Perspective: Bird's-eye view
Published by: Ubi Soft Entertainment
Developed by: Ubi Soft Studios SRL
Platform: Game Boy Advance (GBA)
After deciphering an ancient manuscript called Tomo di Ezechiele, Lara Croft learns of the existence of three magical stones that over the centuries have been owned by some great rulers. The text also includes a terrible prophecy: if the stones fall into the hands of the adepts of a sect devoted to wickedness, the Teg-du-Bhorez, they will use it to awaken the Great Gray, a supernatural entity that could cause the end of the world .
Compared to the first two episodes for portable consoles, released in the previous two years for Game Boy Color, The Prophecy presents numerous innovations in graphics and gameplay, both designed to make the most of the capabilities of the Game Boy Advance. The game presents an isometric view, with Lara and the environments framed from above.
The gameplay incorporates numerous elements of traditional Tomb Raiders: Lara can move around the game environment by running, walking, jumping on various platforms or climbing on them; he can also shoot his enemies with three different types of weapons. Mainly the game belongs to the platform action-adventure genre: the player has to make his way through the levels by solving small puzzles, finding objects, overcoming traps and fighting enemies.
Finally, Lara can interact with elements of the functional environment for progress in the game: in this case a vignette will appear with a phrase that gives advice on how to use it. This replaces the movies, completely absent.
The rescue system is based on passwords: each level has a different one; however, when reloading the game, player's progress is not retained, and you find yourself with a default inventory.
Promotion and reception
Tomb Raider: The Prophecy was to lead the way to Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, expected a few months later on PlayStation 2 and PC but then postponed for about a year. For this reason on the cover Lara appeared dressed in the clothes of this chapter, even if in the game presented the classic clothing.
The Halifax, which at the time distributed Eidos games in Europe, launched a competition in Italy to find the "ideal Lara", which would be selected among the various participants. To win was Desirée Noferini, future model and actress at the time fourteen.
The videogame gained considerable sales success, becoming one of the most sold for GBA in 2002; nevertheless, he did not completely conquer the criticism, which gave him evaluations a little beyond the sufficiency. To be criticized was mainly the gameplay, considered too repetitive and not very varied; the rescue system was also considered to be very bad and frustrating as it did not allow the player to enjoy his progress. Another element of criticism was the sound, little inspired and not up to par.
Among the positive criticisms was instead reported the longevity, decidedly high, and the graphics, defined as spectacular for a portable videogame. Ultimately the criticism recommended the game to the long-term fans of the series, as the new players could have found it uninteresting.
In the Adventure, Lara will visit four different locations:
- Sweden - Ezekiel's Tomb - Levels 1-8
- Cambodia - The Black Stone - Levels 9-17
- Italy - Rome - Levels 18-24
- Romania - The headquarters of the Teg-du-Bhorez
- The Prophecy, together with the previous chapters for Game Boy Color, was the third and last episode of the series to be developed by UbiSoft; the three chapters for portable consoles are also the only ones in the whole series that have not been developed by Core Design or Crystal Dynamics. This is also the only game in the whole series to have been developed by a completely Italian team.
- The game was the first of the Tomb Raider series to boast the isometric view; subsequently, with the birth of the Lara Croft spin-off series two more will be realized: Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (2010) and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (2014).
- In level 21 Lara reads an inscription in Latin which reads: Olim Hortaces et Suadesti Fidem Ignota. In reality it is a rather vulgar word game that was added by the Italian team as Easter Egg.