Initial Release: November 1999
Metacritic Score: N/A
ESRB/PEGI Rating: Teen/12
Platforms: Windows, PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast. Later: Macintosh, PlayStation 3 and PSP (via PlayStation Network).
Spoiler-free Synopsis: In this epic adventure, Lara Croft returns to her roots...in more ways than one. First, the training levels are set in Cambodia in 1984, where a teenage Lara learns the basics from her mentor, Werner Von Croy. He also figures in the main plot, set in the present day.
Fans of the original Tomb Raider will also be pleased to find a return to ancient ruins and puzzle-based gameplay. The modern-day story begins in a Temple built to honor the Egyptian god Set. Lara raids this tomb to obtain an amulet only to find that, in doing so, she unwittingly unleashes the evil deity into the world. Now she must re-capture him in order to save humanity.
What's New Since TR3: While there are a variety of locations—indoors and outdoors, city streets, desert canyons and crumbling ruins—all the action takes place in Egypt. The overall look isn't radically different, but the scenery is well-crafted and highly detailed, and the designers have made good use of lighting effects and transparency. Lara herself is smoother and more fully textured, with no blocky joints or gaps in her polygons.
The Last Revelation features more seamless gameplay, with shorter load times and smoother segues between levels. The levels are also less linear, and backtracking between them is required in some cases.
There are also a few changes in the gameplay, inventory and combat systems. These include the ability to combine items, new moves like rope climbing and swinging, and traversing around corners, plus the choice of automatic or limited manual targeting (no mouse or right analog stick support). TRLR also brings the triumphant return of the compass and the separate sidestep keys! (See the controls page for details.)
Saving Your Game: Unlimited saves on all platforms. However, PlayStation and Dreamcast players should note that, unlike the previous adventures, this game doesn't allow you to go back to previously played levels unless you have a saved game from that level. (PC and Macintosh savegame files are available in case you make a bad save, want to skip a level, etc.)
Secrets: There are a total of 70 secrets in the game. A chime sounds when you locate a secret, and the statistics screen keeps a running total. The number of secrets in each level varies, but unfortunately the stats screen doesn't tell how many there are in each level. So unless you look at the walkthrough, you won't know how you've done until the end of the game. Secrets consist of ammunition, medipaks and the occasional weapon. There is no bonus for finding all secrets.
Bonus Levels: In December 1999, the British newspaper The Times teamed up with Eidos to release a special exclusive level. In this mini-adventure, Lara explores a newly discovered area of King Tutankhamun's tomb. The level is available on the TR4 downloads page, and my walkthrough is linked below.
Classic Tomb Raider Games on New Systems: The Last Revelation was designed for Windows 98/Me but can be patched to run in newer versions of Windows. See the TR4 Downloads page for details. For help running the Macintosh version on newer systems, visit MacRaider.
Becoming an Expert Raider
If you've never played a Tomb Raider game before—or even if you have—I encourage you to check out my TR4 Controls and Gameplay Tips & Strategy pages. They include pointers on moving Lara through her environment, conserving health and ammo, using the menu and inventory systems, and much more.
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation Walkthrough
Some screenshots courtesy of Katie's Tomb Raider Site.