Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is the sixth installment in the Tomb Raider series, serving directly as a sequel to Tomb Raider Chronicles and The Last Revelation. It was developed by Core Design, the ones responsible for all of the franchise at this point, and published by Eidos Interactive.
Angel of Darkness was originally intended to be the start of a new trilogy from Core Design. The next title was supposed to be The Lost Dominion.
Unfortunately because of the reception, as well as the sales being notably lower than in the last few titles, the plans were scrapped. In-fact, Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness can be credited with causing a lot of damage for the franchise as a whole. Some of it is a little iffy, however. While it definitely didn’t sell as well as the last couple, it also received negative responses and criticism from the audience.
Paramount Pictures actually blamed it for Cradle of Life doing poorly at the box-office.
We’ll ignore the fact that the first film starring Angelina Jolie received negative reviews, and that when a movie-franchise starts out, the sequel usually isn’t able to bring in the same cash-flow, especially when nobody liked it in the first place.
This installment takes a darker approach than the ones that we had previously seen. The storyline follows Lara Croft while she attempts to clear her name for the murder of former mentor Werner Von Croy. The goal for this installment was to create a new installment different enough from the last that it could compete with the brewing action-genre. It also wanted to exploit the potential of the next-generation consoles.
In some ways, they actually succeed at excelling in-terms of graphics, but it’s only in some ways. Lara Croft looks beyond unrealistic, but the scenery usually isn’t too atrocious. When it fails though, it fails a lot. I remember coming across several moments where I didn’t know what to do next, only to discover that there was an area that was too dark for me to see. It’s an example of something being technically efficient, but other-wise uninspired.
The biggest problem from a graphical standpoint is the beyond atrocious frame-rate issues that I discovered. Besides having several glitches that caused me to have to restart, there was also moments when everything would lag. It was like I was doing some of the levels in slow-motion with how bad that it became at some parts.
As I’ve already said, the story is darker than the rest of them at this point. It isn’t darker because it has more depth or harrowing subject-matter. The only difference at all whatsoever besides it being literally darker is that it involves murder. Other-wise, any promise that the story had doesn’t have the means to be fulfilled. Cut-scenes are messy and more difficult to follow than they should be, meanwhile the voice-acting fails more often than it succeeds. The story might have had something more, but it didn’t share it with the rest of the class.
Unfortunately, these aren’t the worst parts of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. Lara Croft was never really carried with enticing character-development and story, but the game-play usually delivered. Angel of Darkness has no worthwhile puzzle-solving or enjoyable platforming. In-fact, the challenge is entirely trying to move.
These are some of the most tedious and unrelenting controls that I have ever seen. I was expecting a Tomb Raider game, not fucking QWOP. It took me about an hour to finish a tutorial that should have taken less than ten minutes because of how difficult it was not to walk off a ledge or do that weird side-flip she does. The fighting mechanics are atrocious. They tried to incorporate stealth themes into it, on the same order as Metal Gear Solid, but alas, ’twas not meant to be, and they sucked as well.
The camera-angle is also more of a challenge than it needs to be. The PlayStation Tomb Raiders needed an adjustable camera like nobody’s business, but this actually makes matters worse more than it helps.
Overall, the game-play and controls are tediously challenging, overly sensitive, and not fun. I remember writing that Tomb Raider: Legend was an absolute delight to play as Lara Croft, this is Legend’s doppelganger.
If Tomb Raider: Legend was a red Starburst, this is a nasty-ass yellow one. In conclusion, I hate, hate, hated this one. This is the worst video-game that I have reviewed so far on Rubix Gaming. It is one of the few that I feel has absolutely no redeeming qualities. The graphics are uninspired, the controls suck, the game-play sucks, the story is poorly done, and it sucks, sucks, sucks!
I don’t like it.
Thanks for reading…