Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness review
Tomb Raider: AOD


With the massive success of Lara Croft on the PC it was inevitable she'd wander onto the PS2 eventually. She took her time getting there but that only fueled our high expectations of a next-gen Lara. Unfortunatly though making her breasts bigger and adding more polygons to make them smoother didn't stop the game becoming what has to be the biggest let down of all time.
Usually when I write reviews I insist on completing them first, but no matter how hard I tried to force myself to complete this I just didn't want to. It wasn't due to lack of skill on my part though, it was due to lack of interest and boredom. To put it simply this is not a fun game to play at all.

Why I hear you ask.
Well first of all there's the...

I thought the controls would be a dream from the PC days but god was I wrong.
Like a lot of games pushing the left anolog stick all the way forward makes Lara run. But there's a catch...she has to get up to speed first. Which means when you first push the stick all the way forward Lara first walks 6 or 7 steps before she starts to run. Usually by the time Lara starts running you've already reached your destination. Accidentally bump into a wall or object while running and Lara comes to a stand still which means having to get her up to speed again.
Everything has to be precise too. If you want to climb into a window or up a ladder you have to position her right in front of it, stop and then push forward again to make her climb.
It's just extremely irritating how a simple task can become such big thing to do. Other games manage it seemlessly so why can't Lara??

While the graphics are better then the Tomb Raiders I played on my old PC they're still nothing special. The graphics are far from pushing the PS2 to it's limit that's for sure. The FMV cut-scenes however do impress. Nothing we haven't seen before but still quite beautiful.
The In-Game Cut Scenes however really disappoint. Core Design are not known for their great graphics though, take Project Eden for example. They could've done a lot better for their star character Lara though.

While the story tries hard to surprise you with twists and turns it's all pretty predictable to say the least.
She's being accused of crime she didn't commit..bla...bla..bla. Definitely nothing original to see here.

They've tried to add an element of variety in this installment. Instead of simply following the story from A to B you are now given options at certain part of the story. Apparently the path you choose to take has an effect on the game.
Every so often during a conversation with any one of the characters you meet along the way you're given the option to choose how to answer. I tested this at the first conversation in the Apartment and yes, if you reply negative to all the options you don't get the notebook unlike when you be nice to the lady.
This may seem like a good idea but god it is soooo boring to do. Conversations are already boring and long without having to keep the controller in your hand so you can just press X. I'd prefer to just let them talk while I go and make a cup of tea.

They also tried adding an RPG element too. The more experience you have in certain tasks the better you are. For example if Lara needs to shimmy along a ledge but she keeps falling short try dragging a crate a few times to get her strength up.
It's a nice idea but very badly incorporated into the game. For example early on in the game you need to make a jump to get to another platform. However Lara can't make it. So you have to go back outside where a helicopter is shooting at you just to move a crate a few feet so Lara becomes strong enough to make the jump.

As much as I hate being negative in reviews especially when it comes to a game I loved when I was young I'd be lying if I told you this was brilliant.
Even the biggest fans of the series might struggle to enjoy this.

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