"D'you know it's going to be a real pleasure to shut you up."
Narrator: There have been seventeen reported murders so far in this latest outbreak of Monstrum killings. It would appear to be the work of a single highly psychotic perpetrator. The name of the latest victim was just released: professor Werner Von Croy. A female, described as Caucasian, brunette, and wearing a pony-tail was seen leaving the most recent crime scene... Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness
was released in 2003 and is the sixth installment of the Tomb Raider
video game series. It continues on from the events of The Last Revelation
It was the last game in the series to be developed by Core Design
, the game's commercial failure and negative reception spurring Eidos Interactive
into taking away production of the Tomb Raider
games from Core Design. Subsequent entries were produced by Crystal Dynamics, an American developing studio.
The game sees the return of Lara Croft, but this time, as a wanted fugitive. The police consider her the prime suspect for the murder of Werner Von Croy, her mentor, the latest in a string of killings committed by a notorious serial killer only known as 'The Monstrum'. With her own recollection of the events surrounding Von Croy's death blurry at best, Lara sets out to clear up what happened, but unexpectedly ends up caught in a ancient conflict centering around 5 crucial Obscura Paintings, which, if they are all collected, can place the world in great danger. Joined by a mysterious stranger, she dives into the underworlds of both Paris and Prague, determined to clear her name.
The game is notorious for the mixed reception it has garnered; while it featured a gripping, dramatic storyline, pretty visuals, exploration and, as always, an amazing score, this was all let down by broken controls and various glitches and bugs, which made completing the game more difficult than necessary. A large amount of features were left in an obviously unfinished state, further marring the game experience, despite the fact that the game was delayed numerous times (it had orginally been slated for a late 2002 release). The blame is most often pointed at Eidos Interactive, for pushing Core to release the game, despite its unfinished state
. However, Core is not entirely blameless, having missed numerous deadlines, and being too ambitious in certain areas. Predictably, the game got bad reviews and had one of the highest return rates for a game ever. Despite all this, the game does have its fans, mainly due to its well-executed storyline and fitting atmosphere.
Released for the PC, Playstation 2 and the Mac
The game contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Lara Croft, naturally.
- Always Check in the Drawers: Especially during the first few levels of the game.
- Arms Dealer: Daniel Rennes, the guy who owns the pawnshop, has some firepower for Lara, for the right price.
- Badass Bystander: Janice has quite a fiery attitude.
- Badass in Distress: When Kurtis traps Lara, moments before gameplay switches between the two characters.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Lara and Kurtis, especially during the disarming scene.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Kurtis.
- Boss-Only Level: Boaz Returns.
- Clear My Name: Lara knows she's innocent. The player knows she's innocent. Try telling that to policemen who don't speak a word of English.
- Actually subverted in the opening: the killing of Von Croy, a cutscene that pops up multiple times, at first is ambiguous as to who actually killed him. In fact, at first, the killer is completely unseen; the player is led to believe that Lara, who up till that point had been throwing a temper tantrum at Von Croy, had been the one to kill him; this is reinforced by Lara seeing his blood on her hands. Only later is the identity of the real killer progressively revealed, until the very end of the game, when it is revealed to have been Karel.
- Color-Coded Elements: One of the puzzles in the game involves collecting and utilising stones based on the four elements: the fire stone is red, water is blue, earth is brown and air is green.
- Cool Shades: Lara sometimes sports these in cutscenes.
- Cutscene Power to the Max: Lara manages to survive a fall that would otherwise kill her at the end of the Industrial Rooftops level and the Margot Carvier's Apartment level. Also during the cutscene at the end of the game, considering how high up Lara is when she drops down to the ground.
- Dead Sidekick: Kurtis.
- Death Is Cheap: Through a level-select cheat in the game, it's possible to return to previous levels once Lara has managed to get her guns back, namely the Parisian Ghetto level, and go on to kill the likes of Janice, Kurt, Bernard, Pierre and other characters. Of course, they will reanimate once you reload, game save or not.
- Dem Bones: One of the mooks in the game include a few reanimated skeletons.
- Dummied Out: Turns out the opening tutorial level was originally intended to be a little longer, or at least contain an alternate route, which can be accessed using cheats in the PC version. Also, two other characters were left on the cutting room floor. This was bound to happen, seeing the rushed state of the game.
- Eaten Alive: Dr. Muller after getting too close to the mutated Boaz.
- Eldritch Abomination: Kristina Boaz, after being fed to a larval mutant, transforms into not one, but two different hybrids.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: Carvier and Janice.
- Explosive Stupidity: Try leaving Von Croy's Apartment before the Cleaner shows up.
- Five-Bad Band:
- Heroic Safe Mode: The opening cutscene of the game.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Janice. No matter how you choose to have Lara talk to her, Janice will be more than willing to provide you with the information you're looking for.
- Immortal Life Is Cheap: Good luck killing the skeletons you come across.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kurtis.
- Join or Die: The offer that Karel extends to Lara to become "part of a benign new order in the world", after he reveals himself to be the real Big Bad.
- Killed Off for Real: Werner Von Croy, during the opening cutscene. Also Margot Carvier, Daniel Rennes, Louis Bouchard, Thomas Luddick, and Kurtis Trent.
- Leave No Witnesses: Louis Bouchard and Gunderson will make sure of that.
- The Man Behind the Man: It was Joachim Karel all along.
- Never Found the Body: Kurtis
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Lara's strength/stamina bar increases when Lara performs specific actions at random occurences throughout the game. These were intended to be part of a more RPG-like skill system, which was clearly unfinished, almost to a comical degree. Lara mysteriously gains the ability to sprint when she opens a cupboard, and somehow gains strength at one point by jumping.
- Night of the Living Mooks
- No-Gear Level: The first couple of levels could really be considered as this, as Lara is unarmed and without her backpack up until the end of the Parisian Streets level.
- Not the Fall That Kills You: It's a long way down in the Tomb of the Ancients level.
- Soft Water: As demonstrated in the Aquatic Research Area level.
- Obvious Beta
- Power-Up Food: health items are no longer limited to two kinds of medipacks.
- Professional Killer: "The Cleaner" in Von Croy's Apartment level.
- Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: None of the women in the game wear them; Janice wears black leather pants and red jacket, Carvier wears a blue shirt, brown skirt and beige coat, and even Boaz is wearing nothing but a green laboratory coat and black pants and gloves.
- Red Shirt Reporter: Poor Luddick.
- Sea Monster: The Leviathan.
- Serial Killer: There's one roaming the streets of Paris, hence the premise of the game.
- Shield-Bearing Mook: The most irritating thing when combatting skeletons.
- Sinister Shades: Eckhardt
- Stat Meters
- Life Meter
- Oxygen Meter: For your every-day swimming underwater purposes, and this time, surviving in poisonous gas.
- Strength Meter: If Lara is shimmying a strength/stamina meter is shown. The stronger Lara becomes, the slower this bar takes to deplete.
- Oddly, sprinting in this game does NOT sap strength, unlike earlier games.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Most notably the pawn shop.
- Surprisingly Sudden Death: Exactly what happens at the end of Boaz Returns, when Kurtis is suddenly stabbed through the chest by Boaz's second form after winning the fight. Especially when you consider that Kurtis and Lara had good chemistry together.
- Touch of Death: Eckhardt has the electric touch, don't you know.
- The Unfought: Marten Gunderson and Dr. Grant Muller.
- Vendor Trash: The fun part about the Parisian Ghetto level is that you need to collect such things and sell them in order to proceed.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Margot Carvier.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: What exactly happened to Kurtis's body after they died?