And sadly, this is how it feels. I can honestly say that this is the last true Tomb Raider game ever released, and I can't help but feel upset about it.
The series was a phenomenon. From the very first time I slid my copy of Tomb Raider into my Sega Saturn (remember those?) I fell in love with it. It was something special, something we'd never seen before; a fully responsive character with well animated moves, excellent puzzles, nice weapons and items. In fact, many people might argue that the reason the Saturn console died was because it couldn't run the sequel, Tomb Raider 2. Certainly it's one of the reasons I bought my first PC. So I can't help but feel miserable when thinking of the lousy releases that came after this last, excellent fling with Lara Croft.
While TR2 and TR3 were essentially just expansion packs of TR1 with a few new tricks and guns, and the odd graphics upgrade, The Last Revelation is the seminal episode of the series. The inventory and weapons system is entirely reorganised do that you end up watching yur ammo and medkit supplies like a hawk; Lara now has a set of new moves that let you climb poles and ropes, and swing from them; and many of your weapons now have bolt-on accessories like telescopic sights and laser targeters. The graphics have been overhauled so that Lara's movements are more finely scripted than ever, and even Lara's character model has had some rework (sans gravity-defying chest, if anything else). The save and menu system has been reworked, too.
The whole adventure is located in Egypt, where Lara has unwittingly unleashed a terrible curse that will spell global armageddon if she doesn't fix it - fast. Ranged against her is her own former mentor, Werner von Croy, and his obligatory hired goons. It's a long haul experience, and will not be over too quickly; some parts and puzzles are challenging, and the added factor that some enemies cannot be killed (as such) makes for some inventive solutions on the part of the player. It doesn't feel quite like the earlier releases in the series, but that's not such a bad thing as the system works out just fine as it is.
All in all this is a good old-style romp through the sandy tombs of the original game, with a new set of moves and graphics, and a new set of tricks and features. It is the last game in the franchise that was produced properly, and is easily a better game than the "unfinished" Chronicles (TR5) or the "even less finished" Angel of Darkness game released earlier this year. A lot of publications gave it a reduced mark at its release because it was "all seen before" and because Lara Croft was going out of fashion and losing her icon status, but I am giving it Four Stars, because it's simply a good, well realised game, and the only reason it doesn't get five is that the locations are a bit too repetitive.
Good return for a fiver on any day.