PC/PLAYSTATION Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation (Eidos) £39.99 ~~

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Pyramid selling: The Last Revelation

It has been said, by people who know, that the massive sales of Tomb Raider’s sequels relied more on the personality of Ms Lara Croft than on the playability inherent in the first game. Visual trickery and constant combat swamped what began as a beautifully balanced combination of exploration and puzzle-solving, resulting in two poor imitations of a classic title. Now it is being said, by those same people who know, that Tomb Raider finally has a successor it can be proud of. The Last Revelation is a return to glory.

Such is the importance of the story in The Last Revelation that even hinting at it here would be cruel. However, as support to the main feature, the adventure starts with a bit of a prequel, telling the tale of Lara’s inception into the business of raiding tombs. As well as being an enjoyable exploitation of the Lara phenomenon, these levels introduce you to the new moves while oiling any TR controller rust.

The graphics engine has been given a complete overhaul and yet, due to the majority of the game being set in Egypt, it is used to bring detail to the complicated levels rather than wildly differing locations. As in the original, each stage builds the feeling that you are taking part in an adventure rather than completing a series of tasks. This increased detail also extends to the puzzles, with block pushing and key finding being usurped by clever, imaginative, often taxing games.

Another change lies in the inventory. Gone is the item ring, replaced by a clearer system of equipping and, importantly, combining. The new ability to join two items together allows yet more intricacy in the gameplay, drawing you further into the adventure. A mention should also go to the creatures that populate The Last Revelation. Blessed with cunning intelligence and smooth movement, they add yet another layer to the experience.

It goes without saying that this will sell by the sackload. However, it is nice to think that, finally, purchase is rewarded with finesse rather than adequacy. This is why everyone loves Tomb Raider. (Iain Davidson)

W:th a Playstatron or N64 now costing about the same as Gart‘eBOy, there are a lot better footie ganes oat there for Srmrlar money Howewe", ‘or the beautiful game on the move, Rona/do V-Footba/l stanos unchallenged IID

PLAYSTATION Wu Tang: Taste The PaIn (Activision) £34.99 Why don't mOre bands, actors and CGleTlileS do this7 Wu Tang. Taste The Pam takes the warped ku'tg fu nonsense of the Wu Tang Clan and Creates a fantastic lrttle beat—em-up that furthers the reputation of the Staten Island hrp hoppers

According to the game, the Clans master has been k:dnapped anc: :t's up to hrs nrne students to get hrm back Cue a Succession of ilSi and foot-flymg fights. However, as well as being a dellClOUSly tongue-rn-cheek

l'(?l)l'(?SC‘.".ic'ti|Ol‘. of the Wt. Tang Clan, T2ste The Pa/fl does actua|!y stand up as a game rrt liS own right. The combat staatlons are nugely varied, from one- on-one to outrageoos team battles, a"d five different manoeuvres number " the "rLll‘dl'GOS A clever bonus system, based on the 36 Chambers, rent/aros SK'H wrth secret new moves, outf:ts and extra fatalltres The g"ap."r<8 are fast and clear and, obnwousiy, the soundtrack is frrst class

!‘ yot. K"O\.‘.’ nothing about the Wu Ta"g C ar‘, thrs iS a well-crafted piece 0‘ a'ternatwe beat-em—up actron. If you owe RZA, Method Man and the boys, unnat are yOu \‘r'artrng for7 Cream (IDl



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