Tomb Raider 6: Angel Of Darkness
Platforms: PC & PS2 (this review is for the PC version)
Following months and months of delays, Eidos Interactive and Core
Design have finally released the PC and PS2 versions of the long
awaited sequel to Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series with Tomb
Raider 6: Angel Of Darkness.
Unlike any of Lara Crofts preceding Tomb Raider games, Angel of
Darkness begins with the dynamic Lara Croft on the run from
authorities, accused of murdering her former mentor, Werner Von Croy.
A dark and sinister plot develops as Lara emerges after 36 months of
designing, redesigning, changes, etc., by Core Design. For the Die
Hard Tomb Raider fans of the previous 5 Tomb Raider games, Angel of
Darkness is far from following in the traditional footsteps by Eidos
and Core Design. Controlling Lara and learning all the new keyboard
techniques and measures is somewhat trying to say the least, however
after a few minutes of the tutorial 1st level of the game, the
player pretty much gets a grasp on how to control and manipulate
Lara into performing most all of her usual and customary preceding
moves. Glitches and complaints from many have led Eidos and Core
Design to provide the player with a downloadable patch for the PC
version. Graphical glitches and bad voice overs during some of the
games’ conversations gives the player the feeling that despite
months and months of delays, nothing was done about these obvious
A Monstrum, or evil alliance is forming in Paris and in the Ghetto’s
of Paris, deep in the alleys is where Lara finds herself at the
beginning of the game. With a tutorial as a first level in the game,
the player is able to make whatever adjustments he/she prefers in
order to better control the actions of the main character, Lara.
The ability to save your game as you make progress and many save
slots allows the player to overwrite a previously saved game or use
an open slot it desired. During many of the conversations in the
game, the player has the option of selecting what question or
response Lara provides. This is something new for Tomb Raider fans.
Another added feature is Lara’s ability not only to use her weapons,
but to “sneak” up on an enemy or Stealth mode and take him out with
a few good kicks or punches. This weapon feature had not previously
been in any other Tomb Raider games. Lara has become an aggressive
puncher and kicker (a future Olympic Kick-boxer, perhaps?)
Another added feature in the game is Lara’s ability to do a
“commando crawl”, where she is able not only to crawl as before, but
to lay on the floor and crawl forward, backward, or sideways, thus
avoiding the sight of enemies; including turret guns.
The plot thickens as Lara runs from authorities and discovers
through conversations that the Monstrum has stolen priceless
paintings and artifacts from the Obscura world. Determined to prove
her innocence and restore credibility to Von Croy’s honor, Lara
continues her search for the truth for the real killer. The plot
thickens as Lara discovers the secret alliance, Monstrum, with
explosive action and hand-to-hand combat attacks on her enemies.
During her adventure into the macabre, Lara meets a new character
(as does the player), by the name of Kurtis Trent. Eventually the
player develops trust in Kurtis, as he too, is working with Lara to
uncover the secret alliance of the Monstrum and their ultimate goal.
There are a variety of levels where Lara takes a break, and the
player becomes Kurtis, fighting off mentally and physically altered
beings in a Sanitarium and Maximum Containment Area. Boaz, the
master of the macabre, attacks Kurtis not in just one level, but
two. The player controls Kurtis in the same manner as Lara, and he
is almost as dexterous as Lara, and able to use stealth mode with
kicks and punches.
This game has over 30 levels of play. Each level is graphically
illustrated, with a varying degree of difficulty throughout the
entire game. Not all levels are easy. One flaw that I found in the
game was that the customary 2-guns Lara use to carry is NOT
available in this version without using the cheat enabler. Having
played the game all the way through without cheats, I became
accustomed to having only one weapon at a time. I have since gone
back and am now playing the game again with the cheat enabler just
to see the difference.
Many have complained and complained about the glitches in the game,
despite the patch that is available. Personally speaking, I have
played all previous installments of Tomb Raider and have always been
a die-hard Lara fan. I’ve seen the two Tomb Raider movies, played
all the games (on PC and PS2) and despite the Angel of Darkness
obscure, dark and macabre gameplay, I’d jump at the chance to play
the next installment. Will the next installment include Kurtis, our
new found friend and alliance? We’ll have to wait and see. Overall,
I’d rate this action-adventure game with a B+. Perhaps the rating
illustrates my love for Lara, but so be it.
design copyright © 2003