consumer is. Sensible people who should know better have hailed Lara as a breakthrough in gaming as, for the first time, male gamers were forced to identify with a female character. But that is a crock. No one identifies with Lara, they control her. She is an empty vessel into which people pour their own personalities. As Lara never does anything remotely feminine while the player is in control it hardly forces young men to confront their inner woman as it were.
Iím sure they actually liked to do to Lara what I got hours of fun out of doing. I.e. shouting ďwhy the hell donít you just jump properly you mammary brained BIMBO!Ē. Then spitefully drowning her, or making her fall into a deep pit and break all her bones, or set her on fire or drop her on some spikes just to hear her death moan. ďHah! Serves you right!Ē Should I be taking my ineptitude at the game out on the main character? Well yes, when the shoddy controls, dismal graphics and boring and pointless puzzling make it such a chore to play.
Community review by falsehead (March 08, 2004)
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