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Friday, 3 December, 1999, 12:04 GMT
Cyberbabe Lara's back
Lara Croft's latest adventure in set in ancient Egyptian tombs

Computer game heroine Lara Croft is making a defiant return in her brand new challenge Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.

This fourth game in the highly-popular Tomb Raider series - on sale in the US and Europe - pits Lara against ancient forces in Egypt that risk the survival of the entire world.

Included at the start is a "prequel" training session, featuring a 16-year-old Lara and her original mentor Von Croy.

After criticisms were levelled at Tomb Raider III for being overly complicated, designers have this time opted for a more straightforward approach.

Players have to manoeuvre Lara through ancient tombs fending off alien and human foes.

However, many of her adversaries will be much smarter this time. Some - such as skeletons - will even be immune to her familiar gunshots.

Lara's preferred weapon has traditionally been the gun
A stronger emphasis has also been placed on puzzle-solving using logic. Obstacles will also be more clearly defined at each stage.

Tomb Raider III has nonetheless sold more than six million copies worldwide since it was released in November 1998.

The game's makers, Eidos, hope that the continued popularity of the Lara Croft figure will make its successor equally desirable after it reported a doubling of pre-tax losses to 37.9m in the first six months of the financial year.

Since the first Tomb Raider was launched in 1996, its striking cyberbabe has become so well-known that she has appeared on the covers of successful magazines The Face, Melody Maker and FHM.

She has also been used to help advertise consumer products well beyond the realms of her computer world.

But Lara's latest endeavour - on PC and PlayStation formats - could still face tough competition.

This time round she'll have to battle games from a new rival - Sega's 128-bit Dreamcast - a games console which also gives access to the internet. While Nintendo are due to launch their high-powered machine, the Dolphin, next year.

Sony are fighting back in 2000 though with the PlayStation 2 - another 128-bit machine..

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See also:
05 Aug 99 |  Business
Lara Croft battles software pirates
15 Jul 99 |  Sci/Tech
Lara saved from Playboy
06 Sep 99 |  The Economy
UK games market hits new heights
24 Nov 99 |  Business
Losses double at Eidos

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