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Tomb Raider Chronicles is the fifth game in the Tomb Raider series and the sequel to Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. The game was originally released in 2000 for PC, Sega Dreamcast and PlayStation.

Storyline

Tomb Raider Chronicles opens just days after the events of The Last Revelation. Lara is still missing and presumed dead. A memorial service at Croft Manor brings together three old friends of Lara: Winston, Charles Kane and Father Patrick Dunstan. While the rain outside is pouring, the three reminisce about Lara's earlier adventures: The hunt for the Philosopher's Stone in Rome, a deep sea dive off the coast of Russia in search of the Spear of Destiny, a brush with Hell spawn in old Ireland, and a foray into a high-tech office complex to retrieve the Iris artefact. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away Werner Von Croy coordinates the frantic dig searching for answers buried deep beneath the Egyptianmarker desert.

Gameplay

The gameplay of Tomb Raider Chronicles is closely tied to that of The Last Revelation. In terms of movement, the only new additions to Lara's skills are the ability to walk on a tightrope, the ability to grab and swing on horizontal bars and the ability to drop from a ledge forwards while crouching. Several weapons from the previous game have disappeared but the MP5 submachine gun from Tomb Raider III and the revolver from The Last Revelation have returned. A new tool takes the form of the grappling hook, which is used to latch on certain areas of the ceiling and swing across vaults. Only one vehicle (of sorts) appears: a high-tech diving suit designed to penetrate deep waters.

The game consists of four sub-adventures and takes Lara to Rome, a Russian submarine base, a haunted island called the Black Isle in Ireland, and a high-tech building in New York. Secrets in Tomb Raider Chronicles are represented by a golden rose (much like the dragons in Tomb Raider II). In total there are 36 scattered throughout the game and when the player has found every one of them, a new special features menu is unlocked from the Options screen.

Tomb Raider Level Editor

The Tomb Raider Level Editor is a package of tools used to create game levels for Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. Part of the package, the Room Editor, was used by the Core Design developers to create Tomb Raider levels. A version of the level editor was released to the public in 2000, as a second disc with Tomb Raider Chronicles (PC version only), that allows the user to create levels for Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation.

Reception

Although praised for improved graphics over previous Tomb Raider games, Chronicles was criticized for mediocre sound, bad voice acting, and lack of originality. Ron Dulin of GameSpot said that players would "feel like [they are] playing a game from five years ago."

Although IGN staff did not notice any software bugs, GameSpot encountered crashes, clipped graphics, and cut scenes that would not play. In the last stage, "Red Alert", loading certain save points may cause key items to disappear. Sometimes specific events will not be triggered. The game even felt as old as the original Tomb Raider engine, and its "grid system" of level design seemed to be showing its age.

Some puzzles were criticized, although were noted as trying to have a more modern approach than the typical Tomb Raider puzzles, including elements such as pushing blocks. Some were extremely hard due to a lack of clarity of how Lara can interact with the environment; Lara could perform new moves, but players were not told how to perform them. Items were more hidden than in previous games and would blend in with the environment. In the level "Old Mill", there is a coin that has to be picked up in spot with a yellow background; it blends in almost completely and the player cannot progress until it is picked up. If the player goes forward a short distance away from the coin, a cutscene occurs and Lara is spawned in a different location.

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