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Neo
30th Jun 2003, 11:27
Gamers.com - 3/10
We waited three years for this?! Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness has to be the sloppiest major game release I've ever played. That's right--it's even more embarrassingly broken than Enter the Matrix. Nothing feels finished. Everything, from the control scheme to the puzzles to the sound effects, is unacceptably coarse.
What went wrong? A lot can be discerned from the "Making of Tomb Raider" piece featured in the "Extras" section of the game disc. Clearly, Core was interested in putting together a deep, layered game with strong character development and unprecedented visuals. This is all very noble, and these specific goals have more or less been achieved by the end product. The narrative is solid, some of the set pieces truly are amazing to look at, and Lara's personality is a lot more, um, rounded this time out. But none of that matters in the long run, because the game itself isn't any fun to play.

Gamespot - 6.5/10
It's too bad that Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness can't be recommended wholeheartedly. It's a lengthy adventure with a good story and some memorable locations and sequences. It's also a highly anticipated installment in a series that was intended to reinvent the franchise in a bold, new way. This latest Tomb Raider can be rewarding for those who can suffer through its cumbersome controls, numerous highly difficult gameplay sequences, and occasional bugs. But we shouldn't have to make so many concessions to enjoy a game that seems like it could and should have turned out much better than it did.


IGN - 5.3/10
Core's latest baby delivers an excellent presentation, a pretty set of visuals, a sweeping score and, as usual, a game filled with trusty exploration, good puzzling solving and surprise. But in nearly all of the areas where the series was weak before, it remains so. The game fails in nearly all of the gameplay areas -- control is awkward and miserable at best, combat is pathetic, and stealth is infantile in its implementation -- leaving only Lara's mainstays, exploration and puzzles, intact. And those are improved, but with band-aids, not with genuinely new thinking. Yes, the new moves and the playable Kurtis Trent are interesting, but Angel of Darkness is essentially a slightly broader adventure game than before, riddled with horrible control, awkward movement, and a silly combat system. For a game with such notoriety, of such popularity, and one that was once known for intelligent design and innovative 3D movement, the new addition is a disappointment, but not a surprising one.
Me personally? I respect the series and would genuinely like it to succeed, but this game is just not anywhere near the level of ambition I had hoped for from Core Design. It underwhelms at nearly every turn and disappoints often. I love adventure games, and I've always wanted to see the Tomb Raider series return to its original heyday.
For adventure fans I would recommend this with this caveat: You're likely to be disappointed, so RENT it at your leisure. For Tomb Raider fans, well, I expect the result to be a mix of those who love it and hate it, given its odd mix of horrible mechanics and excellent storytelling.

Gamepro - 3/5
A lot of people will point to the glitches and bugs as Tomb Raider’s biggest flaw, but the problem goes a bit deeper than that. The non-linear gameplay was half-baked from the get-go; and no amount of bug-testing would have fixed the contrivances Core came up with early on. The Tomb Raider series definitely needed something different, and this was definitely a half-step in the right direction for Lara, but it’s not quite enough. This aborted rebirth of a heroine could very well be the death of a franchise.

Eurogamers - 4/10
Anyone intending to buy AOD should go into it with their eyes wide open. You're going to get stuck, regularly, without remorse. And the main reason you'll get stuck is the terribly unresponsive controls' unholy alliance with the drunken camera that render the proliferation of tediously precise jump puzzles much more of a challenge than they should be. Core claims there's 50 hours of gameplay in AOD, and it's probably right - it takes five times as long to get anything done.
As a died in the wool Lara fan, it pains me to see the painful decline of a once great franchise. It would be perhaps harsh to dismiss AOD as a disaster, because real patience and persistence will reap a degree of rewards and satisfaction. The sad fact is, though, those who care passionately about the brand will be gutted that Core has failed to progress one of the most exciting and compelling 32-bit franchises. The real tragedy is that in gameplay terms it's a marked backward step for Tomb Raider and the damage this half baked, unfinished travesty of a game will do to the brand equity is incalculable. Sad to say it, AOD is indeed DOA for anyone but the most devoted Laraphile

Into Liqid Sky - C+
They should have just called this game Tomb Raider: The 1001 Deaths of Lara Croft. If it were not for the ability to save anywhere, this game would be overly frustrating. As it is, with the flaws that the game exhibits and the relatively unfinished feel that the gameplay has, I can only suggest this title to hardcore fans of the series. It's unfortunate that Core seems to have taken a step back in so many aspects when the game begs to be a serious step forward. Here's hoping for a more polished sequel.

ZT Game Domain - 7.4/10
So where does that leave us? Honestly die-hard Tomb Raider fans like myself will be mostly pleased with Lara's latest outing, glitches and bugs aside AOD has a beautifully crafted adventure buried deep inside of it. One of the best adventure games this millennium is in there you just have to dig to find it. Of course if you are a fan of the series you are used to digging heh. Bad jokes aside I recommend anyone with any love for TR still in their hearts to give AOD a try. It's worth the time and effort and most certainly worth your money.

PSXnation - 4/10
All the high-resolution textures, special effects, Dolby-coded soundtracks, CG movies and star power in the world don’t mean s*** when the analog control of a game is as messed-up, broken and just-plain f***ed-up as the one in “Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness.” Most players will probably never get to experience whatever decent-at-best “Tomb Raider”-caliber adventure might be hiding underneath this abominable Dual Shock 2 interface. They’ll be too busy cursing at the controller, themselves, the TV set, Eidos, Core Design, Ang Lee (!) and the employee that refuses to refund their money when they try to return this game to the store en masse. Did I mention the game's control is off? DO NOT BUY THIS GAME UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES! Rent it and be saddened (alongside us) as we bid farewell to the greatness that used to characterize Lara Croft's interactive adventures.

Gaming Target - 7.9/10
No question, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is one of those games that’s either love or hate, with very little middle ground. Personally, I enjoyed the game and still am enjoying it, as once you get the controls down and can learn to deal with the quirks of the game, it’s quite fun to play, despite itself. However, it won’t win over and anti-TR folks, as it maintains much of the classic feel, despite being a bit different from past games. It definitely could have been a lot better, but Angel of Darkness is not a bad game – I’ve played a lot worse in my time. It’s not perfect, by far, but it’s a good, competent, if flawed game that isn’t going to be for everyone. As scary as this sounds, hopefully Core will create another PS2 Tomb Raider game that improves all the flaws with this game and can finally bring the series back to prominence.




Mmm....so that's what I have to spend 70 € for? After having waited for 3 years? What a shame..........