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Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Angel of Darkness

aka: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - El ángel de la Oscuridad, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - L'Ange des Ténèbres, Tomb Raider 6, Tomb Raider AoD, Tomb Raider VI, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
Moby ID: 9482
Windows Specs
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Description official descriptions

Help Tomb Raider's famous heroine, Lara Croft, save the world from the forces of evil.

As the game begins, Lara wakes from a stupor. Recalling what she can of the past few hours, she remembers walking in on a killer after discovering the body of Von Croy, her friend and former mentor. She must make a hasty escape from the authorities who blame her for the crime. Determined to discover the fiend responsible, Lara eventually uncovers an evil plot that could cause the destruction of mankind. If the reincarnation of the "angel of darkness" is allowed to happen, the world is doomed!

The game environment is set in the somewhat distant future. You'll lead Lara mostly in 3rd person perspective, travelling to various locales in Europe. Explore sewers, cemeteries, warehouses, factories and cities. A multitude of NPCs will be encountered, both in the form of friend as well as foe.

Angel of Darkness introduces new stealth and close-combat moves - ducking, sneaking and hug-the-walls walking. Lara must build her skills by performing action sequences. You'll have her running, dodging, performing flying leaps and platform jumps, shimming along walls and cables, as well as moving boxes and other obstacles around. Advancements are achieved with strategically placed power-ups. Collect weapons and ammunition, artifacts and money.

You'll also play Kurtis Trent, a new male counterpart, for several "levels". Although Kurtis gets in Lara's way when she first meets him, he eventually becomes an ally when they realize they are both working towards the same goal.

Spellings

  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - Ангел Тьмы - Russian spelling
  • Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - מלאכית האופל - Hebrew spelling
  • 古墓丽影:黑暗天使 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 古墓奇兵:暗黑天使 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

115 People (92 developers, 23 thanks) · View all

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[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 55% (based on 45 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 86 ratings with 5 reviews)

Despite the interesting direction and presentation, Angel of Darkness did not live up to its hype.

The Good
By the end of The Last Revelation, Croft was merely left for rubble, and in Chronicles, just a slew of memories. Thus, Murti Schofield was hired by Core Design to rewrite the series for a new generation. The result was Angel of Darkness, in which Schofield opted for a Gothic renovation of Tomb Raider inspired by both noir and Legacy of Kain: Blood Omen developed by Silicon Knights. The orchestrated score featured in Angel of Darkness sounds phenomenal, and was composed by Peter Connelly and Martin Iveson, and performed by The London Symphony Orchestra.

The Bad
Once Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise they would not continue with Schofield’s proposed sequel entitled The Lost Dominion. Sneaking around the Louvre like Solid Snake was a change of character for Lara Croft. Additionally, maneuvering Lara was made even more awkward with broken mechanics that were rarely reminiscent of the original Tomb Raider. Eventually, the player would discover the Tomb of Ancients beneath The Louvre. However, much of the game was spent conversing with characters in a Parisian Ghetto via dialogue trees straight out of Funcom’s The Longest Journey.

The Bottom Line
Due to the commercial failure of Angel of Darkness, Schofield literally burned the game’s manuscript, which inevitably prompted Crystal Dynamics to reboot Tomb Raider. To make up for Schofield’s proposed sequel, Eidos shoehorned novel adaptions such as The Amulet of Power by Mike Resnick, and two other novels that are loosely tied with Angel of Darkness. Despite the interesting direction and presentation, Angel of Darkness did not live up to its hype.

PlayStation 2 · by john perkins (11) · 2021

The wait is over and it was sooooooooo worth it!

The Good
EVERYTHING!!!!! Of course the environments are incredible, the sound is stellar, the movement is PRECISE, saving at any moment is extremely helpfull, and lara has never looked so good. Everything about this game is CRISPY!!! Any of you crackheads that can't seem to get a handle on the movement should stick to TETRIS or something that requires minimal "touch". If you are a true fan of Tomb Raider you should appreciate how far this game has come. Maybe you need a reminder?, by sticking in the first one and comparing. I can't seem to put this game down once I dive into it night after night.

The Bad
There are very few slow downs that I have come across and I can't find anything that I don't like. Instead of being impatient with the controls just chill out and take your time, this game needs to be savoured for the greatness involved.

The Bottom Line
If you like quick, dull games STAY AWAY!! This game rips!! I have not once regretted shelling out the $65.

PlayStation 2 · by jason laible (2) · 2003

Worth playing ... despite its flaws!

The Good
I finished playing Angel of Darkness only 5 minutes ago, and I must admit that I enjoyed quite a lot of it. I feel elated that I actually did it! And using a laptop keyboard no less! Don’t ask me how I managed it because I got so very frustrated and almost quit at least 4 times. Keep in mind that this is my very first Tomb Raider game and my inexperience with action games like this was probably the reason for my anguish!

I played the fully patched version of Angel of Darkness, remember, so I don’t know how many things were changed from the original release. That said, I agree with some of the comments made by other reviewers, but not all of them.

The story stands out as the best thing about AoD and what kept me playing. An evil man intends to reincarnate the only remaining member of an ancient and potentially deadly race (the angel of darkness, I presume). Of course, Lara is the only one who can stop that from happening. Although the plot is not new and has been used many times (in movies as well as games), it is still good and is told well in this game.

While graphics are nothing exceptional, and occasional programming and design glitches were noticed, I still thought they were nicely done overall – colorful, varied and interesting. Of course Lara looks good, but so do the other characters.

And speaking of the NPCs, there are plenty of them – and the actors do a fine job in portraying them – especially the actress who voiced Lara. I got a real feel for Lara’s personality from that voice and from the dialog written for her part. I was surprised how well the lip-syncing came off – very good indeed.

The musical score adds quite a lot to the mood of the moment and the game in general. Sound effects blend in and are appropriate to your location or the actions you are taking. (Lara’s screams as she plummeted to her death time after time will be remembered for a long while. Ha!)

As far as action elements go, I expected more tomb “raiding” and fighting off monsters –and while there was some of that, not nearly the hack and slash I thought it would be. Close-combat moves (supposedly introduced in this game), were great and stealth was fun to do. The majority of gameplay is spent jumping over bottomless pits to far-away platforms, climbing up ladders and walls and shimmying across ledges. “Adventure” type puzzles were more mechanical than anything else – pulling levers in a certain order, for instance. Lara’s “power-ups” were simply a means of stopping you from doing something too early until she became “stronger”.

The interface is fairly simple. A touch of the ESCape key puts you back at the main menu for saving, loading, options and exit. Pressing the TAB key accesses your weapons and items. Loading your weapons with ammo “manually” seemed like an unnecessary step to me, though. If you didn’t plan ahead, you could run out mid-fight! (Why not just equip the ammunition automatically?) Not counting the one Quick Save slot, there are only 14 save game slots, but I found that adequate. The only annoying part about the interface was when I chose to Exit – it asked me two times if I was sure!

I chose the full installation so I didn’t need either of the 2 discs in my drive while I played. Nice. AoD has a decent length and it took quite awhile for me to finish (especially with my fumbling fingers). And the end game sequence was great!

The Bad
Yes - the game has some bugs, and it even crashed to my desktop a few times on me. I was able to continue afterwards, though, so no big deal. (Sometimes I wished I had saved more often, but that’s not the game’s fault!)

Yes - Lara (and Kurtis) run too slowly, which is especially noticeable during one or two of the major fight sequences. “Running” actually starts out with a few walking steps before going into a sort of trot. Although Lara can eventually sprint faster, she must be running first.

Yes - the camera angles are weird at times, especially if you have no clue where you want to go.

In three of the “levels”, you get to play the part of Kurtis Trent, a street punk type of guy who becomes Lara’s ally. Rather than being an asset, though, he came off as the opposite – clunky, unattractive and, well, haphazard. I think they should have left him out completely – especially since Lara could have done all of what he did – even better. He has some “special abilities” and one great weapon, but you don’t control when those assets are used. Unfortunate.

Bosses are supposed to be the hardest, but because of your character’s movement deficiencies (mostly in running and dodging), at least one of them is nearly impossible to kill. (Even though there are PS2 cheats, too bad Eidos didn’t create any for the PC version. A god mode would have been a godsend, pardon the pun.)

Otherwise, it didn’t help that the manual was incomplete, as if it was printed before the interface design was finished. Some of the keyboard keys are not explained at all, or explained incompletely. There are dual uses for several of the keyboard keys of which there is no mention in the manual. (For instance, your Sprint key is used also for “looking around” (sort of a freeze camera), and the “duck down” key is used for exiting some special zoom-in and computer screens.) The manual also mentions an option to turn subtitles on or off. In my game, subtitles were set on permanently and nothing appeared in the options about them.

The Bottom Line
I can’t compare this Tomb Raider with others in the series, because this is my first one. If you’re like me, you’ll find the story engaging enough to hold your interest and keep playing. Alongside practice, patience, persistence and luck, thank the stars for walkthroughs and one saved game, which helped me tremendously, I’ll admit. (Kudos to you, Stella!)

As a game, Angel of Darkness (patched) has more good going for it than bad, in my opinion. It’s worth playing .. period.

Windows · by Jeanne (75944) · 2009

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Copy protection

If you do a full install of the game, you can play it without needing to have the game CD in your CD drive. The game's readme file even explicitly mentions this. This is an unusual display of trust (or perhaps it's just resignation) in today's copyright paranoid times.

Development

Even though the game was developed by a UK company, it suffered numerous delays and release date changes and was eventually released in the UK after the USA.

German version

In the German version, all blood effects were removed.

Movie

Sometimes synergy works, sometimes it doesn't.

When the second Tomb Raider movie had a weak opening at the box office, Paramount studios was quick to point the finger at Angel of Darkness. In an interview with Reuters, Wayne Lewellen (President in charge of Distribution) said:

"The only thing we can attribute that to is that the gamers were not happy with the latest version of the 'Tomb Raider' video game, which is our core audience"

Angel of Darkness came out one month before the movie. Had it been the other way around, perhaps Eidos could have blamed the game's numerous bugs and glitches on the film.

Reception and sales

Core planned to release two more Tomb Raider games based on AOD's engine. However due to it's lukewarm response, Eidos halted the production of the next TR game. In fact, Eidos shocked everyone when they announced that future Tomb Raider games will be developed by Crystal Dynamics, which seemed odd as Lara Croft was seen as a British icon.

Even though AOD received alot of bad press it still managed to sell 1 million copies.

On January 13, 2004 Angel of Darkness (PS2) has won the Gold-Award from the German VUD (Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland - Entertainment Software Association Germany) for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Awards

  • 4Players
    • 2003 – Biggest Console Disappointment of the Year (PlayStation 2)
    • 2003 – Biggest PC Disappointment of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – Car Crash of the Year (PC)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 04/2009 - One of the "10 Most Terrible Sequels" (It omits the challenging jumping sequences but adds stupid level design and introduces useless new features, e.g. the RPG and stealth elements.)
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2004 - #2 Worst Game of the Year 2003
  • Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland
    • January 13, 2004 - Gold Award (more information in the "Reception and sales" section

Information also contributed by Alan Chan, ClydeFrog, Kartik KHANE, PCGamer77 and Xoleras

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Exodia85.

Windows added by POMAH. Macintosh added by Corn Popper.

Additional contributors: Macintrash, Servo, Unicorn Lynx, Jeanne, JRK, Xoleras, Crawly, Zeppin, Klaster_1, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, piltdown_man, Plok.

Game added July 27, 2003. Last modified January 26, 2024.